Mon | Mar 30, 2020

Hello Mi Neighbour | Don’t mess with quiet people

Published:Wednesday | August 14, 2019 | 12:23 AM
“It is apparent that everyone of us has an ‘ants nest’ dormant somewhere inside and one must be careful that they don’t raise up that nest by abusing people

Hello, mi neighbour! When I met Robert many years ago in Vineyards, he was very quiet and well-mannered. He interfered with nobody’s business but his own. At work, he was a team player who spoke no harsh words nor wished anyone ill. His wife was similar. They were the talk of the town and the light of the community. While other couples were cussing and fighting, they did the opposite.

Early one Thursday morning, Robert was heard yelling at the top of his voice. His decibel level, with accompanying expletives, was equally shocking to the quiet community. Was he getting crazy? Who interfered with him? Was that Robert? They all voiced their concerns. No one knew he had the capacity to display such behaviour.

By the following day, the couple moved out of the community lock, stock and barrel. Within 24 hours, Robert was back at the gate, hurling barrels of expletives and threats at the landlord who was an elderly man.


So this was what transpired: Robert, being so soft and quiet, the landlord ‘took set’ on the couple. As a lover of peace, they ‘grinned and bore it”, never complaining outwardly about this landlord. Mmmmh.

But little did the landlord know that he was playing in an ‘ant’s nest’ that he could not contain. After Robert left the house, he was like a tick in the man’s back. Day after day, he would drive up to the gate and ‘loud up’ the senior citizen with expletives and threats. I cannot recall how that episode ended, but if I were to embellish it a little, the backlash on the landlord was so strong that he became ill and was taken in by a family member, after which the house was sold. Pretty much, it ended ugly.

If we were to deduce a lesson from that episode it would be this: it is apparent that everyone of us has an ‘an’s nes’ dormant somewhere inside, and one must be careful that they don’t raise up that ‘nes’ by abusing people. Ants in their nests won’t interfere with you until you step on their nest. They are usually as ‘quiet as a lamb”, minding their own business. But when those ants begin to bite you, ‘yuh behave like mad ants”.

Every so often, we hear sad stories of quiet, unassuming young men/women surprising families, communities and even an entire nation with cold, unexpected cruelty of diabolic proportions: bombing, mass shootings, driving through crowd, etc. Oftentimes, it’s a result of suppressed reaction (to abuse by bullies) reaching boiling point and tipping over into temporary insanity. The psychologist will tell you more, I am just an observer with pen and paper.

So, we are suggesting that everyone may be going around with an ant’s nes’ on the inside and, whether big or small, when biting ants bite, they bite hot. It must be noted that stepping on people is like stepping in a nest of biting ants.


If we were carrying out our duty of lifting up one another with a heart of compassion and a hand of gentleness every day, where would we find time to raise up the ant’s nes’ in one another?

Until next time, please help someone from the list:

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