I have watched with abject dismay, the state of cultural and moral degradation that now permeates our society and imbibed in our children.
More often than not, we have allowed this quite unconsciously, and a times with deliberate intention to give our children the best out of life, allowed a slip, a never ending slip that we may or may not recover from.
Not to leave you wondering too far on what am writing about even though i sense a few will probably have latched on to it, what are the cultural values, that we grew up with that we are passing on to our children? Am not talking of the ridiculous taboos and the cultural jingoism, but the rich cultural hallmark that distinguishes us from other nations.
I remember an old friend of mine who happened to relocate to US, sharing with us on our chat group, his experience with an elderly American woman. He said, according to him, the Old Lady approached his desk and he greeted her in this way,”Good morning Maam, how may i help you?” The Old Lady was taken aback and she complimented him on been respectful because what she had now grown used to was,”Hi What’s up!” And my friend was quick to point out, “where i come from in Nigeria, in Africa, we were taught to respect and greet properly our elders”. Nonetheless, he made a lasting impression on the woman as she always requested for him to assist her always.
Let’s break it down, there is a proverbial saying that Charity begins from home, and i must say, the generation that are now becoming parents, had a whole lot of schooling on values by our parents that with a mere glance of the eyes, we know what our parents are communicating and we know the next step to take. Not only that, how are we bringing up our children to interact with elderly people, wait lets not go to far, how do we communicate with them verbally?
Am sure, several children born in this dispensation do not understand their mother tongue at all! We communicate with them purely in English Language, and they grow up speaking only one language and not understanding another language even if its to save their lives!
Let me ask, you as a parent that you speak fluent English, be you from whatever tribe you may come from, were you brought up speaking only English or you were brought up speaking your Mother tongue, your own dialect for that matter and it did it in any way compromise your communication skills now that you are working?
Common, who is deceiving who? Who are we trying to imitate? If you communicate with your children now in your dialect does it in any way reduce their mental acumen and your own grand standing in the society? I have witnessed several of these kids that even when their parents now communicate with them deliberately in their mother tongue, they cannot comprehend what you are saying?!! You are simply speaking Chinese for all they care about!
I once remember a Christmas when we were with my Dad (God bless his soul) and a very elderly man walked in to see him, we all fell flat on our faces on the floor while my Dad stood up to greet the man. the man-made a comment i will never forget till date. He said,”Biyi, this are truly your children, your own blood, with the way they just greeted me.” Little wonder then, that whenever my eldest brother sees any elderly person he ain’t seen in a long time, he falls flat on his face! (He is a CEO!).
Children walk up to their parents and give them high five or a high mum! And am like, what?! Yoruba have lost the culture of prostrate or kneel and greet, and we are damn cool with it. Its fine, no problem, but no child of mine will try that with me! Greet properly, then hug or whatever. I fall down on my face to greet my mum, then get up and give her a hug. Even to my brothers and sisters!
So where have we lost it?
I remember one of our distributors, who walked into my office with his daughter. I never knew she was the daughter until she did what she did. She walked in, knelt to greet my colleague, then walked over to me and did the same. I was like, wait a minute!! Who is this?? Is this your daughter? And he said yes, and my respect for him shot up enormously, and you know the interesting thing, he is a core Ibo man.
What does our children watch at home, what is defining their cultural orientation? Barney? Cow and Chicken and the other ridiculous nonsense on TV? Shows that promote a degradation of family values and promote among-st other things, an occultist agenda and a gradual stripping of values?
How many times have you walked in and your children are so engrossed in a twisted “carton” or “movie” that they did not even acknowledge your presence in the house until you do something drastic or call their attention to it. And sadly, most parents just leave them and make excuse for them, “they are just kids!” Common!!!! just kids!!!!!!!
Agreed, the world has reached a stage, where things are moving at a blur, and we are caught up in it. But have you tried applying the brakes yourself and ask, 10 years down the line, what cultural and moral legacy are you leaving your children. Kids now are more tech than you and i when we were growing up. Maybe, we were technically curious for some of us,and we have dismantled radios and TVs and received a fair share of daddy’s whip for it. But hey, ain’t saying whip your child, am saying define the line between indulgence and learning.
Define what defines the values of your children and acts as their moral compass and cultural anchor and not something or someone else. I shale my head when parents now dress up their children in funny ridiculous fashion wears, sorry, outrageous fashion wears that i cringe when i do a mental projection of that kid, when he or she will be 15 or 18 years! When they go to parties, what do they dance to and how do they dance? Do they grind into each other and dance rather seductively like Beyoncé, Nicky Minaj, Tiwa Savage or what have you?? If you think its cool, that they are socially aware and whatever the likes, that is good, hope you are ready for the repercussions when it comes. And you may ask, “what repercussions?” Well, ask yourself that question if you are doing the same thing your child is doing now and what the repercussion will be. Or has Olamide, Wizkid, Drake, Whiz khalifa and the likes as role models to take after. Or the Khardasian clan, that promotes no values in any way on earth and even hell!
We cannot as parents, push the responsibility of taking care of our kids to the society, school and church. It is our responsibility to take care of our kids and bring them up in ways that will be pleasing to you when you look back 20 years from now and the society will be pleased with you. And sadly, it’s a two-edged sword. We can make or mar the future of our kids by the way we bring them up now.
The atrocities going on around us now did not start all of a sudden. It was a gradual deviant behavior that was not curtailed and it went into full swing of social deviant and cultural derailment. A boy kid is telling you, “i think am a girl” and you nurture that desire without actually taking steps to correct it. Little wonder the good book says foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far! But alas! Some of us are still children bringing forth children!!!! Who will correct us??!
We live in a world, where things will not improve, but get gradually worse until the stone cut without hands strikes the graven image and crushes it into dust and the stone expands and fill the earth. But before then, you and I, have a responsibility, to bring up these children in a particular way that will not mar them, but make them. The good book says in Psalm 127:3-5: (MSG)
Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep”
This can only happen when you know and understand the responsibility that has been given to you, for that kid in your hand.
Our Children are dying, and it’s from a monster we have unwittingly unleashed on them.