A girl told her father she needed money to buy stuff for her brother’s seventeenth birthday. The man said there was nothing to celebrate because the boy didn’t make a good jamb score. Now, this boy is just seventeen years old and is done with secondary school but the father saw nothing to celebrate about his son because he made a poor score.
Take another case whereby a mother refused contributing a dime to her daughter’s tuition and welfare because the lady had an extra year in the higher institution. The mother said she paid for her daughter’s education for four years and that was what she bargained for, so wasn’t going to add another penny.
A large number of us are aware of the feeling we got as kids when we were deprived certain things for not taking the first position or whatever position our family considered “intelligent”..
I used examples of people with academic failures because in Nigeria, academic achievement is about the first achievement a child makes on an average. And a majority of individuals believe that withdrawing affection or love, what they call negative criticism, is the right approach to motivating children. But, it is NEVER a way of motivating a child (or anybody). Well, except we mean temporal motivation because as far as records have it, negative motivation can only yield short term results while in the long run, the child grows to become either an unhappy workaholic or an insecure, critical individual alongside other behavioral faults..
Negative motivation (ie withdrawing affection) gives an individual a sub conscious mindset that his value as a person is based on his achievements, that is exactly where exhausting expectations start for an individual.. It creates a lot of struggle to be valued and eventually sadness and brokenness.
Being positive is the way to raise children. ALWAYS. Positive criticism is not even acceptable because criticism is never constructive. It always points at faults and mistakes but staring at mistakes has never made anyone better. It has always been a thing to cause pain. That explains to a large extent why nobody ever wants to be blamed for anything. The guilt of doing something wrong or making mistakes is never easy and worse when we are reminded. It is in times of failure and weakness that we should open our arms wide to children.
Some people do not agree with this because they say it is a way of making the children strong, to be able to face the world. Of course, face the world that is already like that. I would agree with them only if they agree also that the kind of strength they are imbibing in the children by doing that is a false kind of strength: pseudo strength. It is insecurity masked as strength which is really no strength. Focusing on what these children can do, their strengths and appreciating them is enough. You don’t need to build more strength or make them any stronger. They become strong enough when they thrive on love and support. Pastor Harrison said, “Rebellious children come from insecure homes”. That I agree totally with.
Looking away from weakness works like looking away from physical injuries. They seem to heal faster and appear to not even exist while rubbing them or talking about them seem to increase our awareness of them and consequentially, the pain. I don’t know where we learn that from, I think intuition but it definitely works. Appreciation builds, criticism destroys. This does not in any way rule out working hard neither does it rule out correcting mistakes but it is simply saying. APPRECIATE STRENGTHS AND BUILD ON THEM. Make people feel loved and valued regardless of character exhibited. This post is focused on children. So, love your children regardless of faults or failures.
In the long run, what the children become is more important than the immediate problem you want out. Guide them in love that has nothing to do with their achievements. A lot of our parents never knew this and so raised us the way they thought best but the young people who read this can do better because we know better.
You ever noticed how adorable the girl looked when she smiled whose face is so freckled or pimpled?
You ever noticed how cute it was watching that poor family happily eat together of same plate?
(To the ladies)You ever noticed how loving the guy was who never met a single quality on your checklist? Or how handsome the guy looked when he cried?
You ever noticed how simply beautiful that old ignorant woman was who kept talking superstitions with so much confidence and good intents that you couldn’t help but smile?
You ever realized how perfect those scattered eyelashes or uncarved eyebrows can be?
You ever saw how admirable that poor little boy was when he acted out a deed of love? or
You ever saw the ease with which little children of different races bonded on first meeting?
You see the problem is we think we need to be perfect to be happy, but no, we don’t and we cannot.
We don’t need to be perfect to be happy neither can we be no matter how hard we try.
The one thing that connects us is the fact that we are humans, we were created to be family. We were made to be a part of our maker’s family. We all hunger for that sense of belonging, and desire love that is real, unconditional and unfailing.
Love is the answer.. it is that which binds us, it is the one thing that can make us stop struggling so hard to belong, to be noticed and to be considered better than others. It is the one thing that will make us stop jumping into conclusions, criticizing and judging others but rather hearing the full story and making fair decisions.
It is the one thing that will keep us from being biased in our dealings with people of varying tribe, race or religion, class or background, political party or mindset.
It is the one thing that will enable us see everyone as who they are-humans- first before what they are, it will enable us know that we are all equal and that no one is better off because we all fall short..only in different ways.
Love will enable us live happy lives in the midst of imperfections. A life of happiness is the one we live when we keep our lives simple, improving on the things we can do, our strengths and using them in the service of others faithfully.
True love makes a perfect world. It deletes all imperfections and pastes beauty. It makes a show of standard proving it to neither be happiness nor happiness to be perfection but rather happiness in substandard is what yields perfection.
True lasting love is not natural. We cannot produce that lasting love by our broken selves but we know one who can because He is whole and He is love.
We know someone who can amend our imperfect world with love because He amends our hearts. It was necessary that he started with our hearts because the brokenness of the world around us is only a reflection of the brokenness of our hearts. He has shed love abroad in the hearts of those who accept his arm of fatherhood.
When He walked on earth as a man called Jesus, we knew Him to live love and show happiness
We knew him to have been born in an average home of a carpenter and his dear wife.
We knew him to see perfection in an old woman who gave a few coins as her offering.
We knew him to see perfection in children of different backgrounds.
We knew him to see perfection in a woman who the society had condemned.
We knew him to see perfection in a disciple and friend (Peter) who was so impulsive and undecisive..
We knew him to see perfection in crying women who had lost their brother, his friend.
We knew him to see perfection in a short “sinful” taxcollector.
We knew him to see perfection in a man who died a criminal beside him on a cross.
He, Jesus can give us the ability to truly love. He can give us the ability with which we can heal our broken world. He came, died and rose so that all who believed in this could be one with Him, partake in his nature and have him as their representative before God, he came to give us his nature of eternal life and love.
“Eche! True! (Places finger on tongue and points to heavens) I didn’t intend posting it but because you already said I would, I said ‘what’s there? Just post it after all there is an insight’” THIS IS ME SPEAKING..
See what happened.. Me, Dare, Tochuku, Uzor, Eche and two other classmates were waiting in front of the library to write the ‘famous’ CEDR cbt exam in the library.
(CEDR- centre for development and research- exam has always been famous before it became multiple choiced cbt-computer based test- coz of the amount of F’s they gave but now it is famous coz on this day of our exam, first batch out of five which were scheduled for 2pm started by 4pm and so by the time it got to 2nd and 3rd batches, people were fainting. )
Okay.. so we were waiting oo..then I heard one department called up..it was sooo weird.. very different from mine..i was just wondering how two people will be in same school but have drastically different experiences and knowledge. I said it and Eche naaa said… lemme not say what he said.. ehee but you see..it’s crazy how we can’t have same experiences. How neither me nor you can be born into Pete Edochie’s home and be born into Will Smith’s home and still be born into our home.
It’s crazy that we can’t attend King’s college and FGC okposi and urban girls’ sec sch and still attend the secondary school we attended. We can’t school at UNN, and University of Texas and Ida polytechnic, Kogi and still school in the higher institution we were or are or will be schooling at.
We cannot study architecture and engineering and theatre arts and still study the course we are studying. We cannot be born in May and be born in January and still be born in our own month.
We each have individual lives, individual experiences, and in summary individual stories. Lol. This causes all the difference in the world so we want to know what it feels like to be this or that and live here or there and become this or that and have this or that. But I don’t think it will make any sense if it were that way.. I mean all these differences make life spiced up and not boring. It makes us able to have lots of stories to hear and be able to tell our own.. and one thing is constant, in each person’s story, there are tragic and there are comic moments.
The best we can do is to live our one lives well.. make the best of our own stories and see them to their end.. I know and not just think this time around that we can actually better our stories by featuring in other people’s, we feature atimes without consciously knowing but we can also feature consciously, show up sometimes in the middle of a scene and change the course, of course into a better outcome.
This is our multi storied world.. we should each live the one life we have.
When Jesus was asked, “How many times should I forgive my brother when he offends me?” He answered, “seventy times seven”
In other words He was saying ‘uncountable’, He was saying ‘forgive, don’t count’
Imagine that someone could be asking how many times they should forgive, probably after which they can start holding grudges. That would not even be forgiveness in the first place, but Jesus ahhhh.. wise man “in whom there is no hypocrisy” told them seventy times seven.
First of all, no body in this life can annoy you 490 times in a day.. Even if the person is given a lifetime to annoy you, you will lose count..well..except you want to have an heart attack.
Secondly, you will be a fool to be counting but if you want to count, you should as well have a book so you don’t fast forward the amount of times or reduce it either.
So, you see either ways you lose if you don’t learn to forgive at the spot. I once read a quote i will paraphrase
“When I forgave, I realized I set a prisoner free and that prisoner was me”
Forgiveness from this statement by Jesus wasn’t dependent on the offender, whether he asked forgiveness or even felt remorse. Jesus said keep forgiving.
Love keeps no records of wrongs. God is love. He wouldn’t expect us to forgive that way if it were not His character. And we are sons and daughters of God who is love. We have His nature so we keep no records of wrongs but forgive 70*7 times.
#Christ a poet.