I was posted to Nsuta in the Ashanti Region of Ghana for my national service after graduating from university.
Initially, I was a little upset knowing I would be far away from home and the bustling city life. I loved the city life, the bright lights at night, the daily rush hour traffic jam and the smell of hawkers and grease and all sorts of chemicals in the air. So coming to this small quiet town, was a low blow to me.
After a few days here, I noticed a peculiar insect, a stingless bee which the town folks called ” mimni” (I suck at Twi spellings so correct me in the comments section if I got the spelling wrong).
This stingless tiny bee was everywhere, from tree trunks to tiny crevices on the wall or even the door. They would use wax to create tiny little bee hives for themselves.
It was Tuesday, I had closed early from work and was headed home so I took the bush path, as always, and then I heard a buzzing sound around my ear. At first it was just an awkward buzzing sound, so I waved it off and kept moving.
Soon I heard the same buzzing sound again but much louder, again I waved my hands over my ears to ward the tiny insect off. I increased my pace now but again I heard more buzzing and this time the insects were plentiful and all over my face.
Owing to their tiny size, I had to close my eyes for fear that they could enter my eye as they hovered all over my face.
I kept throwing my hands at them but still they just kept coming so I was forced to run home and shut my door quickly so they would stop chasing me.
I had never felt safer in that tiny rented room I stayed in for my national service, than that day.
The following day as I was headed back home I decided to get some insecticide spray, the popular brands were finished at the shop so the lady gave me a local brand saying it worked same and even faster than the popular brands.
As I walked back home, armed with the insecticide spray I felt like a Spartan headed for war. My head up high, as I approached the same bushy path the insects had attacked me, I quickly drew my weapon and sprayed at their tiny bee hives on the tree and the sight was glorious, they dropped dead instantly and I felt I had my revenge.
When I got home, I began to sneeze violently. Apparently I was allergic to the chemicals in the insecticide spray and so I was struck with flu, some skin rashes and a headache all through the day.
On Thursday, I didn’t meet any of the bees so I walked feeling proud that I had drove them away.
Friday came quickly and this time I was with a colleague from work, when we passed the same bushy path, the insects started buzzing in my ears again.
I raised my arm to wave them off, but he quickly held my arm and said ” don’t worry, they won’t sting” but I told him I hated the buzzing sound and that’s when he told me, the more you wave them off, the more offensive they also get.
So I lowered my arm and pretended not to be irritated by their buzzing and soon the insects were off my face. It worked like magic, that was when it hit me.
It was like Newton’s Third law and karma were the same, for every time I resorted to hate or violence the more hate and violence I received back.
The bees were just doing their job, hovering around pollinating flowers but I was the trespasser who kept waving them off so they only responded the only way they could, since they couldn’t sting.
So that is my first lesson and I guess I have a lot more to learn over here
” When you get mad and when you poke at it
When you poke it at just know, man
The iceberg is a reflection of you “
– Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Autumn leaves