Most parents will agree that the hardest time to manage a human being is in their teen years or what we would call adolescent age bracket. They want freedom and the parents always tend to think they need less of it. Battle lines are always drawn and the battle is always fierce. The environment, friends and other social vices are armies to the young dude or damsel and the parents, always on the other side have physical, mental and spiritual weapons like family, adult influences and prayers on their side. Studies have shown that parents fast and pray more for their children’s well being around this age bracket so as to keep in check their bodily, soul and spiritual growth. This is because, a little too much freedom, they turn deviant (which is always more than the parents bargained for) but then, if the fence of protection is raised too high, a timid and naive child results. If those characteristics are transferred into adulthood, then the disaster can neither be quantified in words nor conceivable through the mind .
However, my main concern today is not about the decisions of children due to freedom or lack of freedom accorded them but rather the decisions taken by adults in the selection of marriage partners and how it doesn’t just affect them but also affect others, especially family and friends.
My name is Uya, as to be known as “the Reviewer”. Being a commentator on economic and social issues, I believe much weight is laid in my heart to discuss this issue and maybe listen to the various opinions of others.
Sincerely, I think freedom is the 3rd biggest struggle of humans after their well-being and security. Humans just want freedom. Freedom to everything, whether good or bad. It is so important that it is the bedrock to which every constitution is laid on. All fights for freedom is to make man a free choice- making agent and to be able to influence decisions around his or her environment without being coerced to do so. Out of freedom, comes choice and the consequence thereof. Choice in this context will simply be considered as ability to decide what a person wants and how it will be wanted. The only sad part is freedom and choice-making are desired by all but very few actually want the consequences of their choices. Therefore, they prefer avoiding consequences or sharing them at most.For simplicity again, the Reviewer will limit this to family decisions and how they affect other members of the family, either immediate or extended.
To illustrate this, let me analyze what happened or sparked this write-up in a story. A family member was once faced with a decision of who she was to marry between two suitors. The 1st was a respectable retired Army general and the other, well, a young man with yet to be ‘many dreams’. One professed likeness and the other I presume, love. One had life-changing structure built after years of public servitude and the other had speculated plans, coupled maybe with a sugar-coated tongue. She was faced with the dilemma of what is and what will be. Maybe you can say, what’s on the ground and what’s on paper or in the mind. From all indications, she was in trouble of the realities of today and the promises of tomorrow.
To cut the story short, whether in confusion or persuasion, she settled for the fine young man. Years later, plans were yet to be materialized. The situation was made worst with the birthing of two kids which aggravated their sufferings. We are Africans, so we naturally always fall back to our families in worst case scenarios. It is not to be mocked, but the last time I checked, things have gotten so bad that it’s so hard to even feed. Somehow the love is fading and the clouds are opening up to all kinds of things including regrets and bitterness. Respect have vanished, nagging and shouting are the new ring-tones in the house. The young lady who seemed like one saying “to hell with whatever you people think, I can make my own decisions” seem more in tears than a widow and sometimes cry louder than her kids. Everybody is troubled and every heart is hurting but the question of who should be blamed more begs.
Should the parents and family have given the full decision-making opportunity to the naïve but liberal children? and if considered in an extended view, should our parents and families allow the full decision of something as lengthy as marriage to be made independently by the children? Because this will soon be a new shift in next generations’ paradigm considering what we are witnessing now. To ask in other words, are our parents way past their prime in determining love and relationship in the new generation? Okay, Assuming we are going to play the generation card and explain how things have changed from their times, how about the other young fellows (like siblings, cousins and friends), do they not understand love in our own way or do we just assume they are jealous?
Whatever the scenario, decisions are made by a few and the consequences faced by all. So there comes that part we need to address whether we are Africans or not, should we continue to allow people make decisions in the guise of free-will while we collectively suffer the outcome with them but not permitted to influence those decisions?
It is the belief of The Reviewer that, It is as the saying goes, who pays the piper should give direction to the tunes. If we know we are likely going to suffer with anyone in the consequences of their decisions, maybe they should also allow us weigh their decisions, because protection of their interests is the protection of ours’.