Saturday, November 21, 2009

Asiye funzwa na mamaye hufunzwa na ulimwengu

Translated this means whomsoever is not taught by the mother will be taught with the world. It is a swahili proverb that I have heard repeated over and over again during the course of my life. It is funny when you really think about it because a mother is the first thing a child encounters in this world. The mother becomes the focus of the child and will continue to be so for millenniums to come no matter how much our society changes.

What role does a mother play then? She is a nurturer. She will pad the nest to protect her young and attack anything that comes close to them. She feeds the young and in the case of the homo sapiens build a protective shield around the young. This shield protects the young from the world and until this morning I never understood that there was one, or that I was also casting my own shield of sorts to protect others from the world.

I am here to inform you that it is an exercise in futility. It is impossible and very detrimental to the 'protectee'. This person will grow up thinking that life is A-Ok. This person will grow up not having a care in the world because the nurturer has done all they can to ward off the world. So is it then in our best interest to protect our young? Do we then not disable them and leave them prone to shock when they first encounter the real world?

What if the first time your child was bullied, instead of acting like a mother hen and talking to the parents of the other child or advising your child to walk away, you instead let your child figure out a solution themselves? What if the first time your child comes homes to find your spouse gone, you don't make up some lie about them being away for business or family emergency, and you actually told them that you were getting divorced? Will your child break or shatter into pieces?

YES, I know I am nuts but hear me out. Our personality and character are shaped by events that occur throughout our lives. If I hadn't gone through X,Y,Z I wouldn't be ina hebel, but now I wonder were there things my parents protected me from? If I had experienced them would I be someone else?

In essence I am wondering if we shouldn't, from the get go, let our children experience life and just be there as parents for them;a support system in place whereby they can come for advice or a hug or unconditional love. Could we go against our inherent need to shelter our young and let them feel grief/pain/torture/love/sadness/exhilaration/exasperation/etc? Would I be able to? Would I be wrong if I did that?

2 comments:

Hopeless Dreamer said...

It took me forever to find the right words to express my feelings, but I guess I would want my parents to let me experience a few things on my own in the same time I understand their desire to be protective of their daughter ,so I'm not sure how I would someday treat my own daughter (probably the same way my parents treated me )it's the only way I know.(that works)

PabloPicasso said...

it seems you don't really understand this proverb...it is not saying that you protect your child..it means you give your child tough love..meaning you discipline them even beat them when they do wrong...not just to be their friend but to punish them severely when they do wrong..not abuse but to punish...this is because when the child grows upt hey will relaise that there are consequences for doing wrong things inthe world..you don't just do what you want and think you can get away with it because the world will teach you in a very very harsh way..to the point you may not survive the lesson ( jail, mob justice and so on). I think you really don't understand this proverb