Some people ask me why I talk so passionately about authenticity and reason it has become a personal crusade, especially in our part of the World where such life styles are not easily reckoned with.
My answer has always been the same: it is who we are. Unless you grew up in the more advanced Western countries, who to some extent, do have some level of freedom of individual expressions of their life, you may not really get how this is a serious issue as a Nigerian.
Our culture in itself is hierarchical and almost everything must have to do with the order of first come; who was born first, who is older…..?
Whether it’s in the office or at our homes, we are used to it. And that’s where most of our trying to cover up self began.
As children or junior colleagues, we are not used to speaking out our opinions and thoughts once “elders” or leaders have spoken or present in a gathering. It is mostly perceived as wrong and you will often not get it right by their evaluation.
The child in us then learn to be MOSTLY what these caregivers wants us to be, rather than who we truly are. This is the genesis of most inauthentic behaviours in us.
We cannot express how we feel in family matters once mama and papa has spoken and any further push to speak is considered rude and you are labelled as having a bad attitude. Although, it seems this is becoming culturally obsollete in some marriages of our generations (Thank God!) but we must make more deliberate efforts at addressing it. It is here that the natural confidence and curiousity of the child is drained. And the child soon learns to pretend about many things in order to fit in.
These circles are often repeated in our offices, associations and in many of our gatherings, whether official, religious or social. My take is not against any form of disrespect towards the elderly nor disregard for any positional leadership in a set up.
My answer to the questions at the beginning of this post is my concerns about our formed culture of not letting people be. I have tried to understand what it is about our discomfort and disgruntles against opinions that differs from ours? I often wondered why we find it difficult to handle solutions or ideas coming from our subordinates, younger ones and even a child?
I think the answer may have to do more with the individual personal issues with complex themselves than it is of cultural respect as often opined. I stand to be corrected.
If we address the personal issues we have with a child’s desire to know through questions they often ask or contributions they raise in our gatherings; and we give attention to the opinions of the subordinates, and allow our maids the opportunity to be without the temptations for us to always want to have them corrected, or reprimanded and shut up all the time, we may be helping them grow into their authenticity without much effort. We may also save ourselves much stress and teachings on finding purpose to these ones later on in life, because it’s easier to walk naturally aligned with our life’s purpose when we embrace our authenticity.
Everyone already know who they’re within their soul. Our goal should be how we can also contribute to their expressions of it, without the need to be judges.
The world also becomes a more colourful and versatile entity when we allow the different variations of ourselves be. For indeed, no one part is better or worse than the other.
To your evolving life.