By Kingsley Obom-Egbulem
Every generation is supposed to be an improvement on the previous generation.
But is that really the case with our situation here? How come our succeeding generations only reflect the decays and short comings of previous generations? How come we keep handing over rots and decay from one generation to the other? For instance, how come you went to a public primary, public secondary and public university but today your children can’t attend those schools?
How come the schools your grand parents attend in the UK are still as good as they were then and the teaching have since improved but you can’t even trace the primary school you attended here? I think the reasons are not far fetched: we keep transferring weaknesses and shortcomings without utilising lessons learned from past experiences to create the improvements we need to for the next generation…which is what advance nations have done and are still doing.
But there is also something to note here which explains it all, which is, we lack the will and courage to put an end to a toxic and fruitless culture. I mean the culture of “that is how we’ve always done it”. “If this is how we’ve always done it, why change it” , we often tell ourselves. And then by default, we resist any effort to create such necessary changes. The last but perhaps the most critical reason is we have a culture that has created too many adults who couldn’t realise their potentials and these adults mess up anything they touch.
That is why I always counsel parents to be mindful of the adults who play influential roles in their children’s lives. They could actually set or expand the limit in how they think, reason and of course the possibility and reality they see?
Some years ago, I was guest speaker at a children’s day event and the church decided it would be cool to allow one of their children introduce me. I thought that was really cool. But they went about it in a terrible manner. They handed this 7 year old looking girl my profile (apparently the day of the event) to read as part of the introduction. Expectedly, the child didn’t do a fantastic job of it. She mispronounced my surname and every other word she was seeing for the first time. Would you blame her? Not at all! She was given that task by some adults who couldn’t reason better and at least know that she could have done a better job by preparing her.
Even newscasters are encouraged to come at least one hour to news time so they can rehearse the news script and get familiar with any new name or word before they go on air. What would it cost this church to hand over the guest speaker’s profile to this child a week or two before, so she can rehearse, master it and possibly introduce the speaker off –hand and who knows birth for that child an interest in public speaking,broadcasting and emceeing. No one thought about that. “After all na children na, it need not be excellent. Let her just read it like that…its part of the fun”.
We need to be circumspect in deciding the quality of minds that influence our children. But most importantly we must ensure, our children are not exposed to people I often refer to as wounded talents. A wounded talent is that talent that person who is constantly BITTER and daily regrets why he or she could not achieve a dream of either becoming a lawyer, singer or doctor. Its a serious matter. Such people often harm children.
Let me add that it takes exceptional LEADERSHIP capacity to lead and INSPIRE children. It takes the unique ability and unusual competence to influence and bring out the best in children. But a child left in care of wounded people…minds scarred from a history of abuses, neglect and lack of love would be abused. For instance, when you fill a classroom with adults who dont understand affirmation and who dont have an idea of what LOVE is, what compassion for a child is and what true INFLUENCE is (and all they have ever experienced are judgment, penalties, retribution and violence ) they would “kill” and damage any child they come across.
While it only takes a moron to damage a child especially emotionally , it takes a COMPASSIONATE LEADER and visionary to build a child and make him or her become the best they could ever dream of. That leader could be a teacher, parent, grandparent, caregiver, nurse, nanny, doctor or school owner but what they must all have in common is exceptional ability to see children not just as the person they are but the person they could become. Don’t we need leaders NOW in our homes and schools?
Kingsley Obom-Egbulem is a parenting counsellor, talent manager, children and teens coach. He is founder of Parenting Now!, host of the MANHOOD Show on City 105.1 FM and convener of the IMMERSION For Boys (an intensive spiritual and mentoring retreat for Boys). He currently heads the Junior Church of Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos. Meet him every Tuesday on thegazellenews.com for incisive discussion and interaction on Parenting.