Were You Raised Right or Do you Assume You Were?

“My mother is the best cook in the world. Her….'{insert choice dish}’…. is the best in the Nigeria”. Almost everyone I have ever met, has that stoic belief that their Mom/Dad is best at one thing or the other, which I think is fabulous. I mean, Nigerians love to hate their country nobody hates Nigeria like Nigerian and this is evidenced a lot on social media BUT Nobody absolutely Nobody loves Nigeria like Nigerians. For example , if you are familiar with the “jollof wars” when you see how hard Nigerians defend and fight  Ghanians for the title of best jollof rice, then please imagine with me what kind of passion will be exhibited in defending their mothers cooking skills.. its not quantifiable.

Jollof wars: For those that do not know, is the ongoing friendly but highly intense competition between Nigeria and Ghana as to who takes the trophy for cooking the best Jollof rice; Nigeria is winning by the way.  Once in a while some other country tries real hard to become a part of it but ain’t nobody got time for them….anyways I digress.

In this part of the world, “Family Image” is everything and even the most unruly and badly behaved people are quite conscious of their reputation especially as regards to family. A lot of us especially those in the older generation, are very quick to attest to the fact that their mothers and fathers raised good, honest and upright citizens of Nigeria. Which leaves me to wonder….. HOW then on God’s green earth is Nigeria one of the most corrupt countries in the world? WHY for heavens sake do we act the way we do?

A long time ago when I was a teenager, somebody invited my family to their church for (Goodness Knows what) and so I, my mom and my sisters went to this church for this event. After the service was over, we were all filing out of the church I remember it was a small church and so everybody was sandwiched and shuffling out of the church auditorium and all of a sudden my mom called to to a Mrs S she recognized in the crowd and shuffled her way towards the lady to say hello (My Mom is quite the social butterfly so greeting people everywhere we go is part of our existence).

Anyways, you can imagine our shock when after saying hello to this lady as my Mom smiled and shuffled back towards us this snake of a woman did my Mom “yimu” (I don’t know how to explain that in English but I think its like the equivalent of an eye-roll ) whaaatttt??? Thankfully  somebody else told her off before sis and I could even overcome our shock to respond but, I remember thinking to myself “is this someones mother?”

I have never forgotten that incident because for a really long time I kept wondering how an adult could be so ill mannered and how her kids were probably those ones everybody avoided in class. A lot of people I have met in my lifetime have successfully shocked me its no news but most of it began in secondary school. I went to a boarding school and that was where I received my first dose of reality and I learnt pretty quickly that good manners where a luxury and not a given. I know a lot of us were mischievous and with the freedom of no parents I feel that its not unusual for kids to misbehave but in my mind its usually accompanied by knowledge that they are doing something bad and that it’s not right but fam’, some people will justify cheating in a test and will even pray to Jesus, some folks for some reason felt it was okay to pilfer from those they perceived came from rich homes after all they (the rich) can always replace the stuff. …the list goes on. We all did a lot of naughty stuff in boarding school but some of these guys saw absolutely nothing wrong with what they did and some parents did not either leaving you wondering what they were taught at home about certain things in life about what is right and what is wrong.

I watched a TV show recently and it was about ladies competing for (to be honest I can’t remember) but at some point during the show these ladies had their moms come on the show and one girl got into a magnificent argument with another and she cussed and cussed and cussed the “complexion” out of the girl she was arguing with, it got so bad that the camera crew, the host and even the executive producer showed up from behind the scenes to intervene, this girl was so riled up she got physical with her(the executive director) . I remember one of the other girls on the show being so shocked and saying she was stubborn but with her mother on the show she was going to act like a saint because if she embarrassed her mom like that on TV she would be dead literally.

Back to the crazy fighting girl so when tempers calmed down a bit and they were able to control the fighting and cussing, the presenter asked the girls mother how she felt about her daughters actions on TV, To everybody’s surprise the wild girls Mom said she saw nothing wrong with her daughter “defending herself”. The host was so shocked she said “come again”, the mother further elaborated saying her daughter was attacked and even if she was wrong she should have been spoken to gently and not reprimanded by “adults” …..I don’t need to tell you this woman was NOT AN AFRICAN MOTHER.

But even with African parents some of them are simply ill mannered because when you meet a girl whose family requests huge sums of money from her without asking where she gets it from is indirectly encouraging her to “steal or prostitute” if possible. So this girl will argue from all the corners of her mouth that her Mom/Dad was a disciplinarian and never let her sleep if the plates where not washed but, what about these strange monies….. Lets not even discuss peoples attitude to the government and patriotism to the country…(its a can of worms that I cannot even handle right now).

Sadly lots of good people are thought to “carry last” and the good examples seem to be shrinking in number on a daily. I don’t know the answers but I think all of us if we are honest will admit that our parents are not perfect in fact,

Admitting that your parents made mistakes raising you or that they were totally wrong regarding somethings you were taught by them is not a crime what is important is what you do with the information you now have.Will you raise your children the same way you were raised? Will you continue to act the way you know is wrong? I guess my main question is still where you actually raised right? And what are you doing about the answer to that question?

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  5. Lovely, lovely piece of writing! A few questions however come to my mind: will some people even ever admit that they were not raised right? Then there’s the group of “take me as I am” who never see the need to unlearn and relearn certain behaviours even when they know those behaviours are wrong. With this take me as I am bunch, you can be sure the cycle of bad behaviour will be duplicated in their kids.

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