Four lessons the young could teach us
Now I understand why the elders have been protesting about Nyege Nyege. I spent years suppressing the urge to engage in graffiti because it was a forbidden thing in my childhood. Then recently, I got three cheers from the young ones and thought to myself, why not? I even went to the market and bought us paint so we could all get our hands dirty. I can assure you that the experience of ruining my living room walls has never felt sweeter.
It was all the more enjoyable because I seemed to be sticking a finger at all the adults who stopped us from writing on the walls when we were growing up. More importantly, I got to do something deliciously sinful, in the company of people who fully approved. The lesson here is that sometimes we take ourselves a little too seriously. Loosen up already and you might awaken some sleeping creative giants.
The second lesson is similar to the first. It is never that serious and everything is possible. When we were asked to do some kind of science project using banana stems, I thought the science teacher had gone cuckoo on this one.
Not only were we being asked to use some flimsy, perishable materials to make serious stuff, the materials listed included saws, pangas, whatever, but the young hands around me were being such good sports about the ridiculous exercise that I relaxed and said to myself, “Well, what’s the worst that could happen?”
Thereafter, we began to stick nails in the oozing banana stem with no care for if it was going to wither the next day. After all, we did not set the rules for that contraption. We only carried them out. I was reminded once again that in life, you need to travel light. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
I have also learnt that it is okay and perfectly human not to have all the answers. We don’t always have to have it figured out and the young people should know that their elders are not some kind of demi gods. It’s too much pressure. Listening in on a conversation between a parent and his kids, I heard him use the familiar line of, “I used to be the best at mathematics”. If we were all the perfect children, with the perfect grades, no wonder the kids do not want to be us. Perhaps it is time to find some new yardstick for what is important.
All signs point to a young generation that is trying to get out of a box in which they are being stuffed by a generation that had their time and refuse to allow the youth their own shot at self-expression. The youth are filled with an energy that is bursting to be let out.
The way to manage what we feel is gross moral decay and degeneration into hedonism, is to provide alternatives. How many fun alternatives has the government put in place to rival Nyege Nyege? What affordable activities are on the menu for the average guy or girl to partake? Instead of reacting to what is already in place, let’s make plans to engage the young people in sport and entertainment and let us fund it like we mean it. The pursuit of short term enjoyment is not pure evil. Studies have shown that it can help us beat things like depression and anxiety and give us the right balance.
And that brings me to lesson number four: there is nothing wrong with blowing off some steam, just take care not to get burnt while you are at it.
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