The Sheltered Life

I wrote this in April 2010 here. It was a reflection on my childhood and what gives now.

I once lived a sheltered life. The first 8 years of my life were beautiful & I had all that I wanted as a child. The birthday cakes, ice cream, trips to Kano club every weekend, parties, food (lotsa food, I must say – with second helpings too) and a big backyard and front yard to play in. Our neighbours on the left were Indians and on the right were Japanese. I had the shelter of dogonyaro trees and the shelter of money and what comfort it provided.

I took such things for granted, never thinking that it might all go away some day – that it wouldn’t last forever.

Nowadays though, most children I know seem to think that it’s their right to have such things. They demand for it. Now, I ain’t saying anyone should suffer or go through pain if it can be avoided but what happened to abasing and abounding?

I heard a story over the radio about a man who told his son to escort him to visit his friend. His son asked which car they were taking and the man tried to figure out what relationship the choice of car had to do with a visit to his friend. That is, until his son informed him that he couldn’t go anywhere in the heat and he wanted them to take one of the air conditioned cars.

I had to shake my head. First off, he had the option of even choosing a car to ride in and then, he had the luxury of turning on the AC and not worrying about fuel scarcity!

What happens when a man becomes a ‘used-to-have’ or a ‘once-upon-a-time-millionaire’? What happens to the lifestyle that his wife and children were used to? Did he teach them not to take money for granted? Did he tell them that life would throw problems at them that cash cannot shoo away? They probably haven’t read that book where it says that in this life, we will have trouble. How will that child survive if he is suddenly cast into hard times? Or maybe he would prefer to steal to enable his family live in such luxuries as they were used to.

What happened to spare the rod and spoil the child? Or has that become superfluous and useless in these ‘times’? My parents used to beat me – my mother much more than my father (and I must state here that occasionally and at some point, I knew some of it was over-board and quite pointless) but it contributed to who I am today. (If you ask me, I think I turned out quite well but we’ll know for sure at the end, lol)

I am not talking physical abuse. I know of extreme cases where the parents didn’t know when the thin line between spanking and mutilating had been crossed. I’m saying that it gets to a point where talking is just not working and you haveta ‘beat the devil out of him’! Let’s see some slippers and the good old cane.

I think it’s safe to say that it’s not easy being a parent. You say the same thing more than twice a day and I know how tiring that can be. But, you gotta keep trying or else you’ll produce monsters in the long run.

Sometimes, I worry about my generation. What I see does not impress me but it makes me pause and ponder about our fate. Is this generation really worth fighting for? They expect everything to be handed to them on a platter of gold. They don’t want to work. They don’t want to put their backs into it. They want everything NOW!

When I look at my pastor marching the streets, fighting for liberation and I listen to some of them making snide and rude comments, it breaks my heart. They do not see, they do not realise that he is endangering his life for them!

They do not know or understand the meaning of integrity

of hard work

of giving and not expecting anything in return

of helping

of self-sacrifice

of contentment

of purpose

of making your life count for something

of leaving a legacy

of being strong & courageous

of being patriotic

of looking back and saying ‘I did something with my life’

of putting a smile on someone’s face

of earning respect

of being worthy of recognition

of loving

of laying down your life for a good cause and for something you believe in

of falling and rising back up

of not giving up

of friendship

of an honest conversation – no falsities, no lies, no masks.

6 thoughts on “The Sheltered Life

  1. I like this post.

    The ways of imparting values to kids in our society have changed over the years. The values themselves have seemingly been rendered impotent in the light of political, religious and professional corruption.

    Spanking used to be the final solution in discipline. Now it is seriously frowned at in “high-brow”, enlightened groups (including schools).

    Worse than the question of corporal punishment is the loss (now almost absence in this new generation) of strong moral values. “Relativity-thinking” sneaks up on us at every turn, in the guise of advancement.

    I’m personally worried that well-read diasporans are coming back and attempting to transplant the atmosphere they enjoyed in the West into Africa, often without deeply measuring the effects of those ideas (and their philosophical/social underpinnings) on the societies where they came from.

    We are assaulted by new media and the ideas of their proponents. Freedom of social interaction across all previous borders and structures without a clear idea of what we aim to achieve and what our society should look like (“Allow it to ‘evolve’) will lead to chaos. It doesn’t make us safer, rather it exposes us to greater risk.

    They say there’s no such thing as right and wrong (some even say there’s no law – because it means someone’s view would have to be wrong), but would call the police if someone broke into their house.

    The beliefs of parents are challenged at every turn by influences outside their control. Spanking is not enough these days; engagement is vital. The battlefield is the mind, and the enemy out there has has generations of practice in manipulating human thinking.

    The sheltered life often remains a bright spot in the life of an individual, and a safe place to when the harsh world wants to break you down. Ultimately, we must create our own oases in our own homes, but this will be as a victory over the world and its chaos principles.

    (Quite long I know. Had to vent).


  2. Please… ‘vent’ all you wish. I know and understand what you’re saying. I have decided to bring back the value system in my own family and to draw the lines of right and wrong which cannot be subjective. Shades of grey must be banished because there will always be black and white. There’s no middle ground.
    May God help us sha.


    1. Amen!

      May God open our eyes, ears and hearts to see, to perceive and to understand the times and the seasons and to know what to do at every time and in every situation.

      May our hands always be lifted so that he can lift us up when we cannot lift ourselves.

      May His will be done in and through us.

      In Jesus Name. Amen.


  3. I J,
    I must leave the house (Ogba) at 5am prompt to get to work (VI) on the hour, and do all and more of all that is expected of me (officially), and I go to eat in the staff canteen, and return to my official chair and table (chairs dey try o o o). At 5pm nko, I start my return trip home, through the stress of Lagos vehicular traffic. I get home stressed out, not even able to cook my own meal; therefore, I go to Iya Nnkechi down the road to sell me food, and the rest of the night is just the rest of the night (snuffed out)!

    But, those days eehnn; when my mum or sister (only 3 of us with God), would have cooked the best meal packed in my lunch box (after I have eaten like wow!), drop some choice biscuits in the same lunch box and a note (5 Naira) in my bag. The school bus outside is blaring the horn for me to lets go to school (the driver will solve traffic o o o). At school, I have all the playground to exercise my muscle, and all the rhythms in class during recitation or from my class teacher. No stress at home after school, all the sleep, all the cartoon, all the freedom (but with some severe spanking too).

    Today, there is a fine-tune of me; I love my mother and now sincerely understand all the language spoken, or (and) displayed by her body language, concerning our needs. Also the word of God, and His vessel (Pst. Tunde Bakare), always of an honest conversation – no falsities, no lies, no masks.


  4. Bless your heart Tunde! His comments are the kind you look forward to.

    Thought-provoking post ma’am! I daresay we can win this battle, one individual at a time, the right socialization process not exclusive of instilling the fear of God will do the job.


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