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Opinions of Monday, 30 December 2019

Columnist: MyNigeria

How big is your ego?

Getting a vehicle to any destination in Lagos is extreme sport. You have to endure the hardship of being dragged apart by two bus conductors and almost losing a limb before deciding which of the buses will be the worth the trip. Especially when one is rickety and the other is oozing some unusual black smoke from the exhaust pipe.

I was lucky in my own case and my laptop bore the major part of brunt. Angry and very unhappy with what ensued, I opted for a mini-van instead. The driver was quite jovial but the short ride from Berger to Arepo had no passengers, except myself and the driver.

After a few seconds of picking me up and making three stops, he just concluded to take me the rest of the way, alone, happy and content.

He made a joke about how people were few in Lagos. However when we got to Wawa, he had an opportunity of a picking a passenger. Ordinarily, the passenger said he had only #50 to Magboro. Most Conductors would gladly let that slide- not my bus driver.

He said, "Some people want to cheat you too. I carry #100 from Berger to Magboro and you say #50 from Wawa?"

He shook his head in defiance.

"I rather drive an empty bus to and fro than let another passenger cheat me. They think they can manipulate me because I am carrying just one passenger," he said with a huge smirk on his face.

I felt pity for this driver because I was tempted to pay double for my trip- just to be like a Santa to him. But I decided against it. Like this driver, many of us are blind to life realities of stooping to conquer or conceding when we have been cornered.

While several people have traveled home for the holidays, there is still no excuse not to milk money from the available passengers lurking around Lagos.

Sadly ego wouldn't let this man do so. Like many of us waiting for big breaks and ignoring the small streaks, we may never really climb that ladder without the little streaks and flashes.

Ego is important but if uncontrolled, it will bring you down like my driver who thought its best to waste fuel driving just one passenger. A situation in which shrewd drivers would delay an almost filled bus endlessly because of the gains they want from one passenger.

People are different and have different expectations in life, quite alright. But don't carry ego along with you into 2020- its definitely not gonna help.