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Etiquette, Tribalism and the I’m-Better-Than-You Mentality

Posted by on April 11, 2016

Hello friends,

I feel like I haven’t been here in ssooo long. I’ve missed you guys and I’ve been itching to post this. All my gadgets and social media accounts decided to go off on me over the last two weeks. Gosh! It was quite frustrating but I quickly got over it. The heavens haven’t fallen. Here’s the topic for the week (as written and saved for two weeks now).



Hello Etiquette Lovers,

Hope you had a great weekend. I really got to chill this weekend. My kind of chill involves staying in bed and going absolutely nowhere apart from the kitchen to get food. I watched a couple of movies too. Bliss!

Today’s post is very unusual for an Etiquette blog even though it’s not a new topic to make the rounds. I cannot totally explain why I’ve decided to write about it anyway, but I know it’s something worth talking about. I’ll be brief.

Two days ago, I was getting food at a joint (yes, I go to joints. Lol). A couple of women were having a conversation; two younger ladies in their late twenties or early thirties and an elderly woman in her late forties or early fifties. They were either workers at the joint or perhaps they were just hanging out till they went back to their own stalls/shops.

Apparently, the gist was really hot; a guy whom all three of them knew was seen by his fiancée with another woman on the road and he was trying his very best to explain to the fiancée that this woman was just a friend. I didn’t really hear the end of the gist (my priority was to get my lems (food). However, it seemed like the guy wasn’t having any of the accusation and he pretty much stormed off.

The younger ladies were besides themselves with laughter at the situation and they half-jokingly half seriously asked the older woman: ‘Why you no advise am na?’ (Why didn’t you advise him?) They believed that as a mother figure, she should have stepped in to salvage the situation and advise the dude on how to handle the matter better.

Her surprise BAFFLED ME!!! She said ‘Why I go advise am? Na my pikin abi na my town person? (‘Why will I advise him? Is he my child or from my state or village of origin?’)

I was so stunned and sad. When did the world become like this? When did it stop to matter that another person’s relationship or life was going south except they were of the same origin as us? If tribalism and self could come into something as basic as this, what’s the hope for weightier issues? When I was growing up, the community raised children; neighbours, family members, church members, etc., but now, it’s no one’s business?

I was sad because this was an older woman I expected more from; compassion, maturity and wisdom. If a mother could think this way, what direction are children heading towards? I began to wonder, ‘Is this part of why Nigeria is like this?’ If people are thinking like this, our journey as a nation is long. Very long.

The fact that we are from a particular state or country does not make us better than anyone else, neither does our educational qualifications, social status, age or exposure. I’ll say again, the bedrock of Etiquette is consideration, respect and sensitivity…for others. LOVE is a GLOBAL LANGUAGE. It has no barriers. If we treated each other with love, the world would be a much better place.


Matthew 22:36-40 New King James Version (NKJV)

  1. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37. Jesus said to him, “‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38. This is the first and great commandment. 39. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’  40. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”


1 John 4:20 King James Version (KJV)

If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

One Response to Etiquette, Tribalism and the I’m-Better-Than-You Mentality

  1. Mitaire

    It’s sad, but I have seen this happen before, where everyone turns a blind eye when it doesn’t concern them. I hope this “I don’t care attitude” changes as we all need each other at one point in time or the other to move forward.

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