How are you guys doing? Having a good start to the week?
I know I have been back home for two years now, but I recently moved again to Cairo. So, the homecoming bug has resurfaced in me and I realize I still have stories to tell.
I remember coming back the last time and going through the worst case of reverse culture shock and dealing with the double standard in Nigeria. But after a while, I became accustomed to life here and started feeling nostalgic and happy about being back.
And then deciding a change was needed again and leaving for Cairo-I will tell stories of that soon so stay tuned.
For today, we shall talk about the age-old fact of our Elders are ALWAYS right!
Of the many things I had to un-learn upon my return to Nigeria, I think one of the most difficult and one which I am struggling with is not taking older people as equals.
Over the years I have grown to call people including my professors and VC with their first name and talk to them as equals. I know a lot of people when they first moved abroad, had difficulty to adjust to doing that after growing up in Nigeria with a system of hierarchy in the way you talk and act towards someone who is older than you are. And to be honest I cannot remember if I had similar adjusting problems, but all I can say is that I woke up one day and it was normal for me to see elders as equals.
Fast forward to me in Nigeria right now, and the struggles I am going through daily. See it is not the idea of addressing people as Aunty, Ma, Mr, Mrs and so on that is the problem for me. It is the idea of suddenly conforming to a system where the adult is always right and if you know better, you should learn to agree with that.
But you see adults are also humans and there is no way that they will be right 100% of the time so is it wrong of me then to choose to not know better and stand in my truth? That is without being labeled as strong-headed or as the hausa people say ta “na da raini” or in my native language, fulfulde, “O semtata“.
Now it is believed that disagreeing with an elder, even in the most polite form, is seen as being disrespectful. I think that is not a healthy belief. There should be room for seeking different perspectives, regardless of the age of the person it is coming from, and a healthy debate is how we keep conversations going and evolving as human beings.
So, I would like to take this opportunity to urge our elders, to please re-consider this notion that Age determines who is right and who is wrong. Because even though we may not want to hear it, this creates a gap that needs to be bridged between generations.
Dear readers, what do you think about this notion? Do you have anything to add or do you disagree with my point of view. I welcome your opinions, let’s discuss in the comment section.
Find me on social media @planetmeera
Until next time!