Family and friends have a hold over us that they are not even aware of, so do we (have over them). When the bible said a man’s enemies are members of his own household, we are quick to think witches and wizards but we can also be enemies to our friends and family through our love.
My parents (should I say most parents?) were (still are) keen on us going to school, graduating and then getting a government job, preferably a federal government job, manageable a private company (with one eye still looking out for a Federal job). It’s stable and when you retire, you have your pension to cushion you till you kick the bucket is their argument.
My mother believes in having a side hustle but with a ‘stable’ job while my father is team federal come what may. I remember when my mother wanted to enroll my brother in a furniture making class but my dad said “no, he has to face his studies… what will he do with it?”
I was fortunate enough that my parents, in as much as they walk you on their own path till you are through with school, they let you fly when you graduate, (so you can look for a federal job LOL) but some people are not…
Recently, my sister’s friend got called for an interview with Bella Naija for a position she has a flair for and loves doing, but her father said he could not give her money to go for a job interview that is not a Federal job, she stays at home in the village, her service was worked to where her elder sister was and she could not do any extra thing aside her primary assignment and when she did her POP she was called back home…because her father believes a child should stay at home and leave only when getting married or has a job (preferably federal) in a location where they can stay with an elderly family member to avoid misbehaving…
I have seen parents who influence their children’s NYSC to somewhere closer or where a relative is, it’s either one reason or the other which to them are valid. Do not school far, so you will be close to the house even if the nearby school does not have your required field of interest, manage another one, because you are not going far, e.t.c sometimes; the children are coached into thinking parents know best, they then rely on them for all decisions but what happen when the ‘know it all parent’ goes and the children are left to think for themselves?
I saw a tweet recently from a young man who said why can’t parents understand that children have plans too and someone replied what’s a plan…it’s funny but that is the sad case prevalent with most parents.
I am not saying we should live children to do whatever they want but there is a different between guiding and imposing… I do not have anything against a government employment either (since I am currently a government staff myself) but must it be “the choice?”
I remember telling my mum, before I got a job, that I have an idea for a meal plan, where I take monthly menu from workers, then deliver their choices to their offices daily, based on the food ticked for the day, because some people do not have time to go to canteens or restaurant for lunch… she said nothing but called me later and said in an emotionally laden voice: “Ufedo, after all the school fees and time, you want to be selling food round town on your head?” long story short, that idea never saw the light of day.
I do believe all these and more are motivated by love, oh yes! They mean no harm… we mean no harm. We just want the best for our children just like our parents wanted the best for us… but through our love we can become a stumbling block to our friends, family with children…
I don’t want them to get hurt, I want the best for them, I am doing this for their good, what do you know you are just a child, is it not you that was running around naked just yesterday, so you have grown enough to tell me what is best for you… how many of these phrases colour our minds and tongues when our loved ones come up with ideas different from what we envisaged for them or ideas that seem crazy or impossible to us?
The sad part of this is, we look to these family and friends for encouragement, we are vulnerable to their criticism because of the love and their negativity and criticism hurts due to that love, wives and husbands, children and parents, elder siblings, younger siblings, close friends, maybe relatives e.t.c.. they know the right buttons in our control tower…Strangers are most times no issue, you don’t care about a stranger because opinions are like nose holes everybody has two in fact.
Overtime people learn to be immune to family critics but how about those who are not strong or bold enough to ignore or ‘disrespect’ the family naysayers?
When next we open our mouth to put down those ideas as stupid or brush away the ventures because it’s not yielding any fruit yet… well like the Bible says a man’s enemy are the members of his household…
So… will you let go or I don’t understand?
Will our love be a barrier or the fuel that fans our loved ones embers to life?
How are we wielding the powerful weapon of love which we carry?