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