OUR CHILDREN DESERVE MORE
Our children don’t deserve this garbage that we are creating. It’s not on them to deal with it – it’s on us. “What garbage, Chioma?” you ask.
A world filled with injustice
You’re born and you’re told the things that a good person does and does not do and you are urged to choose to live like a good person, going around not causing harm to other people, not being a source of pain and conflict but building the kind of world – in your interactions with people – that you would want for yourself. So, you do that until one day you bump into the person or people who do not do that, but keep expecting you to do that. And, to your horror, the person or people who are not doing that (yet expect you to) are in some position of power or authority. It could be a parent or relative, a friend of the family, a class prefect, your senior in school, a teacher, a head teacher, a pastor, a senior person at work, a policeman or the president of your country. And at whatever age or stage of life you discover this jarring reality, your life is never the same again. Your head begins to spin and swim and question everything you were ever told or taught; everything you had believed and based your world on.
It never crossed your mind that people can be repeatedly unjust. Like, it wasn’t a mistake, it was a choice they made about how they want to live their lives… all the while confining you to a box of limitations of acting righteously towards them and others, or else. Yet, there they were, these anomalies. Using the system to justify their wrongdoings and to keep you bound and restrained… and, worse yet, profiting from it financially and in other ways, all at your expense.
A world filled with foolishness
My brother has a computer. An iMac. He got it many years ago for his business, looked after it well, it still runs just fine, but Apple is not supporting it anymore (for those who have experienced this with iPhones, I’m sure you can relate) so it’s not possible to update certain crucial elements or run some of the more ‘modern’ programs on it. It’s like watching the slow, painful death of someone who has so much left to offer, but more than that, it’s just dumb. Planned obsolescence is dumb. Forcing someone to spend over US $1000 on an item that they then look after really well and run for decades, only for you to withdraw support for it, while it still functions – just so that you can sell them a new one, which you will do the same thing to later is beyond stupid. Then we decry the mountains of electronic waste in our environment, or find a foolish country to dump the load on, as we continue to purchase and throw away things in a way that only serves to speak of our own lack of wisdom… it is just stupid. And if you say it’s modernity and that we have to upgrade… then I will say well, modernity is stupid and wasteful and greedy and a shameful way to live and we must stop it. For if the men of the stone age, even in their supposed primitive thinking, could live and maintain a clean, unpolluted, healthy, natural environment that is alive and thriving in community, love, kindness, mindfulness etc. then I think we need to go back to that age. Just maybe we can clean up the madness we have created as societies.
How can we go from crying one day that there is pollution and supposed global warming to the next day offering some stupid deal on Black Friday for people to queue overnight to get, and then throw away the following year due to some mad reason? Honestly, mankind, we can do better.
A world celebrating corruption and evil
I think that Big Brother Africa and all related franchises on the continent (and elsewhere), is one of the best illustrations of the sickness and corruption that has entered into the minds and hearts of people in Afrika, since our relatives of bygone years engaged in the slave trade as dealers in the bodies of men. Young men and women of sound body (possibly) but doubtfully of sound mind, will enter an enclosed space, having signed away any claim they may have had to privacy, and put on a show of the most appalling and unnecessary debauchery that they can conjure up in those unsound minds, so as to win the popular vote from a group of people who have nothing better to do with their lives than salivate over the hedonistic activities on the screen. The ultimate winner walks away with a cash prize and some other junk that will all be spent, lost, damaged or thrown away in a short space of time, leaving behind in the memory of the many millions including kids and youths who watched the show, a twisted and corrupt mindset about what life and “making it” in life is all about. Then tomorrow we complain that the rate of rape, adultery, suicide among young people, internet fraud is increasing.
Grown men and women, some of them married will go on air, on international television, dress in almost nothing, drink stupidly, seduce one another, have sex, cheat on spouses and then walk out and face their friends and family as if what they did was perfectly acceptable and normal; and some other grown men and women (even some of those not grown) will sit and watch, and others will applaud, vote and model their lives on this madness. Equal participants in the corrupt practices of society. I used Big Brother as the example here, but is this not the same thing with politicians or business people who we watch engaging in utter madness and robbery at our expense and then applaud as heroes and even celebrate, refusing to let them pay for their crimes?
A world filled with cowardice
The worst thing about cowardice, about being afraid to do anything to fight against the things in the world and in the society that are actually destroying us as a people, is that it is behavior that is taught and handed down from generation to generation. Parents can pass it on to their children, having received it from their own parents or developed within themselves as a result of the harsh treatment of the system around them. While no one enjoys being treated like trash in their own country, especially for doing the right thing, refusing to deal with issues because of that harsh treatment ensures that the problems will remain and even become entrenched.
There is no iota of safety in a choice made for personal preservation. No matter how many safe spaces one builds, without dealing with the issues in society, those spaces will be encroached on by the same corrupt system that caused the person or group of people to build them, and those spaces will be destroyed. At some point in one’s life, one must decide to deal with the uncomfortable situations in one’s life and society that one knows are absolutely wrong and to teach their children the way to go, praying that they will be able to find the courage to live right and deal with issues, instead of shrinking back from them.
It’s our responsibility
The root cause of this might not be entirely our fault, but it is our responsibility to deal with these demons in our lifetime and to show our children how it is done so that they do not allow these things to reemerge or remain in their day. This is the garbage that we have to deal with. We cannot leave it to our children to clean up this mess of an evil, totalitarian, wasteful, excessively consumerist, greedy and selfish society. We have to face the monster that we allowed to thrive in our own backyard instead of destroying it while we had the chance to, and we have to do it now.
There is no more room left for us to blame the government, the slavers, the colonialists, the neo-imperialists, the traitors in our midst who have bullied us and the world with serious wickedness. They are not interested in doing things differently. They believe they have found a way that works and they have neither desire nor inclination to give up their methods. In fact, they are busy training acolytes who will carry on with their dastardly deeds and plans, generation upon generation to come. That’s how committed they are to these evils.
We must be much more committed than they are to turn things around, because the truth is that things will only change the moment we decide to do better as individuals. The moment that we understand that we deserve better and that we are going to live better, because we know and understand our worth. The moment that we realize that if we don’t do the changing, our children do not stand a chance at either recognizing evil, knowing how to overcome it or even having the will to do so. That moment of realization and understanding will require an accompanying commitment made at heart level of the individual, one that cannot be rescinded. A commitment to do what is needful to change the environment around you, around your community and around your family.
One that disallows the negative environment that we had empowered with our complacency to continue to exist, let alone to thrive. We must turn and face our children and show them a better world than the one they have been exposed to, to let them know that much of what goes on around them is as a result of our own failures to deal and to show them how to approach change so that they too can be armed for the future that lies ahead of them.
Let us not leave the poo of our own insufficiencies to hinder the next generation’s efforts to live lives worthy of their own calling. Let not the stench of our complacency become the fragrance that lingers as the memory of our own generation as our children are forced to clean up our mess, and the messes of those who came before us – or even worse, add to the stench through their own madness that we failed to deal with. Let ours be the generation that says, “Enough!”
What's Your Reaction?
Chioma Phillips is the Editor of Msingi Afrika Magazine and the host of Msingi Afrika Television. Her hope is to see the Truth shared, with all who will listen, for the transformation of the people and the continent of Afrika - and the world. She believes passionately in the critical role that Afrika and Afrikans have to play on earth right now and hopes to ignite the spark that will cause them to see and believe who they are, so that they can live out their Truest lives for the remainder of their days.