Sunday, July 15, 2012


Two of my neighbours had a heated argument. One was female while the other was male. They were both over 50 years old and had been neighbours for almost two decades, with a fence separating their houses. The showdown occurred in front of their houses, the roadside. The shocker for me was these two neighbours were on the bottom of the troublemakers' list, yet they were able to get attention with their misunderstanding. So what happened?

The man got a contract to manufacture building blocks for a house under construction in the neighbourhood. With the partnership of a Pastor they combined resources to execute it. They acquired a block making machine along with the services of labourers. The location was the open space in front of the man's gate. His house wasn't close to the main road and it was possible [this is Nigeria]. The man would be off to his usual place of work while the Pastor would be the project supervisor in his absence.

The woman complained to the Pastor that the machine was too close to her gate and wanted it moved. She didn't give any specific reason but wanted it distanced. She stopped the labourers from making blocks on the first day despite bags of cement had been opened and would be wasted if not utilised. The problem was the machine couldn't just be moved. It had a large diesel engine as a source of power, those ones with barrel filled with water attached, and it was already rigged to the ground. The woman rained insults on the Pastor, demanding who permitted him. The Pastor called her neighbour on phone, because he was not around, to explain the situation and possible solution. He responded that he was on his way home.

Passers-by might have felt the woman was heartless. Why was she adamant not to permit these men from making money? She could have allowed them just for the day, she could but she didn't. The neighbour arrived and went to the woman to explain but he got the leftover insults. When he told to whom it may concern his own side of the story I could have judged she was a bitter old woman. They had to stop work till the next day and move the machine farther from her house.

I couldn't jump to a conclusion, otherwise my Psychology degree would be wasted. I looked at the machine and it hit me, the reason she might have reacted as such. Her grandson.

Her grandson was a handsome young chap who had an accident in primary school. He was about to switch off a diesel generator in their home when what he wore got stuck in the generator to the part of the engine that rotate, and that was it. He got pulled closer with his head violently hitting the generator. He was knocked out in his pool of blood. He spent months in the hospital intensive care unit, and had scars he would forever live with. It wasn't something anyone who knew him before the accident could forget easily. I mean, he is married now [at 22 years old but that's another story], but there were signs he could have been better off...mentally.

That concrete block making machine had the same design and the rotating part was also exposed. It must have been a traumatic experience after she saw that. But the neighbour had no idea what she might have gone through. He only saw insults and could not see the reason behind it. That was not just a block making was trauma.


  1. This has nothing to do with this article.. So you read Psychology ? what are you going to do with that.. grad school ? jobs ? because that is what I am reading and I dont know what I am going to do with it.

    1. Psychology is broad and you could specialise in one of the sub disciplines. My interest had always been Consumer Psychology, and applying it in branding/marketing of products/services. I think if you focus on that or any other one you would know what to do and people would probay stop asking retarded questions like, "oh you studied Psychology, can you read my mind?".