The 34th week of the Barclays Premier League 2013/2014 season witnessed something that is not out of place but was somewhat strange. 25 years earlier, some 96 Liverpudlians had lost their lives in a human stampede.
The solemn atmosphere that pervaded the more than 44000 capacity Anfield when the moment of silence took place was goosebump-stimulating. Though many of us were still swimming in the loins of our fathers when the disaster occurred, but we could feel the importance of the occasion.
The September 11 terrorist attacks in the US is a well documented one. Lots of schorlarly efforts have been undertaken as regards this singular event. Even Hollywood has not been left behind. As a result of this disaster, about 3000 people bade the world goodbye. One of the worst terrorist attacks in the US, that was.
Just like the memories of these events are etched on the numerous monuments constructed for such purpose, they are also etched on the hearts & minds of the affected friends & families.
Back home, things do not work this way. Though i’m not a disciple of comparing two societies because of differences in cultures and experiences, but ours leaves much to be desired. We’re usually quick to move on- always in a hurry to leave the past behind. What we fail to do is learn from such events. Our memory is similar to a footprint on a sand dune in a windy desert. A light breeze and it disappears. Or how can one describe the number one citizen in a country merrymaking about 24 hours after a fatal bomb blast in his immediate domain? Insensitive or anterograde amnesia? Playing the devil’s advocate, I’ll say it’s the latter.
We hardly learn from past misfortunes. Just like an injury that’s left unattended to, a scratch and it worsens. When the sources of a misfortune are not addressed, just when you think it’s all settled, a spark and there is a conflagration. When Amber Hagerman, may her soul rest in peace, was murdered, had the US government simply left everything in the hands of God, He only knows how many more kids would have been kidnapped and murdered. When the greatest Brasilian F1 driver, Ayrton Senna died in action in Imola, Italy, steps taken then prevented his compatriot, Felipe Massa from also losing his life on the race-track, 15 years later. Misfortunes are part of our existence. They happen once in a while. But it’ll be worth it if adequate lessons are learnt.
Trickling down to the populace, the average Nigerian is willing to leave ‘everything in the hands of God’ or utter, nonchalantly, ‘Na God go help us for this country’. To me, that’s a defeatist mindset. Fine, God helps but He only does when you do your part. This mindset catalyses the amnesia. Even in the absence of the religious factor, Nigeria being a cornucopia of overlapping chaos and drama, makes it easy for one to unconsciously forget events, when the current daily hassles are held at constant.
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All pictures were sourced from Google Images.