Compromise happens when enough is enough, and hopefully before the last straw breaks the camels back. I need two fans; it is not easy to share one floor fan with two people. I want to sit at the table and type on the computer with the fan blowing at me, while Bah wants to lie in bed and watch television.
I can turn on the fan so it swivels, however the noise level increase, which is annoying.
Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa --- Sunday, February 20, 2011
Conversations with the Brute Culture
90 percent of the time living in Africa is sharing the world with loving children playing all day in the sun, there is a harmony. However, tell one of the children to stop playing, and there can be temper tantrums and unreasonable talk and arguments. I know that common sense is uncommon to find, it is not something that can be shared between two people. A person who knows they are fighting for the cause of common sense will never give up the battle, there is seldom compromise by the person fighting on the side of common sense.
A. Bah gets the sniffles when a fan blows directly on her when she sleeps.
B. Because of the heat presently in Ivory Coast, I can only sleep when a fan is blowing directly at me.
She turned the fan off, and said,
"Do you want me to get the sniffles?"
(Where does this constant wanting to find blame come from?)
The complicated thing here is she knows I cannot sleep without a fan, but the African culture is brute force, whoever exerts the most brute force wins the discussion. Common sense is only for the mere person, the small people who have no power.
The problem here is I am 100 percent sure; I will win all arguments involving brute force. I do not like brute force arguments; they give me the right to win and take anything I want. I have accepted, too often for comfort my ability to use brute force, I must be a benevolent dictator here in Africa. Generally, the problem is processing time; the time it takes to process what is fair could takes days here. If you think common sense is rare, then treating people with justice and fairly has never existed in some cultures, it just is not a needed social behavior.
Brute force is intoxicating, it is the force of a bully, and when kind people do not stand up to a bully and use brute force, they become slaves. However, a bully is drunk with power, they keep testing the limits, I do not enjoy getting near addictive behavior, because soon what is intoxicating becomes a habit, and difficult to break.
Mental Process in Real Time versus Delayed
Common sense is a mental process that happens quickly for a few, however for the people who does not understand a common sense maxim; it may take their brain days or weeks to accept. With patience, people come around and accept common sense, it may take their brain a long time, the brain which in reality is a small and unused computer weeks to process, however, one day the brain will complete its work and say,
"Yes, that is ok, it only makes common sense."
The person believe they understood quickly, because it took as long as it took, which was normal for that person.
However, for the sturdy and durable person, he or she must stay the course and be a kind, benevolent dictator, soft and mild, but intolerant and unmoved by tantrums while waiting for the computer to process.
I need to use brute force in discussions with Bah, I told her yesterday,
"We are going to look at the Apartment now."
Now, in the USA common sense would say,
"I have no right to tell a woman what to do."
The truth is, here in Africa, if I do not tell Bah what to do occasionally, she starts to feel insecure, as if I do not know what I am doing. Two very separate cultures, an astute person must accept there are extreme differences, and negotiate out compromises.
We always have the right to tell a person what to do, providing the person also has the right to refuse.
I am going to buy a second fan.
Video on why to have a porter and help find the bus station?