Yesterday i boarded a matatu to town. A few minutes into our journey, as the conductor collected fares from the passengers, a womans voice yelled into the air, above that of the loud music.
I will not pay a cent more! She yelled with finality. The tout assured me i would pay 30shs to my destination. I demand my change back!
The conductor was one of the few humble ones, he did not answer.
The woman went on yelling and was joined by two others, apperently all known to each other.
The conductor stayed calm. The women yelled, abused and even threatened him, but he did not say a word.
Thirty minutes later, they got to there destination, as they alighted, they vowed to beat up the conductor if he did not give back the twenty shillings he owed one of them. Their threats were in their vernacular language, the conductor spoke a different language with the driver.
He gave them the balance, and they still had to have the last word by yelling at him as the matatu pulled away. Telling him, it was his lucky day, otherwise they would have taught him a lesson he would never have forgotten. They reminded me the murmuring and complaining Israelites.
Immediately, the passengers, mainly men became alive! They decided that these women must be from Nyeri, i presume you all know the kind of publicity thats doing rounds about women from Nyeri. And so the male passengers had a field day describing these kind of women, deciding what they must be doing for a living, etc etc.
What surprised me and made me sad was that, these women must have been in their late fifties.
You would think that at this age, life’s lessons have taught you that aggressiveness or much noise does not realy earn you respect.
If grown ups can behave this way in public, then how should we expect the younger generation to behave? The conductor could not have been more than twenty five years.
Silently i wondered, if they are capable of such abusive and disrespective language in public, how then do they behave in private?
Is it necessary to yell and abuse someone for so much time just because you feel grieved?
Would it not have been enough to just remind him their agreement with the tout?
I remembered Desiderata. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, for they are a vexation to the spirit.
May God enable me to be a good example to others in private and in public