Features: Killing Kindness By Laud Freeman

Kindness is now a call to fleece

An ordinary man I am. Unfit to untie the waist belt of John the Baptist – one who confessed his unworthiness to untie the thong of Yeshua’s sandals. Many are my failings. I am neither a saint nor a sage. I fall, I rise. But this morn, as I stared blankly up the white ceiling of my bedroom and soul-searched, I knew I still had a heart. My conscience – my ever-resident judge was very much alive. That conscience, even if it be as tiny as a fraction of a tiny seed, is that which inks my quill, unfurls my parchment and fills it with words. So I lay no claim to what I write – I am only a faithful parrot reechoing my master’s words.

I am an apprentice striving to become a good Scribe. No great Scribe ever listened poorly. So I try to listen well. And in my listenings, I once, inclined my ear to a dear brother’s story. He is a lawyer whose office is nestled within a popular corporate address with an enviable panoramic view of Accra. Occasionally, he would ask a young security officer to conduct a headcount of all personnel on duty at the office complex. Once the headcount was done, he would draw out his wallet and ‘boost the young officers’ morale’. This was a fairly frequent ritual for which he was distinguishingly known. Indeed, names, titles and looks do not define a man – deeds do.


Then one day, through a series of unforced happenings, lawyer had cause to believe that the young security officer had been ‘outsmarting’ him for Heaven knows how long. And counsel was right! Unbeknownst to counsel, each time after a headcount, the counting officer would hike up the figure and pocket the cash for the ghost heads. And with the revelation came an abortive end to the barrister’s generosity to those young men.

A fairly seasoned lawyer he is, so he carries a fat mental dossier of acts of wrong done by young men and women. Still, this relatively dismissible episode seemed to have left a mark on his mind. I asked him why. The answer rolled off his tongue – unforced and caveat-free. “Bro, it is because love and kindness inspire my gestures.” The truth in his words was self-evident, even as his eyes bore testimony to his words. I asked counsel no further questions.

I am now a fatherless father. I was once a fatherless young man. People have helped me ever since my father passed on. Some of my helpers were complete strangers who were just kind people. They gave me their outstretched hands. They strengthened my weary limbs along the way. So I know and I bear witness that Kindness is still alive – that its flame still burns bright in the hearts of good people.

But to many young men and women of present times, kindness is a dinosaur – Honesty is a trait of naivety – Loyalty wears an expiry tag – it expires when the last morsel of the pie is eaten up from the palm of a benefactor. Young men and women of today love greed. They have changed the good old narrative – Kindness does not beget kindness. Kindness is now a call to fleece.

Our young men and women do not know – perhaps they do know but do not care, that greed is a silent constrictor of the optic nerve; that it soon blinds its victims – that the greed that blinds men, same leads them tottering onward to the precipice of their downfall and plunges them downhill to their everlasting shame. History is replete with many such sad endings. Yet, like the allure of Jezebel’s bosom, the grip of greed is too strong for our young brothers and sisters to resist.

We live in times when many do not expect to be shown kindness – we seldom show any. So a man’s kindness in an increasingly uncaring place is seen as a weakness. In our crumpled thoughts and dark imaginings, a kindhearted fellow is as a docile dairy cow that comes to our empty farmhouse uninvited and pleading: “there is great tension between my hind legs. My udder is full and bursting its tender tissues. See my teats dripping in a long trail of milk. I implore you, master, milk me for free!”

Young men and women, too ‘wise’ in your own conceits; ‘wiser’ than the Delphic oracle; unfaithful in little things. How shall ye ever be made glorious?

Laud E. Nyampong Freeman

The writer is a Communications, PR and Marketing Consultant with close to two decades of professional experience across several industries. He may be contacted on Tel: (GH) 0268811122 and Email: laudfreeman@gmail.com