Parental ”Bullying”

I just finished watching “Locked up” – MSNBC’S prison documentary series. As usual, I always find the series thought-provoking. This particular episode took me back to memory lane.  So, I decided to share my thoughts with you, yes you !

Image courtesy Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was born to a father and mother I grew up to fear and respect a lot, especially my late dad. Sadly, we did not enjoy some of the things that some of our friends enjoyed – no family car, no video player and sound system (imagine that!), no expensive new dresses and generally, no luxuries of life. Guess what? Some of these deprivations actually turned out to be the blocks that some friends of mine and some prison inmates worldwide used to build their ‘houses which is/are now crumbling upon them.’’

My late parents, especially my dad, were extremely strict. My dad was more – he was a ‘’bully’’- at least, that is how we saw him. I hated him so much for making life so difficult for us, especially me  – no opposite sex as friends ;no hanging out with friends; no parties; no drinking/smoking; no TV watching beyond 9pm; no this, no that. For each ‘’embargo’’, there was a ‘’good’’ reason to justify their stance. To us, it was ‘’parental bullying.’’ My late dad was fond of saying that patience was what we needed. However, the ’’right time’’ was constantly being pushed forward. Even after graduation and national service(as we have it in Nigeria), my restrictions remained intact. Wao!!!

In addition to these, they are/were the most honest humans I have ever known till date. According to dad, and I now understand, ‘’peace of mind is a priceless jewel.’’ Hmnnnn. It is with these principles that they ‘’ruled their kingdom.’’ Dad told us he had opportunities of becoming rich, but he preferred to work hard for his money. We thought he was ‘’foolish’’!!! Our thoughts on this started changing when we saw  other kids become ‘’fatherless’’ when their own daddies chose to be ‘’wise and smart.’’

They also brought us up to depend on God for everything we wanted, no matter how long it took for answers to come. They were too firm on this. As good leaders, they led by example. They were Mr & Mrs Perfect !!!

And then the moment came when I decided to grab freedom by force. I got my own place and moved out. I was like someone released from prison. I looked forward to exploring my newly acquired freedom. I looked forward to having a good time with girls; hanging out with friends and doing anything I wanted.

LIES !!! ILLUSION!!! This was/is the situation I found/and have found myself in the ‘’land of freedom.’’ What happened after I moved out is similar to what I discovered when I had my first son (to God be the glory). Each time we lay him face down and stretch his legs, he would fold them – the same position he was inside the womb for months. It was really interesting to watch. As it was, his system has gotten used to that folding of the legs. The same happened in the case of my beautiful daughter. They simply, unconsciously, did what they were used to doing for months before delivery. It took a lot of massaging and insistence to make them adjust to the new life.

This was, and has been my story. I am not claiming to be perfect, but with all my freedom, the first 27 years  of my life has impacted so much on me that I always feel my parents are watching me and telling me ‘’do’’ or ‘’don’t do’’ !!!

Today by the grace of God, I am married with kids. Our greatest asset is PEACE OF MIND. We may not be rich (we are certainly not poor), but we are happy and comfortable. All the things I learnt from my parents while growing up are intact and are my guide in all I do, especially in bringing up my kids. The fact is that those voices I heard for 27 years still re-echo very loudly.

One major advantage of those 27 years with my parents is that I have learnt what peace of mind is all about, and I will do anything to make it stay that way.

My younger ones are doing well too – free from societal vices – alcohol, drugs, crime(of all shades), womanizing, gansterism, and the like, which our parents guided us so firmly from. So I am able to concentrate on my family and not go to pull them out of one trouble or the other.

So, no doubt, you will agree with me if I thank my late parents in absentia, for ’’bullying’’ us.

So whether you are married or single, this are my thoughts – thoughts of gratitude…..for being ‘’bullied.’’

May their beautiful souls rest in perfect peace, amen.

The Dark Side of Condoms

A public speaker was asked to address a group of secondary school students. The topic bothered on issues related to sex education. In the course of the address, the speaker asked the students who were not virgins to stand up. The outcome was alarming. A good percentage of those who stood up were junior secondary school students!!! In the bigger society, the situation is worse. It is no longer a big surprise to find an eight year old girl or girl (or even less) being disvirgined.

Condom 2When we were growing up it was a scary thing to think about sex, not to talk of actually indulging in it. Pregnancy was like an end to the life of a girl. There was so much fear for sex. It was a thing of pride to marry as a virgin, especially as a girl.

Today, things have changed. Rather than be proud of being a virgin, a girl (or boy) boasts of having a boyfriend (or girlfriend). Sex is no more an exclusive preserve of the married, but a free for all activity.

In some homes, parents even encourage amorous relationships between their children and other children, including the teenage ones, thus giving them the impression that they are not doing anything wrong.

What could make the moral situation so bad? What could make the fear of childhood pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases to be almost insignificant? .

Perhaps it is because ”protection” now exists against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseasees. ”Thanks” to the CONDOM!!!

Today, the demand for condoms is enormous.  The print and electronic media is awash with the advertisements of condoms. Different companies are cashing in on this and many more are springing up every day, producing and providing ‘’protection’’ to those who want to have sex, irrespective of the ages. The reasoning is if I can be ‘’protected from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, why should I be afraid to have sex”. And with this line of thought, the demand for condom continues to experience astronomical boost.

Indulgence, especially amongst teenagers and adolescents, with a form of protection will simply mean giving a child a passport to unlimited and uncontrolled sex. Such kids grow up and find self-discipline as being a very difficult virtue to imbibe, simply because there is a ‘’culture of protection’’.

CondomNo doubt, condoms have drastically reduced the scourge of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The companies have also had positive effects in the economies where they operate. But a balance must be struck between economic gains/good intentions and negative side effects. Thus, my problem is mainly because of what condoms have done to the mentality of teenagers and adolescent s – drastic drop in fear of consequences of early sex, indiscriminate sex, multiple sex partners, abortion (even with the use of the condoms), a serious drop in morality, and in some cases, death arising from sex.

So, my appeal is simple: there should be more control in the sales and marketing of condoms. The media should be more actively involved in a campaign for ABSTINENCE as the best way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, especially among teenagers and adolescents. Simple !!!

Let us save our kids and unborn children from a ‘’sex- for-all society.’’

Thanks for your time.

 

The Transient Nature Of Power

At twenty six, I tasted power, not the type I had when I was a prefect in my school though. I was the Manager of a technical services company somewhere in Lagos, Nigeria. Interestingly, all the members of staff were older than I was, except the junior technicians. In fact, the driver who was assigned to my office was old enough to be my granddad. My secretary was also older than I was. Sincerely speaking, I was not too sure if I would be able to operate effectively and efficiently.  To me, I saw it as a test to prepare me for greater challenges later in life.

Image of GracePOWER IS TRANSIENT!!! Those were the words that God constantly whispered into my willing hears.      A day will come when I will not be able to exercise the powers I had. So, wisdom required that I threaded with caution. Wisdom required that I remember that someday that power may come to an end; and that there was another world outside the company where I called the shots. That day actually came. The company swam into troubled waters and I had to leave. Of course you know what happened to my powers.

My first post-departure contact with my former driver was actually a time to receive my ’’report card’’ of how I faired while in office. It was a very wonderful   experience and re-union. In all modesty, the voice of God that guided me made me ‘’pass.’’

Again, presently I hold offices where I am supervising the work of people who are far older than I am and even with better academic qualifications. Well, now I don’t need the voice of God again. I am fully aware that indeed POWER IS TRANSIENT.

I am of the very strong opinion that power comes from God and we have to be very careful how we make use of it. He gives and takes without permission. He has the power to toy with the heart of whoever he desires. He swaps positions in seconds. In giving or taking power, size, experience, education, colour, height, weight or beauty means nothing to him.

Power is seemingly deceitful. It closes the eyes of the unwise to all of these. It makes one think it will last forever. It makes one see every other person as lesser human beings. It blinds you to the fact that your subordinate could become your boss in the next five minutes or less. What will happen if the subordinate suddenly becomes the boss? What will he do to his former boss? Well this is a question anyone in power should be asking himself regularly.

However, it’s so sad that some leaders and privileged people do not share in this reality. Or perhaps they see it more convenient to ignore it. In the offices, in the homes and in public sphere, the transient nature of power is played down.  

I have learnt a strong lesson in my journey through life : no matter how powerful  or privileged you might be, the only permanent power is that of God; and He is watching how we are using what He gave to us. And one day it will be time for us  to get what we deserve – good or bad.

So remember, use your power and privilege wisely because, truly POWER IS TRANSIENT !!!

 

Childlessness : Marriage Turned Soar

It is the dream of every man and woman to, someday, gather people to witness the solemnization of their relationships. It is a day every bachelor or spinster looks forward to. Friends and family members rejoice with the newly wed and look forward to celebrating with them nine months (all things being equal) from the day of the wedding.

And then the countdown starts. Sadly, for some couples, this count down never starts. And then anxiety and frustration sets in. Usually the parents of the husband, especially the mother, become apprehensive. In some cases, the man looks outside for a child. In extreme cases, the man files for a divorce, of course after confirming that the problem is not from him. In all of these, the woman suffers more. In today’s world where women reach menopause as early as their early thirties, one can understand the extent of trauma they go through. Childlessness is therefore one single home destroyer and source of pain and anguish to so many couples globally.

Image courtesy bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I really feel for them and hence decided to contribute my quota towards bringing overwhelming joy to some of the traumatised marriages and to also help to prevent more cases of childlessness.

However since I am not a medical doctor, and may thus not be able to do a very professional analysis, I am only dwelling on some man-made causes of childlessness. Some of them are actually true life experiences. 

They are as follows :-

*Sexually transmitted diseases – This is one of the most common causes of infertility in both men and women. I know of a lady who confessed to her friend that a test she carried out confirmed that the STD she got from her boyfriend had permanently destroyed her womb. This was in 2004. Till date she has not been able to conceive. Multiple sex partners is a major source of STDs.

*Abortion – Abortion is another major case of childlessness in many women. A lady once confessed to having had her womb damaged while undergoing abortion, which apparently was not the first time.

*Alcohol – This seriously affects sperm counts in men and increases the chances of birth defects in women. A very high level of alcohol in the woman’s blood can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This is growth, mental, and physical problems that occurs in a baby when a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol intake can also cause miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, abnormal heart structure, behavior problems, mental retardation, poor growth and infant death.

*weight issues – excessive and careless eating habits leading to overweight can also affect the ability of a woman to get pregnant. Poor eating habits leading to underweight have also been found out to have negative consequences on pregnancy.

* Smoking – this has been discovered to have the effect of lowering the sperm count in men, and increases the chances of miscarriages, and premature births in women.

*Drugs – drugs like marijuana and anabolic steroids can affect sperm counts in men. Also, cocaine use in pregnant women can cause severe retardations and kidney problems in babies.   

*Exposure to toxins or chemicals in the work place or surrounding can cause mutations, birth defects, spontaneous abortion, disorders of infertility. Lead, radiation, ethylene oxide are some chemicals that can affect conception in women.

*wearing tight clothes – in order for the testes to produce sufficient quality and quantity of sperm, the temperature of the testes must be lower than the core body temperature. That is why the testes are located outside the body. Testes were made to receive enough air. Thus wearing of tight clothes like boxers and briefs are obviously not the best as they can cause over heat resulting in low sperm count for the man. Studies have shown that low sperm count is the greatest cause of infertility in men.

It follows therefore that some of the many cases of childlessness in marriages are actually the aftermath of some habits and indulgence by both the man and the woman before marriage or during marriage.

So be careful how you have fun, eat, relax, dress, release frustration and generally live your life, as your lifestyle, if not checked, might have negative effect on your future happiness.

Wishing you happy parenting (or happy parenting in advance, as the case be).

Thank you for your time.