Are all Animals Equal?

Dec 14, 2014, 18:23 – Fr Kelvin: Are all Animals Equal?
Oselumhense Anetor
Yes o,o jare! But…
Perhaps George Orwell’s 1945 ‘Animal Farm’ already answers the above question more appropriately. In the first draft of the law by animals (for animals), ‘all animals are equal’ seemed appropriate. But some animals woke up another day and found out that the law had been modified by ‘the powers that be’ to read: ‘all animals are equal, but (there’s always a ‘but’) some animals are more equal than others’. Does this latter modification reflect society more? You tell me…
Sometime ago, I finally visited an airport (I’ve never been in one before). The first thing I noticed was the ‘class distinction’. It was everywhere. I had to struggle to conform. There was pride and arrogance in the air. The ‘gods’ had their little bags and/or fairly large luggage littering the whole place. Men in uniform tried to speak ‘accented’ English through tired lips, and mouths that were weary of the repeated ‘Yes Sirs’ and No Mas’. What pained me most was the way in which these ‘high class’ Nigerians treated their ‘low class’ counterparts… It left a sour taste in my soul…
As I waited for my flight (while wondering if I should fly and a bit scared at the same time), I could see that the ordinary people of the society weren’t here. ‘C’mon!’ You may say. ‘ Flights are relatively cheap jor!’ But that’s my point exactly. That relatively cheap amount of money that lifts me into the air (one time) may be more than the monthly salary of the lady constantly cleaning the departure lounge for instance. ‘But it’s not a crime to be a bit comfortable nah”. Is it?’ Oh no! It isn’t at all. Even when you get up there, you’ll still be separated from the rest. Some will fly business/upper/first class, some others will fly economy. Yea! So even among the ‘gods’ there are ‘semigods’. Who’s fault?
Back to my story. Yesterday I was back at the airport. No! I wasn’t about to ‘fly’ again. I had made a few resolutions after that first experience you know. This time I was here with a professor to pick up a relative. Again that class distinction almost suffocated me. What added salt to injury was the manner in which the ‘oyibos’ were quickly processed out and taken away in bullet proof buses. These were the ‘higher gods’. Even our own gods felt inferior before them. For Christ’s sake they were human beings just like me. Abi? Tell me o, o jare!
Anyways, I looked back at all those ‘overfed’ babies with caps turned backwards and little rings in their tender ears. I looked at their lady counterparts, winter jackets now around their waists (no winter in naija), and belly buttons exposed. Why struggle so hard to belong? I looked at the big cars that waited to take them home. Then I noted with dismay the dripping sweat on the brows of the bell hops, the drivers and the airport staff, who made frantic efforts to satisfy these variant strata of gods…
If the God in heaven shows mercy to us all, perhaps the human gods below should have a change of attitude. We may not all have accents, or be able to fly around. We may not all have equal resources. But we could at least try to be less proud nah, Haba! We’re complaining about racism back there, but we’re guilty of the same thing right here, amongst our fellow men and women.
Are we equal? Tell me o, o jare!

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Fada Oselumhense Anetor

Studied at St Paul Minor Seminary, Benin City; Saints Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan; Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. Ordained a Catholic Priest for the Diocese of Uromi on the 11th of August 2012. Loves working with young people

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