Yilugnta!’ — Use It, Or Abuse It!


There was this family gathering a few weeks back where a relative of mine ate the best of foods and got the worst of nightmares. This was what happened; there was this family gathering which we locally call ‘Yebetesed Gubae.’ It is an event where the aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and what have you gather and have some nice time over food and drinks. Well, while that isn’t what always happens mostly most of the ‘Yebeteseb Gubae’ occasions are non-events unless a few overeat and a few more get rather tipsy. (If you want to know, I’ve never gone to any one of those events while they tell me I’m still considered as a ‘beteseb’ member in their lists. ‘Not a very active sort of guy,’ friends would call yours truly!)

Now this relative of mine in his mid-forties was really serious in what he eats. Suffering from a couple of ailments which are worsened if he dared take the ‘wrong’ food, he used to say he isn’t that stupid to play dominos or something like that with his health. Of course, that didn’t always win him applauses as there are many who couldn’t understand why anyone refuses to eat kitfo! Why, many would have committed any crime for even a small bowl of that king of foods!’ At this family event I was telling you about there was a lot of raw meat around. The ‘host of the month’ was one well-heeled son of a guy who usually enjoys making you people not forget that he wasn’t their man-in-the-street guy. (I’ve to confess that is the only place many get their only sips of whiskey! Please don’t tell any one of them lest an angry mob of theme might come after me!)

So this relative of mine was asked to eat raw meat and he refuses flat out. Now they all know that he never touches raw meat and still to have some ‘”Just for today!” “Just to make us happy!” Especially the host said that he had prepared all just for them and refusing wouldn’t make him happy. In fact this relative says the host goes as far as vowing to never again throw “such a party.” This was when ‘yilugnta’ gets the best of this guy and he eats a few mouthfuls of raw meat with every one of them happy at the spectacle. His doctors have also warned him to stay away from alcohol and take it in moderation if he had to. That day cheered on by ‘happy’ relatives moderation was the last thing on his mind.

Next morning, he ends up on a hospital bed with his doctor angry as angry could be. He even threatens him that if he commits such irresponsible acts once again he’d no more be his doctor. He goes back home a couple of days later but he isn’t yet out of the woods. So why the hell did he do it when he knows the consequences. I’ll tell you what the main culprit is… ‘yilugnta!’ That’s the main culprit pushing people do things they wouldn’t normally have done. Just because you don’t want those close to feel offended you do things just to make them happy and not disturb the peaceful waters. “I’ve more than enough enemies and I don’t want to add to the list for refusing to eat this stupid raw meat thing!”

Of course, later after a string of sleepless nights with all your machinery working to work properly you curse the persons who ‘forced’ you into doing what you don’t normally do. “How can she do this to me? Making me eat raw kitfo with all the butter splashed all over it! She knew the doctors have told me not to consume such food!” Well, sorry if you feel I’m taking sides. Yes, I am doing just that! Taking sides! She didn’t ‘force’ you to do it! What she did was bring all her wits into play to convince you into rationalizing; “Now, I’m being too stingy. A few bites wouldn’t bring all the planets crashing down on my head. And also she being a very dear friend I don’t want to make her unhappy!” Without taking time to really see into things she is all of a sudden Lucifer’s chief of staff. “I didn’t know she was this bad under the skin!” what! If you want to personally prosecute any side for your ‘yilugnta!’-driven acts look for ways to prosecute ‘yilugnta!’ itself!

It’s so easy to throw a few blames here, a few blames there for acts which we, standing firm, could have said, “No, I’m sorry if you feel offended; but it’s my health and I don’t plan to play rugby with it any time soon!”

While we’re at it, I think the good story is that when properly used ‘yilugnta!’ could sometimes save us from doing things that would help no one and could blot the social order you’re part of.

The February 13/2022

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