Ngnyum mwu lwikwaen tà win yè wù danmi be’swu ‘ bwaeti . (Tikar Proverb)
« Quand les cheveux de ton voisin brûlent, commence à tremper ta calvitie.” (Proverbe tikar, French translation)
« When the hair of your neighbor burns, start to dip your bald head. » (Tikar proverb )
Meaning: Forewarned is forearmed.
(Proverbs collected by Dr. Emmanuel BECHE on behalf of the Francophone University of International Development)
The Tikar live mainly in central-western Cameroon. They are famous for their decorations. But, although this is less well known, the depth of their proverbs also distinguishes them. The one we are particularly interested in at this year-end is derived from their cultural attic: « When the hair of your neighbor burns, start to dip your bald head. «
This proverb is very common in Africa. In January 2011, we commented Dendi adage which reads this way: » If your neighbor ‘s beard catches fire, sprinkles because you do not know if yours will catch fire. » It refers to another that is equally interesting but directs attention to oneself: » If your neighbor ‘s beard catches fire, wet yours. » The Tikar abound in the same direction, but they go much further by comparing the » hair » to « baldness « . In other words, even if you run a lower risk than the neighbor who is hard hit by the fire, it is important to learn from his or her misfortune and take such steps as are necessary to prevent suffer a similar fate. In other words, you never know the extent of the danger that can cause the most insignificant risk. What wisdom! If only we could consider at this time of the year nearing its end as we evaluate it and prepare new resolutions for the New Year looming on the horizon.
Unfortunately, a close look at what is happening around us indicates that the world is slowly but surely engulfed in the ethical chaos of Noah’s time and is moving towards a more serious destruction than that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Paradoxically, this fall heavy with consequences is caused in the name of a pseudo-freedom and a poorly assimilated tolerance that does not realize that it undermines the basis of what appears to be its own strength by imposing the views a minority on the rest of the world and undermining, in the process, the moral and spiritual values that have been the strength of Western societies for many centuries.
Yet the Bible is full of warnings in terms could that could not be more clear. For example, before the people of Israel made their entry into the Promised Land, God gave him the following warning: “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God [Deuteronomy 18:9-13 , NIV ].” Many other biblical passages in the book of Deuteronomy and Joshua that abound in the same direction (see Deuteronomy chapters 4, 7, 8, 9 , 11, 12, 15, 17,18 , 19, 20 , 26, 28 , 29, 30 , 31, 32 and Joshua chapters 1 and 23 etc.) . . Unfortunately, Israel has not been able to swim against the current. She was rather stuck in the mud of idolatry and its corollaries with all the consequences. She was hit by many disasters. She drank the bitter cup deportations whose harmful effects are still being felt today. Many nations have occurred, and will experience the same fate. However, our generation would fare much better if we drew lessons from history and relied on the Lord.
At the individual level, we also fall into the same precipices as our neighbors who have endured the bitter consequences of their misbehavior. We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are smarter than those who were trapped in their misconduct. Einstein said: “Insanity is behaving the same way and expecting a different result.” At the end of this year, let us ask the Lord’s forgiveness for our acts of madness, let us resolve to live by divine wisdom that has the following characteristics: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere [James 3: 17, NIV].” Let us enter the New Year with a commitment to live in reverent fear of God (deep respect, reverence, worship) that, however, is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9: 10). May the Lord grant us all the wisdom to dip our moral and spiritual baldness from now until the end of the earthly pilgrimage!
Copyright © 2013 by Moussa Bongoyok .