A few parents have been on the news recently because their kids joined ISIL or other cults. The scary part is that the kids were just so regular and so average as were the families and we may be tempted to say it could happen to anyone. But as parents we can fight and prevent it. We can do something, anything and stop our kids from feeling so hopeless and easy prey to these cults. The first step to cult/gang proofing our kids is spending time with them and building up their individuality. They do not need the latest toys or gadgets as much as they need us. We can teach them to revel in their own quirks and let them know that stranger danger includes religious fanatics and gangs. We should tell them the truth about scary topics otherwise they will get their truth elsewhere. We must stop trying to make them fit in with others, celebrate their awkwardness, absurd humor and abstract art and music. We should let them develop their own voice and celebrate each assertive gesture. It’s so easy to blame the environment when we had at least 10 years to cult/gang proof our kids but failed because we were too busy chasing money, career or prestige.
I have spent more than two thirds of my life in North America but I seem to function in a state of perpetual jet lag. However whenever I travel to Europe or Nigeria, I am never jet lagged. My working hypothesis is that my circadian has homed into the place where my umbilical cord is buried. I am not sure if it is in a landfill or was incinerated as part of the bio-waste from that hospital but somehow it beckons my body to obey it. Without fail I open my eyes at ungodly hours. I am more productive at hours more suited to someone living in Ibadan than Houston. What is my body trying to tell me? What has it been telling me for almost 3 decades? Will I ever listen?
I sometimes wonder if humans ever learn. In the last 3 decades we have had genocide in almost every continent and we cannot seem to learn. There are countries where people under 30 have never seen peace and stability and their entire lives have been spent in a war zone. We create weapons capable of self destruction. We kill in the name of God. We spend more energy destroying, and criticizing than creating. There is hope though if each of us decides enough is enough and I have. This life is the only one I know I have and I will not be swayed by hate. I will create a cocoon of peace, harmony and joy with each breath and I will spread it to everyone I touch. Peace and change starts with me. Every little bit counts and each moment is an opportunity to change. I will not only imagine but I will act, write, dance, sing, cry and laugh.
Can you believe that this video is almost 30 years old?