PROMOTING FAMILY VALUES & VIRTUES: FOR THE SAKE OF PRESENT & FUTURE GENERATIONS
‘’If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’’ Psalm 11:3. When a bad practice is continued over a period of time, it becomes the norm; hence the need for proactive measures to shape the conducts of the young ones in their formative years through adolescence, through family values.
Evidently, the whole world is in a defining period, given several sordid occurrences that are obtruding themselves, particularly issues dealing with family values and collaboration of husband and wife to raise their children and wards properly at this period, when modernization has brought along with it the erosion of our values, cultures and traditions. There is widespread moral decadence that has eaten into the very fabrics of the society. And regrettably, this issue is not limited to youths alone; but also some renegades who have reached ages of maturity. The society is in bad shape today (It is a global phenomenon) Government, parents, the civil society and organizations with parental responsibilities have not lived up to expectations.
One of our promises at inception is to bring you views and opinions of Nigerians in the Diaspora so they could be part of the development agenda that could throw Nigeria up to the highest heights possible. One of such opinions from the Diaspora was sent in by ‘Jumoke Akin-Taylor, a Construction Management Engineer; an active member of the Nigerians In Diaspora Organization, and passionate believer in the Nigeria project. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Construction Management Association of America & the Design Build of America Owner’s Steering Committee. She contributed this piece from California, United States, that has to do with improving family values and virtues that should be dear to every well-meaning person. It is titled: THE NIGERIAN WOMAN I KNEW – THEN & NOW:
‘’I have read with great amazement the horror stories of the tragedy that now plagues our community. Marriages are ending in divorce and worse in death. We are breeding a new generation of children that see marriage as a mere convenience, that the law is no longer a necessary tool to end a bad marriage; instead the gun or knife will forever silence one partner.
The wife will no longer be able to stand and fight for a life she desires or achieve her destiny; instead, she becomes statistics, a picture on someone’s table or memory forever etched in her family’s heart. It is becoming increasing clear that the ones that got the divorce certificate are the lucky ones; some of their sisters got the death certificate.
I read so many writings on both sides either in sympathy, or anger at the travesty of such ills that have descended upon our families. Been divorced myself, I often argue divorce is not the answer and plead with those that will listen to make the marriage work, and then I hear even more ghastly stories that actually have you seriously thinking, when faced with the option of a divorce certificate or a death certificate. Some of my sisters have endured to the end and held on to the bible promise of “till death do us part”
I search my soul for the Nigerian woman I once knew, the one that I saw as a child growing up, the one I aspired to be. The Nigerian woman I once knew was elegant, she stood tall and proud and was significantly different from any other woman.
The Nigerian woman I knew was strong, but not hard, she ruled her home with strength and love, and she embraced her success and was confident in her talents and had no need to lord her superiority over her husband. The Nigerian woman understood she was the pillar of her family, but was confident enough to let her husband play the role without demeaning his masculinity.
The Nigerian woman I knew silently acknowledged her husband could not do without her, but she never voiced it. The Nigerian woman I knew accepted her ability to build her home and enable the great success of her husband, and she rejoiced in his greatness, knowing it was a by product of hers.
The Nigerian woman I knew, accepted the responsibility when God whispered in her ear “take good care of him” she nodded her acceptance and understood what God meant, when He caused the man to fall asleep, so he could take a rib out of him to create this help mate, he so desperately needed to survive in the beautiful garden he was blessed with.
The Nigerian woman I knew will not give her husband the apple that cast him out of the beautiful garden, but will smite the head of the serpent that attempted to lure them to evil. The Nigerian woman I knew lifted her family to great heights with prayers and blessings from her mouth, not casting down her family with the rain of curses.The Nigerian woman I knew could balance a baby on one hip, a cooking spoon in one hand, run a successful business and still manage to look ten years younger than her peers of other races.
You see the Nigerian woman I once knew was confident in her superiority, comfortable in her grace, determined to overcome her short comings, excel in all she laid her hands to, nurture gifted and talented children, turn a $10 fabric into couture that will have Coco Channel gasp in amazement, she’ll grace any occasion and be the delight of every eye that sees her, not for the intricacy of the superb head tie that will have the famous hat designer scrambling to catch for his next design; but for the sheer elegance and grace she exudes.
The Nigerian woman I knew commands respect not demand it; her words are seasoned with grace and wisdom, she knows how to turn away wrath not ignite it. Her eyes light up with gentleness and love as she gently guides her family.
The Nigerian woman I knew understood that the greatness of her nation lies in her strength to build a strong family. The Nigerian woman I knew was the epitome of the virtuous woman.
So where did she go; and what happened to her?: The Nigerian Man from whose rib she was made passed away, and instead in his place, came the Nigerian Man born from the linage of Esau; who sold his birth right for a morsel of bread. The Nigerian Man today has traded his birth right as the head of the family, the one who commands respect, was revered by all for his gentle greatness; and now for almighty dollar, shares the dishes with his wife, waits for her paycheck before he pays the mortgage, and worse, drops her off at work and then goes back to sleep.
So the Nigerian woman I once knew passed on when the Nigerian man from whose rib she was created passed on. They left in their wake, a society of broken dreams and empty promises; they left their children casualty of social and economic war. They left their Nation in ruins and scattered their children across the world.
I mourn for the Nigerian woman I once knew.
‘Jumoke Akin-Taylor, a Construction Management Engineer is an active member of the Nigerians In Diaspora Organization and passionate believer in the Nigeria project. She contributed this piece from California, United States. Jumoke sits on the Board of Directors of the Construction Management Association of America & The Design Build of America Owner’s Steering Committee.