SAFETY BEHAVIOUR OR ASCRIPTIONS?

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Some persons born in September are proud of it. If one feels or thinks otherwise, they are quick to ask one to look out for T-shirts that speak their minds. Some eulogize the month as if being born or living till the end of September accords one a special gift.

Like any rave it is upscale. “Great men are born in September”.

Is there anybody who is unhappy with the time great men are born? We know too that some great men are noisy. What do you think?

Perhaps, there are other reasons bolstering this euphoria. From the month of September there are more food in this part of the world. Some religious groups start their new yam festivals and associated jamboree. Other churches too join in the hysteria of the new yam festivals, harvest and thanksgiving in September.

But, a different soundbite is there too. September has got its notoriety in recent times. 9/11, hurricane Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, threats of wars, weather instabilities, flooding, uprising in Africa, Asia and Europe. Then, the traditional sing song of ember months.

Ember months are September, October, November and December. Ember seems to derive mainly from the four-letter ending. Moving further you can also perceive the flickers of ‘fire’ of the time. It never goes off until January. It is a period ascribed with many things, real, unreal, the good and ugly.

Now to the ascription bazaar.

Accidents, crime, kidnapping, robbery, fair and fairy stories are awash at this time of the year. It is the last quarter for many businesses. Government accounting is rushing to its end too. “Does it mean more money” a teenager ask? “Please, talk to those in Government and business, they know better.”

Of course, religious and social festivals are at centre stage of the season. Fired by these festivals, “a rush over a rush” becomes the credo by choice or instigation. It assumes the feel, fuel and fit.

A local observer of the season describes the season thus: “Acting like weird men and women in a carnival, reason takes diminutive position as bystanders are drawn to the vortex. Like fixated minds at gladiatorial shows everyone cheers with approval. Let’s “relish the season” is the frenzy song.

Ember months open the door of exploitation and greed of all sorts. Religious centers of all hues cash on fears and held notions of the season to display banners warning about ember months. They hit deeper with their meets, outline weeks of prayers, testimonies, offerings and collections. In this part of the world, all kinds of of spiritual thoughts on the four months of the year are splashed. Men and women scamper to swallow it down and drive themselves with the intakes.

Some say that uncontrolled behaviours usually acquire a new ring of normalcy during ember months. Is that statement true?

“Let us perhaps do ourselves some good by a simple recall.”

Our summer, outdoor activities may not start fully in September but in normal seasons, the rains are changing patterns. Flurry of activities necessitate travels. Religious and social events – weddings, school convocation go with mass movements. Small holiday ties in. Many happy events create rush and excitements.

In the course of all these, some unexpected events may occur. They are given ethereal meanings. Ember months are dubbed as accomplice and it rings! Does it mean there is no unseen hand in the affairs of men? The doubt could signify doubting flesh and spiritual divide – the sacred and profane. Far from it.

But are these responsible for many excessive, indeed unchecked behaviours that have concomitants?

Let us stray a bit with a recent painful experience in West Africa – the Ebola. Regular washing of hands became a sine qua non as it hits the terrain. Wash hand basins, antiseptic liquids and bottles of all shapes appear everywhere. No to needless hand shaking. Sitting in the bus and minding the next passenger become normal. Modest behaviour sunk into the heads of all even those whose guiding thought is “something must kill a man” Behavioral change delivers good results.

But flash back months after the dreaded virus demise/remission and celebration of clean bill of health by WHO. What has happened? A return to old ways of ‘sin’. But as we know sin is a shortfall.

Strict hand washing is no longer kept. It has downgraded. Do you not observe it? It is not out of shortage of water but for lack of good and safe behavior.

Good habits are known to gradually become intuitive behaviour. Answering calls, blinking eyes, smiles, winks, and others are ‘natural behaviour ‘. But a pattern can be developed by some individuals over time. Psychologists would say these behaviours can be learned. In the same way safety behaviour can be learned and properly applied at all times. This may likely undo unrelated ascriptions that are hollow, yet ruling and ruining many.

Then what about other practical thoughts and safety checks at this time?

There are more vehicles on the road. Are you used to driving through rough bumpy roads under pressures transferred by other indisciplined road users? What is your skill and experience in driving? What is your speed? What is the condition of that rickety vehicle you want to do a stretch of 350 kilometers. What about night travels? Who gives under age children access to car keys at any time even this time? There are questions people don’t want to ask or answer. They feel relaxed as ember months take the pummels!

The dry and harmattan season sets in ember months. It makes the elements for fire – fire tetrahedron easy. Then what checks? Location of gas cylinders and gas support equipment in a dry environment. Regular checks and reminders lift the veil off so called mysteries. With open mind, checks and other things done well, we will not be leaving things to chance during fictitious ember months.

Think good behaviour, think safety and ember months will have less unworthy ascriptions.

“Even if the law goes asleep, what about the driver? Take responsibility.

 

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