When you go to driving school, they tell you that when on the road, carry on as if everyone else out there is insane.
This is a piece of advice I have found invaluable especially on our roads where every fourth person drives as if they have smoked something illegal.
It is a piece of advice I think would be fitting for all facets of life today.
A fortnight ago, a postmortem examination of a human rights defender, who had gone missing and was later found dead, ruled that she died of excessive bleeding occasioned by an attempted abortion.
She was five months pregnant. When this news broke, a friend I was with swore that this report couldn’t be true. Why? “Because who does that? Who aborts a five-month old pregnancy? Are they trying to say that she was insane?” In her view, because this wasn’t something that she would even consider doing, then it can’t have happened.
Now, we will never know what exactly happened to Caroline Mwatha, but I know that Kenyan women have or at least attempt abortions of way advanced pregnancies.
Not very long ago, I spoke to a man who once worked as a nurse at an abortion clinic in Nairobi, and he told me that sometimes, women would come in even in their last month and lie about it only to deliver full term babies on the table.
The things he saw at work were so gruesome that he ran to alcohol and became dependent on it. Almost five years since he quit, he is still struggling with this addiction.
What I’m trying to say is, just because you can’t see yourself getting involved in an incident, just because you can’t imagine allowing yourself to make a certain decision, just because you can’t see yourself doing this or the other doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen to someone else.
We are all different so stop using yourself as the benchmark for how everyone else around you should behave.
Carry on as if you are the only sane person on this planet. This way, you will be better prepared for anything.
If you do, then you will not be so shocked that a grown man can sneak into ladies’ toilets in a mall to try and molest unattended girls.
If you do, when in public, you will go with your underage son or daughter to the washrooms.
If you are prepared for anything, then you will not be shocked at the religious hypocrisy.
At the deceit, hatefulness and the judgement from the very group of people that are supposed to be modelling honesty, love and acceptance.
Next time you hear a juice story, hold your tongue. If you are not aware of all the facts, if you do not know the whole story, then refrain from commenting.
Just because it sounds incredulous on paper, just because this is something that you wouldn’t do does not mean that it did not happen.