The Dog's True Fate

"The patient dog eats the fattest bone." Nearly every child who grew up in Nigeria knows that quote; it was told and repeated to us everywhere: at home, in schools, in markets, and in religious places. The irony is that kids like myself grew up realizing that in Nigeria, the patient dog eventually eats grass or starves to death.

Since I've been in the US, I've queued for things like food, free merch, supplies, and other random stuff. In some cases, the lines are long, and I worry: "What if they run out before my turn?" I've often found that my worries proved useless because there was plenty to distribute and sometimes excess to waste.

I've been diagnosing this paranoia about things running out before my turn. As you've already guessed, it might be rooted in my knowledge of the fate that often awaits a patient man or woman in Nigeria. As a result, there is a fear of not receiving something because there may not be enough. Having grown up in a society where essential items are scarce, my paranoia is not unfounded. As a student in boarding school, I recall days when I didn't eat lunch or dinner because the food ran out while I was in line.

In Nigeria, we see how limited supply causes impatience, which manifests itself in many ways. Cutting corners is very common, and if given the opportunity, people will take more than they need. This is because they don't know when it'll be their turn again. Years of being conditioned like that have created impatience and fear inside me. While the queue scenario is just one microscopic example, I also acknowledge that this is not just a "Nigerian" thing.

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