Are you Worried about the Disgrace or…?

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Last midnight, a friend called me, she sounded so frantic with her voice drowning in tears. She said her younger brother who relocated abroad sometime last year is likely to get deported back to Nigeria because of the possession of hard drugs. 

I tried to pacify her the best way I could, urging her to be optimistic, hopefully, he won’t be deported. But she went on with the grumblings and then, she uttered a statement that threw me off balance. “This is such a disgrace to my family, where do we begin?” 

Read: Am I The Only One Who Can’t Stand Kids?

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“Wow!  Like where do you begin?  How? I don’t understand what you mean”, I queried. Then I asked her “Are you worried about disgrace or concerned for morality?” then viola! My beloved girlfriend went mute. 

Many times we are angry at bad behaviors exhibited by family members or friends for selfish reasons. We don’t even care about the moral implications of what happened, all we see is the disgrace brought upon us. We give no hoot about tracking the foundation of the problem, why they acted unrulily, and if we can help them overcome the situation.

Read: Parents Are The Best Pretenders
“Don’t even think of disgracing this family, Don’t! If not I will disown you”

It’s typical, especially for African parents to nag their kids as a forewarning not to indulge in bad behavior. “Don’t even think of disgracing this family, Don’t! If not I will disown you”. Aren’t we supposed to analyze bad occurrences using morality as a yardstick? The truth is nobody plans to bring shame to their loved ones. Mistakes occur under circumstances we wish we can avert, but it’s unfortunate we can’t.

Nine out of ten parents will go bonkers on hearing the news that their teenage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock, or their teenage son impregnates a fellow teen. Their anger is usually centered on  “What will people say, how will they begin to view this family” Instead of “My son/daughter has gone wrong, how can I instill some morals so it doesn’t repeat itself”

Read: Betrayal From Loved Ones! Is Shame Always A Factor?

It is far more glorious to tell the defaulter the moral implication of what they have done and going forward, how they can be better. The deed is done already. Feeling annoyed that your reputation has been trampled upon will only get the offender to move by without remorse and if they get the chance, they’ll do it again.


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Eke Chidiebere
Eke Chidiebere
2 years ago

This is really nice. My take on it is for the fact that it happened, parents should be very interested in what made the child do it and try to make the child see the implications of his/her action but on the other hand, there’s a saying about a good name. Making some kinda mistakes are critical and especially with the kind of society we are in, it’s difficult if not impossible to recover from such stigma. Thank you for this beautiful piece.

2 years ago

There’s this Igbo proverb : ihere anaghị eme onye ara, ọ ndị nwe ya ( it’s not the mad person that’s ashamed but his family) .

It is why most relationships with parents is often kinda lopsided cos they barely counsel you on what’s good for you but whats good for the family.

2 years ago

Are you aware that the more we grow the corrupt we likely become.

The concept of morality has been relegated to the back seat in our society but protection of some important institutions like family help us drag it to the front seat …sparingly!

It is so unfortunate but that is the reality.

There may be much less morality in our world if such institutions are not tied to it.

You can thus deduce why morality is preached only on the pulpit of family face-saving most of the times.


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