I have always said that Knowledge is a critical resource for victory at any level. Knowledge is the foundation of intelligence. And intelligence is required for any level of warfare regardless of the kind. Knowledge is more than important. It takes you beyond where you can ever imagine, it reduces your error rate, it keeps you safe and helps you maximize your greatest potential. Knowledge is the take off point of any kind of value. In the 2000s, knowledge is the essential tool for managing complexities. Because when complexities are intensified, there is always a greater and greater demand on knowledge. Equally, the greatest challenge of society is the family institution. And the family institution has suffered consistently all through history simply because the children of yesterday who lacked adequate upbringing are now the adults of today and will create the children of today and the adults of tomorrow, and the vicious cycle continues.
So, ignorance is the common ingredient all through generations. But note that this ignorance is not the ignorance of all things but the ignorance of key things. Just as we do not need a bunch of keys to open a door but the right key, so we do not need the knowledge of all things to organize the society. Instead, we need the knowledge of key things; and the family is key. The crisis of the family is the crisis of the nation and the crisis of the nation is the crisis of the family. And if there is any tool that weakens the potential to build great families, it is the place of correction. If you ask me, what is the one thing that if you can learn, can increase your capacity and potential for success in building a great family? What can increase your success potential by almost 70% as far as building a family is concerned? I believe the answer will be: correction. You see, misbehavior is a constant and error is nature. Perfect behaviour eludes humanity so much that even you as a full blown adult sometimes still misbehaves and makes clear mistakes. Our individual and collective peace must not; I repeat must not be tied to perfect behaviour since none of us can be perfect. If this is true, correction also becomes critical to manage a reality as constant as imperfect behaviour. If you lack the skill to administer correction, you will be miserable, frustrated and depressed.
All through history, families have never been destroyed until they get the correction skill wrong. Now, there is this terrible assumption that punishment is correction. Punishment is never correction. Correction is a skill while punishment is an imbalance in nature in that any fool can punish. You don’t need formal training to know how to punish, you only need to be born; but you need education and training for you to know how to correct; it is not a gift of nature. It is a skill that must be learnt. While everybody can sleep for example and anyone can determinedly wake up at a particular time, to perform surgery, you need more than determination. Determination without skill in the surgery theatre is murder…clean murder and an honest and sincere jail term. Determination to correct without skill in the home is a vice. The goal of punishment is to acknowledge your hurt and to share the pain of your hurt with the offender. It does not by any means transform. On the other hand, the goal of correction is to bring the offender to a human state of acknowledgement of error, remorse, and to govern behaviour in a way that transforms the offender and blesses both his immediate environment and society at large.
Studies have shown that over 90% of parents never correct in their lifetime, they only punish. The reason they don’t correct is simply that they don’t know how.. See, “The plaster should be no wider than the sore.” It’s as simple as that. Punishment never fits the offense and never governs behaviour. To achieve that, actions must be carefully thought out before they are stated or applied, and even then it will be necessary to modify and refine them as they are being used. That’s correction and that takes learning. In the following example, I illustrate how correction and consequences should be selected, applied, and enforced, and describe the principles of behaviour upon which the procedure is based.
Correction demands that we make the decision of whether we want to be right or we want to progress. Punishment underscores how right you are, but correction creates transformation and progress. Now, a 10-year-old boy has been leaving his bike lying in the driveway. His parents frequently have to stop their car, get out and move the bike, then get back in the car and drive into the garage. Not only is this annoying, but a less careful or alert driver might hit or run over the bike. A punisher will give the boy a piece of his mind, a good scolding, a heavy dose of logic, a spanking, and the pronouncement that “If I ever see that bike lying in the driveway again, you won’t see it for a month—if you ever see it again!”. See, this action is obviously worse behaviour than leaving the bike in the driveway.The better way is to decide in advance exactly what the boy is expected to do with his bike. This is correction. It might be as simple as having him put his bike on the lawn, against the house, beside the porch, or out of the way in the garage. This then becomes the expectation of the boy’s behavior. Knowing in advance the expectations of his behavior is fair and is of primary importance.
Next, the parents must decide how to state their expectation to the boy so he fully understands it, and can demonstrate that he understands it! This is best accomplished in a simulation or role playing exercise. But on this altar of punishment, families have been ruined, children wrongly programmed to become malfunctioning adults and society is always the victim. I hope i’ve helped a bit.
The wisdom in human exchange is to understand that all relationships require work. Peace has a price. And prejudice has a cost. But those who must see and experience value must know that harmony and cohesion does not just occur. They take time, patience, and two people who are willing to put in the effort. Today, I want to share the things I believe your marriage and your family needs from you. Note that I’m not talking to a couple now. No. I’m talking to you alone. You are enough to create a turnaround in your home. I’m talking to you as the husband or the wife. Then, I’m also talking to those hoping to occupy either of these two offices soon. I’m talking to you alone.
Victory is personal, and once your part is played, you have the right to expect the energy of life to reorganize situations and circumstances to begin to work in the direction of your dominant expectations. It’s nature. It’s the design of life, and it works. For me, these things are debts that you owe. In the best marriage, pain and disappointments do exist, but a resolve must also exist such that no matter how demanding it is, you will also focus more on the parts of it that bring joy, meaning and fulfillment.
Top on the list of what you owe your marriage is ATTENTION. You owe your relationships, and indeed your marriage and your family the attention their individuality deserves. Attention by the way is the creative and passionate use of your time, energy and resources in the direction of those you consider valuable. And neglect based on lack of attention damages marriages far more often than malicious abuse. There’s nothing more vital to the bond you share with your spouse than simply being there.When we pay attention to each other, we breathe new life into each other. With frequent attention and affection,marriages flourish, and the individuals grow stronger. This is the side effect of a good relationship – we help heal each other’s wounds and support each other’s strengths.Marriage is worth the extra effort. And it’s wise not to wait for your spouse to do what you like before you share your time, energy and resources.
Next is TRUST.The entire fabric of our society – people working, living and breathing together – relies on the positive beliefs we have about each other – a subtle, inherent trust. This trust is the glue that holds every peaceful civilization together. Which is why trust is the greatest compliment you can give a person.The only way to build this trust, or find out if someone is trustworthy, is to trust them. When you do this in marriage, without a doubt, you’ll automatically get two results: A friend for life or a lesson for life. Either way, the outcome is positive.
Next is HONESTY. When your intentions are good and your cause is just, honesty will always help you. When your heart is open to love and truth, your lips will not utter lies that haunt you. When couples are honest with each other up front, the truth may hurt sooner, but the suffering always dies faster, and out of this suffering comes growth and blessings.Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want in a marriage and how you want to be treated. The bottom line is that marriages don’t hurt. Lying, cheating and twisting reality until it screws with someone’s emotions is what hurts. Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of your own. If you are unsure in any way, be sure to say so. Always be open and honest.
Next is LOYALTY. Stand by those you care about in their darkest moments. Brave the shadows alongside them until they’re able to find the light. You can’t promise to be there for someone for the rest of their life, but you can sincerely be there for them for the rest of yours. When it comes to marriage, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority.
Next is TEAMWORK. The most important trip you will ever take in life is meeting others half way. You will achieve far more by working with people, rather than working alone or against them.That’s what healthy relationships are all about – teamwork. The strength of every marriage depends on the strength of its members, and the strength of each member depends on the quality of their relationships.Anyone who helps you to make your half-hearted attempts more whole-hearted through passion, love and teamwork, is a precious friend and teacher. You can be such a person for your spouse. Connect with him or her, and conquer the world together. This is a great gift in marriage.
Next is ACCEPTANCE. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. Even if it seems perfect now, it won’t always be. Imperfection, however, is real and beautiful. It’s how two people accept and deal with the imperfections of a relationship that make it ideal.Since perfect behaviour does not exist in any human, our best love cannot and must not be earned by perfect behaviour. The quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance, and in inverse proportion to their intolerance and expectations. They must appreciate their similarities and respect their differences. Then, Forgiveness is one of the greatest virtues to which you should always seek. Imagine if everyone you knew was willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that you all would not be able to solve?The willingness to admit that we are all human, and to forgive sincerely, is a sign of your emotional strength and maturity. Ultimately, this forgiveness is for you. It sets you free from the shackles of the past so you can take the future in stride.If it is true that not one of us is perfect, then ignoring to forgive must be a silly choice. All I have shared here is nature. It’s the design of life, and it works.
Finally, I want you to know that after over a decade of marriage, my best lessons are that God is faithful, love is a choice, peace is always within reach and marriage is science. I hope I’ve helped a bit. I wish you well. I wish your marriage well. Stay rooted…
Amidst all the eulogies that have poured forth on Nelson Mandela, I’m not quick to forget that the best lessons in a man’s life are not usually in his strengths and triumphs but in his weaknesses and failures. For this reason, I’m studying his regrets as a deliberate attempt to manage my times better and drawing crucial life lessons from those who have gone ahead of me.
Mandela chose a noble path to follow but nonetheless it came at the expense of one of the greatest joys of human experience – the joy of a rich family life. In his book ‘A long Walk to Freedom’, He described how his first marriage to his first wife which was blessed with four children disintegrated and led to a total break up. He described further that the breakup of a marriage is traumatic especially for the children. “Our marriage was no exception and all of our children were wounded by the separation”, wrote Mandela. He described how Makato, gentle child, a natural peace maker tried to bring about some sort of reconciliation between him and his wife, the emotional reaction of his last child and how Thembi stop studying and became withdrawn and would frequently wear his clothes in reminiscence and longing for his father’s presence.
Mandela described a painful break up with his long term wife Winnie Mandela who stood by him in his years of incarceration, who at age 55 got involved in a relationship with a young lawyer, who already had a child with another woman. On April 13, 1992 announced in a press conference his separation from Winnie. In the book, he mentioned that he and his comrade Monzamo had contracted their marriage at a critical time in the struggle for the liberation of their people. He said “owing to the pressure of our shared commitment to the ANC struggle to end apartheid we were unable to enjoy a normal family life”.
He lamented how his role blinded him to fulfilling his responsibilities to his wife and children. He mentioned at his daughter Zindi’s wedding “It seems to be the destiny of freedom fighters to have unstable personal lives. When your life is in the struggle like mine was, there is little room left for family. This has always been my greatest regret and the most painful aspect of the choice I made. We watched our children grow without our guidance.”
He also mentioned his children saying after his release from prison, “We thought we had a father and one day he will come back. But to our dismay, our father came back and he left us alone because he has now become the father of the nation. To be the father of nation is a great honour but to be the father of a family is a greater joy. But it was a joy I had far little of.”
Mandela is a noble man in admitting his failures despite a saintly accord by the world. He communicated the truth that above all things, family is king. He refused to celebrate a lie, bringing home a lesson that no height of human achievement can make up for failure in the family. He knew this clear in his conscience and if he could live his life over again, he would do things differently.
To repeat his own words, “To be the father of nation is a great honour but to be the father of a family is a greater joy. But it was a joy I had far little of.”
It is with due respect and reverence for the morals and wisdom of our traditional heritage that we seek to challenge our perceptions of gender roles. No playing to the gallery! We are questioning some age long assumptions about the role a man and a woman should play in the family. Because that’s the way it’s done does not mean that is how it should be. Norms must never be confused with ideals.
In the past, a typical Nigerian society is structured along the lines of a working father who is out there working to ensure the needs of the family are met and a stay-at-home mum who ensures the kids are well taken care of and groomed for life. The man is proud in his kingly role as a bread winner and the woman’s pride is in her ability to successfully manage the home.
The premise of our persuasion today is that the social structure and organization of our contemporary times has placed new demands and challenges, so expectations and the roles men and women play in families need to be re-addressed. We seek a redress with the understanding that well-worn clothes are very familiar and tough to discard. When seasons change, demands change, people change and tradition must change.
In today’s world, a woman who stays at home idle will be considered a lazy woman. The average woman of today invests as much time as the man in the marketplace. What is an anomaly however is that both, after going through the stress of work face unequal roles in managing the home. The traditional male psyche tells the man to sit down like a couch potato and engross himself with the dailies and cnn while the wife sweats endlessly after work to prepare meals and take care of the kids. His esteemed self will then later demand for sex to ease the pressure of the day. What nonsense!
This is not a true reflection of manhood. It’s unfair, insensitive or even wicked. The society-wide opinion that considers it a
sacrilege for the man to share domestic responsibilities is grossly misinformed.
With the level of education and skill of today’s urbanized woman, it is totally out of place to insinuate that women should be restricted to maternal and domestic roles while the man sits comfortably like a king and pretending that the woman doesn’t contribute income-wise to the household. Hmm! Hilarious!
Men accept the thinking that the woman should share in revenue generation but do not accept their own share of domestic responsibilities. Since they both pay the piper, they should both dictate the tune in order to be fair. Our ancestors have acted on the information made available to them and not on truth. We must pardon their ignorance and refuse to allow it perpetuate.
A sign of love between a couple is mutual submission, love and service. Love is other-focused and will alleviate another’s suffering or distress. This is the point: nothing stops a man from doing the dishes, going to the market or even making a delicacy. Friends, please no stones at this. It takes a bigger man, however to look beyond the limits of what society defines, and stretch to the limit of what his own legacy must define. Please do not subscribe to the opinions of mockers and those steeped in tradition.
As a man,your greatest responsibility after God is to your family. No man serves his family better than loving his wife. Loving a woman is not in the abundance of sweet nothings alone but an attitude willing to serve and help her with domestic responsibilities.
When you do this habitually, she will feel like a queen and she will reward you with the happiness you deserve. This is the life!
Welcome to a snippet of today’s message on CONNECT Smooth 98.1 …
We all attended different institutions of learning but there is one institution we are all attending, regardless of who we are, where we were born, our financial status or societal class. That institution is the family institution. This institution is what binds us together as human beings in whom we all had the blessing of belonging to or the misfortune of coming from. Society is simply a collection of the so many individuals that the family produced. What was taught as principles, values and lessons became the practices of each child as they arrive at adulthood. This is what created society.
If family is this critical and will continue to be critical to how society is shaped, then a new kind of investment must be made in that direction. In my researched opinion, parenting is a sacred responsibility because it is the only way individuals can achieve their full potential as human beings. The only way societies and governments can correct the errors and disequilibrium of the past as well as define the new trajectory of economic and social growth and renaissance. Everybody out there, the people we point fingers to in government; all these people are victims. Some of them lost their parents at age 4, there’s bound to be a lot of malfunctioning in such a case. Everybody is a victim. Parenting is the singular quality that can make a difference in the future that we must create. Any nation-building effort that ignores the family unit will do a lot of work and deploy a lot of energy, yet achieve almost nothing. We can learn a critical truth which is: Parenting is an 18-year exercise! And any act of parenting after age 18 is damage control. You can understand this because when a child is 18, society expects that child to be ready for any level of responsibility including a jail term When parents say that their sons and daughters are not ready, what they actually forget is that the social justice system does not share in that pessimism/
Parents are confused…not that parents want to put their children in a place of confusion, but the parents in themselves don’t have the knowledge to protect and give their wards enough knowledge for the kids to be able to own their own wherever they find themselves. It is never late to begin to invest in parenting education. It is a power-center that holds promise for a better society, the most credible nation-building tool. Whether you are married or not, as long as you hope to be a parent someday or you exercise any level of influence over a child anywhere, then you owe it to your conscience to invest at least two hours online each week learn about a great skill nature does not teach, yet vital to our peaceful co-existence. To ignore this sacrifice is to have simply announced to your conscience that the destiny of our children does not deserve the sacrifice; and that the future of our great nation deserves no such investment. Truth is, parenting TRANSFORMS life and CONNECT US to the future so we have to accept responsibility