THINGS that normally destroy people are those that look minor and, therefore, are always ignored. Little gullies, when ignored, become streams and then eventually they are rivers where you did not want a river. Now filling up a river is, humanly speaking, impossible.
These days there is a peculiar behaviour that might lead to a lot of breakdowns if not taken care of now. I am talking about people shouting at each other.
I notice that there is a sudden increase in this shouting business and it is gradually going out of hand and resulting in violence in some cases. To me this reflects a higher level of stress in the community.
Almost everyone is frustrated and wants to download their frustration onto somebody else.
There are many victims of this tendency who also have no choice but to shout at somebody too.
Teachers shout at pupils or students at every opportunity. Imagine that little Grade One child shouted at on their first day at school.
Imagine that Form One student welcomed in the classroom by a shouting teacher who has been shouted at by the head because things are not well.
Imagine the effect of this shouting at students, psychologically? I think this is a time bomb. Some use abusive and derisive words.
I know of teachers who are feared by all students at school because of this vice.
Managers, bosses and supervisors shout at their subordinates. Most offices are shouting zones. I am not surprised that many workers play cat-and-mouse with their bosses. It is to avoid this. When the boss is away, many workers are on “holiday” and enjoy freedom from shouting.
When the boss returns, they freeze cold with fear and I think this is one of the many reasons for low production and high accident rates in most workplaces.
Husbands shout at wives and children. The world changes. When we were growing up, it was women who were known for the vice. Now husbands and men are specialists.
Imagine how home feels when the provider and protector is verbally abusive. Not because somebody has committed a crime, but largely because the father’s deals went sour.
Many fathers these days are frustrated by their failure to fend for the family and they tend to victimise the very family they are trying to support. It’s stress.
Wait until you hear the wife shout back. I read somewhere that in that case it is better for the man to dwell in the wilderness than in that house.
This shouting vice is at all levels of leadership and it confuses and stresses many people.
Have you heard how legislators shout at each other in Parliament?
Am not surprised at the lack of quality decision-making because instead of debating and laying facts, the honourable ladies and gentlemen shout at each other until the sitting is over.
These are frustrated people who just have an opportunity to let go of their frustrations at each other, but unfortunately at the expense of the country.
Shouting is also done behind the pulpit these days. Some of us — men of the cloth — use the pulpit to shout at our congregations.
Walk the streets of our cities and hear the words people throw at each other.
Hear the threats and insults and look at the anger in the faces. Just hear the swearing.
I wonder what has gone wrong. In Bulawayo, just go to Egodini and hear the shouting. In the kombis, touts shout at passengers and police. Passengers shout back and the police also shout. I just imagine how some of these touts are like at home.
The other day I witnessed a verbal war between the police and touts along 1st Avenue.
I had to close the windows of my car so I could not hear the unprintable words one of the touts hurled at the police officer who had just handcuffed one of them.
He even challenged the seemingly confused police officer to a fist fight. Such anger and such shouting on our streets makes us unsafe.
This vice has the potential to destroy many things. There is too much anger in people on the streets and everywhere. There is too much depression and stress.
People are easily offended even by simple things. Many lose self- control and mess themselves up. Many need help.
- Calm down and never say anything when angry,
- Seek professional and spiritual counselling to deal with emotions and hurt,
- We all have a duty to make our environments safe,
- Share your pains and frustrations with mature people who can help you through,
- Next time you want to shout, put your hand on your mouth and swallow the words,
- Respect yourself. Do not embrace imbecility as a way of life. Shouting at others and making a nuisance out of yourself in public is unacceptable.
Kilton Moyo is the author of The Sex Trap and a guidance and counselling consultant. You can call or WhatsApp him on
+263 775 337 207