Human beings are unpredictable. To live with human beings, we need extra graces from God. Patience is not excluded and other virtues can arm us to tolerate or accept people as they are. God did not create us to be proud, jealous and be a sniffer. These are conditioning behaviours that irritate people. Pride is not a virtue it is not hard to notice a proud man in a society. How he talks, how he behaves at social gatherings and how he sees others speaks volumes. They hardly forget. In their speeches if you are there they will in a subtle manner rehash the hidden things said many years you feel you have forgotten. Their brains are so sharp that they never forget anything said to hurt their pride. A proud man or woman is always on top of himself or herself. They feel that they are the only people important in the society. If you insult her or him, they are great revengers they never forget, they never forgive.
Pride can be a big stumbling block to peace and harmony. Holding on to one’s pride is a great obstacle to love, even to forgive. Therefore, pride should not be our cup of tea at all. Many people have gone astray because of pride, many have lost their positions in life because of pride. Lucifer, who rebelled against God, did so because of pride.Many may tolerate a proud man but may not be accepted. Pride and jealousy, which one do you prefer? None at all. But Christianity tells us to love even our enemies. The whole thing is that it is the bad in them we hate but love them as persons. A jealous person is like a greedy person who wants to possess what is in a person but hates the person who possesses those fine good qualities. We cannot admire the good qualities in the person but only to hate the person.If we were given an opportunity, we can fight to possess what the person has and leave the rest of him! People are jealous of people for what they are. Jealousy is a sort of hatred towards a person for what he/she is. Jealousy and envy are on the same line of feeling but the feeling is not spiritual.
One should be satisfied with himself and with what God has given him and put off one’s eyes from others. Infact, I have never seen a jealous person who is happy. A great number of the western world is jealous of some countries in the third world. They have beautiful weather and attractive landscape. During their colonizing time, they carved out some portions of the land for themselves and for their cohort, e.g. Argentina, and it is because of greed and jealousy that South Africa is what it is now, a mixed race. It was through tug of war it became so. Zimbabwe is also a beautiful place where the whites cannot give up completely. There are lots of them in Africa where the west find better they capture, where the blacks want to recapture, war breaks out. Naboath’s vineyard was taken by King Ahab who later killed him to possess the land. The king was not satisfied with what he had, but had one eye on another man’s possession. What do you call that? Another problem is a sniffer.
There is no other way to describe a sniffer other than a sniffer dog that is trained to find things human beings cannot find out easily. Some people who are not really investigative journalists sniff around finding things without people telling them to do so. It is for their own interest; they always want to know and poke-nose everywhere to know what is happening. It is a dangerous habit that reduces a man to a spiritual imbecile! A man of such behaviour cannot be happy until he satisfies his curiosity. Such unhealthy manner makes nonsense of a man. Dogs use their noses to find explosives or drugs by smell. Many people sniff around to find Which baggage are you carrying? Pride, jealousy or a sniffer out information about somebody or something, especially secret information. Many people see journalist as sniffing round collecting information about somebody without the person knowing it, and without knowing that someone is vetting his behaviour.
Experts in behavioural communication or etiquette would judge such a sniffer severely for lack of manner and decorum. Such irritating behaviour can provoke hatred among men of high class. In the world today we need to be thorough to avoid being reprimanded by the social class, even the so- called ghettos know all about us. We should work on ourselves and purge out all these negative traits from our lives to experience a new phase of life. The spirits of anger, jealousy and sniffing create a heavy spiritual burden thereby making the carrier restless. Today’s society needs peace, cooperation and appreciation of one another’s strengths and help eliminate their weaknesses to enjoy progress and development wherever we are!
• Monsignor Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of several books and Social Justice Advocate.