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?”
“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.
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”
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.