28 May The Old Shaping The New
I want to take us back to our growing up days. This article is inspired by a conversation on respect I had with my daughters and the nostalgic emotions it stirred up within me.
Growing up for me was beautiful and I cherish those days dearly. Our parents indeed sacrificed much to give us the best within their abilities. Our home was a fusion of love and discipline because mum and dad were a team.
There’s this popular saying, “ charity begins at home” and I do agree with this saying and here’s where my story begins.
One beautiful morning in my teenage years, I woke up and greeted my mum as I had done many mornings before that day, I also greeted my aunt and as I turned to leave my aunt stopped me in my tracks, “what did you just do”? She asked. I was confused and instantly looked at my mum’s face for a clue but there was none. I then replied her “ nothing ma” then she decided to make her question clearer “Is that how you greet your mummy and elders”? Now I needed help from my mum and quickly turned to her with a look that screamed “HELP”. But no such luck this particular morning.
Then my aunt gave me a comprehensive teaching on how to greet elders (the kneeling down posture, popular with the Yoruba culture of the Western part of Nigeria). In fact that led to a full training with modules😊for my siblings and I on the traditions of our people. I will like to share some of those traditions which we have modified and now call Etiquette.
• Always kneel to greet your elders (prostrating for the boys).
• You do not handshake your elders.
• You do not interrupt when elders are talking.
• Don’t eat your meat before you finish your food.
• You must watch your mothers eye language especially when on a visit. (I particularly like this one).
• Elders don’t lie.
• The younger ones were expected to call the older ones with prefix such as ‘sister’ or ‘brother’.
•House chores were mandatory.
• You don’t talk to strangers.
To mention but a few.
Back then these sounded more like rules and regulations and they weren’t pleasant to adapt and adopt.
However, growing up and getting exposed to the larger world they have proven invaluable in relating with people and dealing with situations.
These same lessons I am passing on to my own children and other children I am blessed to be mother to. Prayerfully they will turn out even better than I have.
So, that’s my short trip down memory lane.
Let’s learn from one another by kindly sharing in the comment section those valuable tips that you grew up with. I strongly believe that these true, tried and tested ways can be helpful as we raise a ‘total child’ in this fast paced world we find ourselves.