Article Opinion

The Emotion-Driven Culture of Nigerians


Situations in the country and even in the world at times give rise to people becoming emotional rather than being rational.

From the economy to security, education, sports, governance to employment, everything is in a pitiable state and this situation most often, elicits outburst of emotions. People have been wondering what exactly went wrong with a young senator who the people of Adamawa voted for but ended up being driven by an emotional outburst. According to The Punch, the outburst which resulted into an assault, reportedly occurred on May 11, 2019, was done in the presence of an armed policeman who rather than assist the victim, arrested her. Elisha Abbo, who is the youngest senator in the country, entered the shop around 6pm with three young women to purchase adult toys. But shortly after they began shopping for the toys, one of the three girls started throwing up. She vomited multiple times, prompting the shop owner to remark that the woman should have vomited outside and not inside her shop.

Abbo, who was said to be agitated by the sudden illness of the girl, was said to have accused the shop owner of poisoning the store’s air conditioner. The shop owner however argued that if the air conditioner had been contaminated, others in the shop would have also taken ill. This was said to have angered Abbo, and the two began exchanging words over the matter.

The senator was said to have called a policeman who he then ordered to arrest the shop owner.

The shop owner quickly called her father to inform him that Abbo had called police over the matter and that she was about to be taken away.

The shop owner’s friend who had been standing nearby tried to intervene by pleading with the second man to take things easy but was slapped repeatedly by the lawmaker. This is indeed a huge disappointment for someone who is supposed to be a role model who can manage and rise above his emotions.

This has been a recurring decimal in our country as people are agitated and thus emotionally driven. You hear of law enforcement agents who are supposed to act modestly, seen brutalizing and beating up innocent citizens for a little misdemeanor.

By default, it is normal for human beings to live an emotion-driven life based on the challenges prevalent. Emotion is basically a conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioural charge in the body.

Being emotional about some issues makes you shallow, peripheral and not a deep thinker. At this point, the mind takes the back seat while emotions take over the wheel.

The Biblical Samson was the judge of Israel for 20 years, he recorded sporadic exploits against the heathen nation. However, Samson’s emotion-driven life which encompassed his sexual lust and desires eventually led to his downfall. The strong became weak, the gallant became the chicken-livered, and the celebrated became the infamous. When emotions rule your life, you become weak with not sense of direction.

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Esau was a man the Bible named a profane person because he couldn’t control his excessive appetite. He practically jettisoned and despised his birthright- which consist of headship in the family, a double portion of inheritance and also an access to the covenant blessing that God had promised  Abraham. Esau foolishly chose to trade his future blessing for momentary satisfaction. He allowed his emotions of tiredness and extreme hunger to override his reasoning faculties. His emotions however made him blind to the future. For him, the future was too far. All that mattered at that moment to him was his stomach.

In the same vein, Cain surrendered the entirety of his reasoning faculty to the emotions of jealousy and anger. This however made him murder his brother-Abel. He lost his sane mind because his sacrifice was rejected and that of his brother was gladly accepted by God. If he had been rational rather than emotional, this could have made him humble and really seek to know what Abel had done to make his sacrifice acceptable. Realistically that could have been a good avenue to learn, right the wrongs and settle scores with his Creator.

Emotion-driven individuals are characteristically shallow thinkers, hasty decision makers, individuals with no foresight, no direction, always sentimental, biased, rigid, stereotypical and judgmental.

Hasty decision-making is never far from individuals who base their judgements or reasoning on the way they feel. They are more of the present, than the future. The question is- do you let your emotions rule your brain into taking ill-calculated decisions?

The Emotion-Driven Culture of Nigerians
The Emotion-Driven Culture of Nigerians

Never be at the mercy of people because of your uncontrolled emotions.

Most Nigerians are so hasty in making decisions based on the prevalent economic situations. We allow the emotions of hunger and economic hardship make us take wrong decisions especially during electioneering periods, we become blank and confused as to the person we want to elect. The stomach however becomes our driving force in decision making. Once a politician aspiring to get a political post is able to satisfy our belly, he is however adjudged “The man of the people”. Desperate politicians are however aware of this, hence they make “stomach infrastructure” part of their agenda. We however fall in love with this so called stomach infrastructure rather than futuristic infrastructure, and we go ahead to vote in visionless rulers whose 7-point agenda is to milk the treasury dry instead of electing men of exceptional vision for the country and  incredible track records. We can therefore be likened to the Biblical Esau who for a morsel of porridge, sold his birthright.

The best way to be rational rather than emotional is to ask questions- WHY! This will provoke you to think deeply before taking actions.

Pause and ask yourself these questions;

· Why should I act in this fashion?

· Why am I here?

· Why should I do this?

· Why go on with this? Is it worth it?

Indeed, if you know the Y’s, you will obviously know the Z’s. Never act without asking yourself questions. Determine to put your emotions at the passenger’s seat, and let your brains of rationality take over the wheels of your reasoning!

Olaoluwa Josiah OLAJIDE

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