On my way to work one morning, something happened that made me shake my head at the general attitude we have as a society and a nation. I got to the bus stop as two fully loaded minivans drove off. There were no other vehicles available, so I had to wait. At the bus stop a group of school children sat on a bench waiting for the next minivan. I sat with them and waited. Soon other people joined us, adults on their way to work like I was.

The first van came into sight, but was rushed while it was still on the opposite side of the road. The driver only turned to pay the bus stop official and then he drove off with his minivan full of adult passengers.

The second one came by,  and was still turning to get to us when men rushed the minivan from all directions, pushing over themselves to get in. The school children had tried to get in, but they were no match for the men on a mission: enter or be pushed. I was still sitting at the bench some distance away,  wondering why it didn’t seem natural for adults to let the school children go first. What broke my heart was seeing a child, the littlest one, hit the van on the driver’s side with her tiny fists, wondering why the men pushed them away. The bigger children had to hold her away from the van that was about to move. The reaction from the driver and the other men in the van was a bit confusing to me: they smiled affectionately to the children. Seriously?

It was at that point that I started to mentally shake my head at this non-chalant attitude from the adults. Even if the passengers were blind to the fact that children needed to get in and couldn’t push and struggle with them, the driver could have stopped the men from entering and told the children to get in first. But they preferred to do a “survival of the fittest” rush and then smile condescending at the helpless children. 

The children were finally able to get into the next vehicle that came, in spite of some adults who still wanted to rush in. At this point I had to speak up. I knew I was ranting, but at this point I just didn’t care. While still trying to keep my cool,  I just made a statement about adults who would rather rush for space with  school children than wait for them to get into the vehicle first. As the van drove off,  another one came in and I got in.  I brought out my phone and started to type this post. This incident got to me. This just goes to show how callous we have let ourselves become as adults. If we can’t care for our future generation now that they need the help, now that we can do something, however little it may seem, to make life easier for them, what do we think they’ll become when they grow,  when they have become hardened and grown past all feeling? It is easy for incidents like this to be ingrained in a child’s memory, and form part of his/her mindset about people. I pray these children don’t grow thinking that every adult is selfish. I pray they don’t turn out as selfish as the men I saw that morning. Just saying.

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Comments

Hello,

Thank you for sharing your experiences and observations. I completely agree with you in that children are constantly being overlooked, as the adults in our modern society are highly prioritized and have 'more important things to do', what with employment and other pressing matters. However, children are our global society's future and do not deserve on which to be trampled or displaced. I also pray that the children do not develop views and behaviours similar to the ignorant adults and bus drivers in this scenario, but instead, become individuals who are respectful of others, despite discrepancies in age, gender, sex, etc.

With kindest regards,

Helen Ng

Oh yes you're right, children are dangerously being overlooked. I am not a parent yet, but I see what's going on in my society and I yearn to let parents and adults in general that there is a way to handle children, not to always subject them to adult-sized pressures. Thanks for reading my post.    

Dear Miss Spice,

I totally can relate with your story, having lived in Nigeria for over 2 decades...I bet the city you write about is Lagos as well.

In the first place, if our society was one where the government had its citizens' welfare at heart, should school children have to go through this gruesome ordeal every morning? I bet it would be worse after school hours, where the roads are even crazier.

You are very correct that children learn experientially. That is probably why we have many unruly kids, bullies, etc. across our schools.

I feel your intense pain dear. Maybe this is a divine call for you to take that small step that would help these kids become better people, despite the harsh realities around them...You never know :)

P.S: I love your Username.

Stay Amazing!

Ola.

Founder, Girl Pride Circle

olaoluwaabagun@ymail.com

We all die. The goal is not to live forever, but to create something that will.

Dear Miss Spice,

Thank you for speaking up so the children could finally get on their way to school.  I think we forget how observant kids can be when it comes to learning how to behave.  I have a two and a half year old nephew and am amazed and surprised how much he already copies the behavior he sees from the adults around him.  I know it has made me more aware of making sure I am setting a good example for him.

Kristina

Perhaps the men were on their way to work and rather than be late and risk the loss of their jobs that earned them the money to feed their families, they went first. Or, perhaps I'm naive. Regardless, the good part of this is at least you confronted injustice. Thanks for sharing this.

Rubye

Thank you Rubye. Yes, they were late, but they could have acted differently. That they allowed the pressure of lateness cause them to act cruelly to children tells us that there is a problem with our social values. But we are here to change it. Thanks again.