Ok.forgive the slightly cheesy header but hunting down appropriate three letter acronyms are becoming more difficult these days. In the past fortnight, I watched quite a few un-happy ending movies and although I'm a sucker for the digestible predictable ending, I have to admit that some of these movies with real-life endings can provoke thoughts in you that one ponders long after the camera has rolled by. I have to admit that one easily gets lost in our own matrix and we forget to think about other realities that exist parallel to mine. It is real that children suffer in developing countries around the world while I junk a half eaten brownie for fear of the full effect of the calorific intake. I think in a way being Nigerian and going home annually somehow lulls you into a false of African-ism, so you think you know what's going on and therefore assume that you've have a grip on the full picture. Watching Blood Diamond, I really felt compelled to do something...How can people who look unmistakingly alike spend so much time causing grief to one another? How can children suffer and get drawn into hate such that their frail bodies are ill prepared for? Has God really left Africa?? What can I do?? I must admit that being African myself, the selfish one in me would be terrified to drop down on the front lines-what if I get I get caught up and perish for a simple case of mistaken identity? So, there must be something I can do..The naive one in me really feels like the world doesn't have to be so wrong. Why can't people just get along? Why do we fear those that are so different from us? Don't we all just want to live out the rest of our lives, knowing that we did the best that we can, leaving a legacy behind that our kids will be proud of?? Where have all the good men gone..Fear...Fear has crippled our world..I look around today and all I see is the product of fear..Sexism, racism, tribalism-all illnesses that have perpetrated as a result of the fear that has begun to eat human kind from inside out..I get very irritated and emotional when even amongst my friends, I hear the stereotypical and hate-filled voices that were our parents begin to have a grip on our hearts.Why do Yoruba people think Ibo people cannot be trusted? Why do Ibo people think that the Yoruba will sell them out when it comes down to it? Why do the Scottish hate the English? Why do Christians and Muslims hate each other even though they all claim to serve an all-loving God? So many questions. As we grow older, I know that one can easily get sucked into the fear that has eaten those that came before us and to survive, I will fight before I become a part of it. I thank God for my parents, because I haven't grown up hearing that the next man is beneath me just because they are different in one way or the other. If only we could see..if only...that we can only compensate for each other's weaknesses. Why do we have to carry on doing things exactly the way those before us have done it. I believe in heeding the counsel of the elderly but I also firmly believe that we have to take what we hear and rip out the notions that have become extinct..Rome was not built in a day...We need to stop spreading the fear filled hate. We need to show our parents that we can do better. Fear is the opposite of faith..When we fear something so much, it usually comes to pass..Change is good, healthy, people are different for a reason...How can I learn to embrace others and learn to reconcile the things that my instinct shies away from on account of how different they are to my norm. The past month or so has brought be very close to a few cultures quite different from mine..one in particular. For example, I had no idea how different a Hausa wedding was from a Yoruba/Ibo wedding...Thrilling and exciting.I can tell you that much..only bit I didn't like is the part where the bride is absent from the actual wedding! Also quite fascinating to understand why Europeans feel the need to go to the ski slopes when its winter. I realise that people are the same..no good ones or bad ones.It's the choices we make day-to-day that determine which side of the fence we stand on, at any given point in time. We all have needs, we all have blood running through our veins..and we all have fears..But isn't growing up supposed to be about tackling these fears and preventing them from taking over the person that we can be. So many people have died because of fear-bred hate and many more will still die..All for what?? And its not only the Africans that inflict this suicide on themselves? What about the governments of the world that send troops to fight a war fuelled from fear? Isn't that just the same? Many people have died in the name of "The war on Terror" and what has been achieved? In my opinion-nothing! It's time we all woke up and got off the inertia that is fuelling our fears..I'm a Christian and I've met Muslims that have changed my life..literally..God is a God of Love..When we spread fear, anger and hate in his name-how can we blame how he feels...There are probably many thorough and intellectual reasons why these conflicts exist-some valid, other not..But as far as my own 24 year old mind is concerned-It all comes down to fear and I don't need a PhD to expand on this. This fear eats into friendships, then filters into marriages which they emanate as children..and as we are all a product if what was put into us? Who can we blame? We need to begin to challenge our upbringing and all the sacred truths that we've always taken as given...How else will we achieve change? We need to confront and test the fears that have held us captive? Where are all the great men? Alexander the great might be misplaced in this time and age, but we still need role models who have conquered the canopies of Sexism, racism, and all the isms that people use an excuse to spread fear. The crimes and atrocities that have been committed in the name of fear are very real and are probably a valid catalyst for more hate. But people need to stop and say no..How can we desire peace when we all choose to do nothing..Surely, that's the definition of madness..I think it's time we begin to take ourselves a little less seriously and the people around us more seriously..embrace life and step out from our parents' shadows..Life is a gift that is surely wasted walking in anybody else's shadow..
A little change everyday will surely culminate to make a difference..Some of us will have kids in the recent years to come..Please spare them and let this degeneration stop in our generation..Maybe this is just another spiel..but who knows..Its a dream I pray I can make come through for my children...Amen..
Disclaimer: I have to admit that some of the issues discussed above I struggle with daily, so do not take this as a subscription to perfection. if I pen down my aspirations, and revisit now and again..I'm sure I'll change in time..prejudices and stereotyping have no place in the great...according to me anyway..