Recently, I came out of the building, wittingly to purchase some chips and maybe sachet water and simply dash back for my reads.
It was one of those drab Sundays, and I wasn't gonna cook. I just wanted to lauder, read, eat and sleep, largely. I nonchalantly trailed one of the neighbour's kids who had just preempted me to the exit and happened to be going in my direction, in fact, it turned out we were headed for the same shop.
As I approached our mutual destination, I noticed when she stooped to pick up a little child - well less than a year old - from a dirty, littered spot near the foot of the shop.
At length, I got to the shop, while neighbour's kid was holding on to the baby who was then crying uncontrollably, nothing out of the ordinary!
I was in the middle of my transaction with the shop-keeper - who happened to be the mum of the irritated baby - when, of a sudden, my consciousness circled around to observe the neighbour's kid returning the crying baby to his previous spot - the dirty litter.
Instinctively and quite alarmed, I cut short my purchase and moved straight to the position now quiet baby, while hurling a quick one at the babe's mother.
"Have you decided to return the child back to that dirty spot?" I queried, picking up the child, who resumed his wailing, and handing him back to the slightly startled mother.
"If we don't let him be, he will keep crying," she mustered.
"You don't do that," I retorted. "You insist on what you want for your child, even if he cries his heart away. That's how kids grow up to be stubborn, you know, when they grow up being used to having their way."
I collected my comestibles and left the shop with the child still crying, and some sheepish pairs of eyes staring back at me.
That singular event left such an unexpected imprint on my mind that, even though I had invented enough excuses not to pen my thoughts for a very long time, I decided I had to capture that moment without fail .
It's no news! The current abysmal, seemingly irredeemable state of moral decadence, corruption and impunity especially among contemporary youths is legendary. From salacious, wanton dressing, indiscriminate inter-mixing of sexes, fornication, alcoholism, drug abuse, to sodmy, cultism, armed-robbery, kidnapping, massacre, you name it! A good chunk of the youth of the age are currently soaked in a concentrated septic pool of moral vices and misdemeanours.
Great oaks from little acorns grow, they say, or more aptly, I'll posit, "the orchestrator of WWII was probably once a cute, innocent-looking child!" Evil inclinations and actions usually don't simply erupt spontaneously off an individual. In fact, all humans are born in the natural, pure state of the fitrah -- the family, environment,etc, go on to mould the innocent cute beings into some colossal figure humanity may look up to or an enormous threatening beast to society.
Needless to say, the family, in particular, is crucial, and watering that down, the mother is a critical figure in the moulding of most individuals. What do you think about a seven or five-month old who is allowed to have his way, right or wrong, by the mother and all, just because "he will cry"? What do you think about that same child some five years later? Obviously crying less, right and the mum probably isn't crying either, yet. All things being equal, can you envision that child a further fifteen years later? Can you see the plight of that child (and the mother) and the burden of society?
I shouldn’t have to paint a gloomy picture but most of what we have to contend with today, as societal malaise, are a result of one wrong, two wrong, multiple wrong decisions taken by one individual for another individual with multiple results across board, culminating into a hydra-headed monster, wreaking unimaginable havoc across the land.
Imagine if that kidnapper's mum had insisted on "No!" Imagine if that slay queen's dad had insisted on "No!" Imagine if that serial killer's parents had insisted on "No!" Oh, can you imagine the possibilities if that corrupt politician's relatives had insisted on "No"? Maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't find ourselves in this carnage and near dystopia.
It certainly goes beyond the mother and the family, and, of course, panaceas aren’t always as simple as we paint them, but as the building block of all real societies, we can't afford to let the family continue in this rot through the enduring neglect of its fundamental duties. We, each and every one of us, as members of the disparate units, have apparent roles to play in directing the ship of society back to the promising track of discipline, uprightness, moral sanity and societal progress. For the most part, the mothers, indubitably, are the captains.