Quick Update: Thank you to everyone that voted for me in the Sarah P Duke “Water” themed photo contest! We won and I couldn’t be more grateful! Love you guys! *doing the happy dance*

Doesn’t this sound like something an African parent would tell you while disciplining you for misbehaving? Let’s imagine a typical scenrio. A koboko in one hand while pulling in an exaggerated manner on their left ear which technically means YOU should open your ears because… *insert typical tone of an angry African parent with appropriate gestures and body language*
   “The stubborn fly (you) that fails to listen to the master follows the corpse to the grave. I hope you have heard? Ehen!” 

In the African culture it was (and still is) a taboo to question or disobey your elders because there is a strong correlation between age, wisdom and respect. In a not so short phrase, you must respect your elders not because they are always right but because they have been on this Earth longer than you have therefore they are wiser which technically always makes them right. I know, can a youngster ever win? My fellow Africans can attest to the consequences when you fall out of line… It’s like digging your own grave. Hmm, and there will be blood o!

This adage is counseling people especially youths to heed to the advice given by parents or elderly figures knowing that (most times) they are right and good parents always have your best interest at heart. Being older and often wiser, they are in a better position to impact on you words of wisdom that could help you better navigate this roller coaster we call Life. Experiences can (and do) make us wiser but in some situations, it is better to learn from lessons of others especially those situations that are negative and hard to “bounce back” from.

A child who is counseled over and over again but fails to listen CANNOT say he/she wasn’t told when he/she suddenly finds him/herself in the same situation their parents/elders were trying to protect them from. As the saying goes, “You can force a horse to the river but you cannot force him to drink.”

All in all, no matter the relationship you have with your parents and how much you feel like screaming or cussing them out (be careful on this one) especially if you didn’t get your way in something or you’re being punished. Remember they do love you and good parents want the best for you. Trying seeing from their point of view why they did what they did or said what they said. Give them some credit. They are more knowledgeable in life issues and want to protect you from making silly mistakes. Mistakes they might have made themselves, who knows? When I think about all the things my parents told me and I would sulk and moan like crazy back then, now I really get where they were coming from. Sometimes, we just need to mature more to really “see” things. 

It’s one thing for your parents to be “too tough” on you and another thing if they leave you unguided and you end up saying in regret “I wish I knew” or “I was never told”. Which would you prefer? Even If they flogged or insulted your life, take a step back and think about why they did or said what they did.  Just swallow it. You’ll be surprised, they make the best childhood stories. Haha!

Flies already have it tough for real but like my hostel matron once said, “may we not lead ourselves to our destruction.”

Keep quiet, listen and think.

Thoughts, anyone? Share in the comments below!