Somewhere in Lagos, I saw this young boy (of about 11 years) carrying a heavy back pack, probably filled with tools for manual-jobs; frailly walking towards his elder ‘brothers’ (early adults) apparently involved in a similar profession. The first thing that crossed my mind was the fact that the boy may have been too tired or hungry for such a job. The next thing that crossed my mind was the fact that he was supposed to be in ‘school’.
If it was a case of being too hungry or tired, or even just too frail, for the job, I think that should be naturally considered as an abuse.
But, if he was in a family business, very motivated and without being abused in any (physical/mentally/emotional) way, should that also be counted as child labour/abuse? Is this type of training not some form of school, whereby he gets to learn, and eventually become an expert, through daily practice in whatever manual job he was to participate in?
What if I accused his elder ‘brothers’ for abusing such a young child through ‘manual labour’, and for depriving him from ‘school’. Would I be right or wrong? What would make me right? What would make me wrong?
Think along with me.
When we say men are from mars, and women are from venus, how effective is that?
While listening to a talk this evening on supposed characteristics of men and women- issues like how men are not talkers while women talk a lot, how men do only what has to be done while women include ‘irrelevances’ to their tasks… etc related stuff, I started wondering if we haven’t through such, granted a right to (confusing) issues like ‘homosexuality’: A right to ‘become a man/woman if one supposedly appeared like a man/woman’. Not that I encourage homosexuality, but is ‘appearing like a man/woman’ not one of the excuses rendered for it? What does ‘appearing like’ a man or woman even imply?
“He walks like a woman; he’s of the female folk”
“She has a deep voice, and is hairy; she’s of the male folk”
How on God’s earth did we get to this point?
What if we gradually unlearn the act of creating gender boxes; and instead, consider differing issues of personalities, or preferences? That there may be men who are talkers and women who are not? That there are different kinds of women and of men? That variety is a spice of life? Won’t some pressure be lifted off a lot of individuals who may feel stuck into different wrong boxes?
If by chance you feel stuck in such a box, it’s very okay to walk away from that feeling. It’s good we all learn to love ourselves as we are, and to realize that femininity and masculinity beats looks and appearances.
God bless us all.
Very recently, I had the opportunity of meeting someone whose suggestions have added positively to my life. And this happened at a time when I needed to expand some of my perspectives and include extra valuable considerations.
I also had to join a church community whose mission tallies with the required stretch that I need for the current state in my life’s journey. This happened when I was ready to face the ‘discomfort’ that this stretch may bring with it.
I have also had to follow through some unpopular and un-seeming decisions just because they were appropriate for my personal growth.
Prior to these (above), I had hoped and prayed for right times. I had felt ready, but at the same time, unsure about reaching out for my expectations. I had hoped for someone to spoon-feed me with ‘stuff’ so that I could be ‘safe’ from the ‘consequences’ of certain decisions. But thank God, I became depressed and very tired of wasting (my) time. Thank God I opened up to courage and bravery and the willingness to take certain ‘risks’. Thank God I faced my fears. I would not have learned that right timing could mean the readiness to take up the available opportunities for me.