Responsibility

Marriage, a big deal

by Admin on

Written by OLAOMI, O.C.

Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, their coming together to become one. Beyond the biblical and moral aspect of marriage, there is more to it. It is a really a big deal. Two separate individuals from different family background, upbringing, social and moral views and different perspectives to life. One big deal about marriage is that it does not expire, at least it’s not supposed to ‘Until death does them apart. No one prays to die young, so your marriage lasts as long as your life does, unless you walk out of it at some point or your spouse, God forbid, either walks out or gets taken by death.

Beyond the few years of courtship and the ‘big day’ of the ceremony, when everyone departs, you will be left alone with your spouse, then the reality begins to dawn. Then you’ll be having these conversations with yourself: I’m no longer single, I can’t go to my parent’s house as often as I wish for vacation anymore – there’s no vacation from the matrimonial home. You’ll become a guest in what used to be your bedroom in your father’s house. The lovely decorations, paintings, and arrangement will become sweet memories.

In your “new” life, and trust me it’s brand new, greater responsibilities await. Your spouse, children, parents, in-laws, siblings, new friends, new neighbours, new colleagues in some cases all come into play, a new life indeed!
Singleness actually means what the word connotes. Single, not accompanied by anything else, not divided in parts, designed for the use of only one. Only You! You can decide not to cook if you don’t feel like eating, remain in bed after 7a.m if you’re not going anywhere, decide to travel to see family or visit a friend as soon as you so wish, or wear anything so desired. The list is endless really!

Now that the wedding bell has been jingle, things have changed from ‘I’ to ‘We’. If you’ll be making any decisions for yourself, you’ll have to consider others. If it’s not good enough for them but very good for you, you may have to drop them. Now, this is part of the big deal. It is as serious to the extent that if you want to consider getting an extra degree or advancing a career, a long list of sacrifices for spouse and children have to be considered amongst other things, Sacrifices that were non-existent before marriage. Every lone decision you’ve known how to take now has to be subjected to a panel of at least two!

You can no longer put on any cloth you deem fit or find most comfortable especially when nursing a baby as a woman. You can no longer get up at any time you deem fit or snooze the alarm eight times till you yawn out of bed.
Baby’s needs must be met (when you begin to have little versions of you running around), no excuse! What about your spouse? You must look good for him/her. No excuse as well! He deserves to wake up to see his beautiful bride everyday. His gorgeous, beautiful and charming girlfriend turned wife. She deserves to keep seeing that fit, agile and energetic boyfriend turned husband, not a lazy bag of bones. So many responsibilities that you must live up to really.

The kind of home you desire, you must build it in marriage. You cannot find a ready-made marriage to buy in the market! You may think of getting a help, but if your marriage will be successful there are some things you still need to do by yourself. A maid or help is just there to provide help or aid, not to substitute you or make you irresponsible.

Beyond all these challenges however, it’s about the best thing that could happen to you. You love someone who loves you back, nothing beats that. You live in an atmosphere of love and care. Your dreams are coming to fulfillment, you have someone with whom you can share your cares, worries and concerns. You have a happy home to go to everyday. What could be more fulfilling?
Enjoy it as long as it lasts bearing in mind the deal it entails.
Remember to prepare for it and enjoy every bit of it. I can only wish you a good marriage that lasts forever!

Daddy Issues

by Adebayo Akande on

Written by Adebayo Akande

 

“My father left when I was just four years old”
“Our father does not want anything to do with us!”
“He would come home drunk, and beat us all up.”
“He would just sit and read newspaper all day, while mummy goes working to make ends meet.”
“When every other person was out, he would come to my room and force himself on me!”

Have you heard such testimonies as cited above before? If you haven’t, then you have probably not met up to ten Nigerian fathers, or you’ve been surrounded by the relatively few exceptional ones. For me, in this quarter of a century plus life of mine, I have seen, and heard, and to a lesser degree I have experienced my own fair share of daddy issues. In my opinion, people can only move on and at best create lots of great memories; seldom do people get over the effects of abusive, absentee, or irresponsible fathers. Just as we can trace a cholera outbreak to a germ infested pond, majority of the societal issues take root from the failure of fathers to live up to their billing.

Presently, I live among the Hausa folks – and in this particular place it appears the men live for just two things – smoked meat and sex! Very little else seem to matter. When they get tired of a merchant’s meat, they move on to another. Sadly, they do same with their women. The end result? Colonic issues, and kids – lots of them! No plan for their future, not even for their present. So these bairns bite the dust almost as soon as they open their mouths!

Now before you make a huge fixed deposit of anger against these folks, just imagine what your own society would look like if contraception was not being used? The main issue here isn’t about the organ between the man’s legs, but that behind his eyes and beneath his hair. Well, rumours have it sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the two, based on function. Men can choose which to think with!

While it is true that the responsibilities of the man are enormous, it is also amusing that respect is demanded even upon failure to live up to these responsibilities. Central to this malady is the erroneous view that a boy becomes a man, simply by staying alive long enough to develop muscles and a baritone voice; and the ability to sire children. While I am not in any way against women empowerment and liberation, the women movement to a large extent arose due to the ineptitude of men.
A father should provide for the basic needs of his family – food, shelter, emotional stability, a conducive physical and emotional environment for the family to thrive. Simply put, one without the other just would not work! Food and shelter, no matter how good, without a loving environment, is just as fatal as a home full of love, and also of empty stomachs. It is also of great concern that most fathers have created their own shoddy standards, a system of doing the barest minimum and boasting that they’ve “played their part”. When we see one that goes the extra mile for his family, providing all that is necessary, one is almost tempted to give him a Nobel prize!

I am not yet a father. So maybe it is easy to criticize people in whose shoes I have never been. But I’ve had a good feel of some other kind of shoes. Let me tell you a bit about these shoes.

They belong to women who had to single handedly raise children, simply because they wouldn’t abort the product of an act they got pressured into committing. They belong to the teenage girls who had to grow up watching their mother take up humiliating jobs while their father sat playing draughts with other fathers over a keg of palm wine; and then the mothers would return home tired, only to be insulted because food wasn’t prepared early enough. They belong to the boys and girls who had to be comforted, taught, encouraged solely by their mothers because all daddy cared about was good grades in school.

So you may not be a father just yet, but you can choose to be a good one, and that decision is a great place to start preparing.
“Happy Fathers’ day to all women who are working hard to raise their family singlehandedly.” This statement caused a stir on social media many weeks ago. There was outrage, of course from the men. We already had about three Mothers’ days, can’t we just have this single one to ourselves?
We can, we should, but not via this outrage.
We can, by determining to be there for our wives and children. Respecting them and loving them; believing in them and investing in them. I for one, love it (and sometimes envy) when people speak so highly of their fathers, and then I see men who “carry their family matter for head”. Equally disheartening are situations when the families of men I respect and would have considered as mentors turn out to be in shambles. These men go out to work so they could “put food on the table”, they do that, yet inadvertently starve the soul of their families.
Let’s abrogate daddy issues, shall we? How can we be better husbands and fathers? I would welcome our views and thoughts. Meanwhile, here are some of mine.
A family needs nurture, lots of affirmation, and communication. A major attribute to all these is selfishness. Majority, if not all children would say that all they need asides food is just daddy telling them “I love you, and I believe in you. You can be the best!” We should remix that song
“parents listen to your children;
we are the leaders of tomorrow.
Try to pay our school fees,
and give us sound education”.

The best schools won’t do as good a job as a loving father reassuring his kids. And claiming to love the children while maltreating their mother reeks of pure hypocrisy!
I know I have made things so black and white, so simplistic in this article. I can almost hear someone say “things aren’t always this straightforward”. But have you also thought that maybe being a great husband and father isn’t such a daunting task after all? That maybe all it requires is planning for that future with consideration for other people asides just you? That the solace of a happy family outranks any quest for personal glory? Or better still, your family is that personal glory?
We won’t always be perfect. We will make mistakes. But we have our society as a gallery, and our family as a canvas. With every stroke we make, every swish of our brush, we create a picture, our picture. And this picture will have a huge bearing on the entire gallery. After all, isn’t the family said to be the basic unit of the society?

So far…

by Admin on

There’s nothing that messes up a business like erratic intermittent services. Your skill, no matter how superior, will seem like nothing if you do not put it into constant use. In case you missed it, read about Consistency here

Many a times, we seek God’s help where he has already put us in charge to execute. We have to come into a full realisation of our importance and relevance if we are to make the best use of our time around here. And it really begins with the little things. Check out what we had to say on Responsibility here

We believers are in the world but are not of this world. If you were dropped into a pool or water body, wouldn’t you swim even though you’re not a fish? While we are here and passing, we can as well make sense. See how here

False alarmists are at a big risk of being ignored when they are actually in trouble; unrepentant jokers are likely to be taken lightly when they are actually serious. When such things happen, whose fault would it be? So before you scream next time, read this

Have you ever been in church and enjoyed a flash fiction or story-telling session only to discover they were testimonies? Shouldn’t there be a difference? Check out this post on Testimonies and tell us how you think it should be.

Have you ever lost a battle you won, or gotten a silver medal after being the first to breast the tape? Well it’s the same feeling when you have to accept that you’re wrong despite being right only because your adversary is older. Share your experience on the post Unquestionable Seniors.

So as the world celebrated Valentine yesterday, I couldn’t brush away the thought that there would be a few who don’t really dig into the whole thing. Not that they don’t want to, but the day probably serves as a terrible reminder. For some, it might have been a sexual hit and run that eventually turned them into a single parent; for some it was rape; for some, a broken relationship, and so on. Read Joseph’s story of one of such here.

To stay updated with all posts, you can subscribe with your e-mail address at the right hand panel of the page.

Much love!

Responsibility

by Admin on

RESPONSIBILITY

Written by Adebayo Akande

Our world is under siege! From the scourge of global warming, to the state of anarchy in the Middle East. From wildlife species facing extinction, to third world economies under siege. Many times one wonders and asks, ”How did we get here?”, others ask “What happened?” I think it is time we modified the latter question to “Who happened?”
Yes, who happened? Critical thinking would make us understand that most, if not all the challenges we are facing today are either man made or man potentiated. The ice caps didn’t just decide unanimously after a summit, to start melting. Economies didn’t make New Year resolutions to undergo apoptosis. No, someone somewhere did something somehow, and then someone else followed suit, then someone else, then someone else…

God created the earth, and handed it over to man. This conferred on man a duty to protect, preserve and populate. This was an obligation to carry forward an assigned task to a successful conclusion. By this, man can be held accountable for his actions and/or inactions. This, my friend, is the definition of responsibility.

It is easy and convenient to blame others for our misfortunes and then blame ourselves for our fortunes (that would qualify as praise, wouldn’t it). Many times we take actions, yet are unwilling to face the consequences of those actions/inactions. This blame game is as old as time itself. Remember this line, “it is the woman you gave me…?”

The earliest recollection of my first contact with the word “responsible” was that of two teenagers who had series of sexcapades that culminated in the damsel misplacing her period. The question “Who is responsible?” was asked so oft that one would think it was the name of a popular inventor!

I believe the greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes, actions, inactions. That is the day we truly grow up. You don’t drink yourself to stupor, get behind the wheels, run over an innocent pedestrian, and then blame the devil! We must also learn that we are leaders – whether of one, or of many, and your first follower is you!

A great man once said “With great power comes great responsibility”. Wait a minute, that was Uncle Ben from Spiderman, but you get the gist. We can say it thus “with great power, comes great duty, obligation to carry out tasks, for which we will be held accountable”.

So take the initiative at work. Get to work early, don’t try to “out-lazy” the lazy ones. They may call you stupid, but you know better. You understand responsibility. Before you dump refuse in drainage systems, think that when that area floods, it would be your fault. Before you drive a car with faulty brakes on the highway, think about the little boy that could be maimed, while buying candy by his school gate.

Also think about the family that would be able to train a pilot, the pregnant woman that would smile home with her precious baby, all because you did your work by paying workers their dues. Anyone who expects to be thanked for doing his job is not worthy of leadership.

And speaking of leadership, I end with this quote from one of the greats, John F. Kennedy “Let us not seek to fix the blame on the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

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