Story || A Generation Lost

She thinks of Efe, the craziest girl known. She is beautiful, with rich long hair, smooth light skin and dark brown eyes. Efe is always out. Partying, smoking, drinking to her heart’s content. How many times she has had to pick her up off the floor and put her to bed? She can’t begin to count.

As she sat with Efe one evening, again tucking her into bed, she asked her the reason for her careless lifestyle. Why she couldn’t bothered where her life was going, why she’d rather have a bottle, than a pen. She looked at her straight in the eyes; her words slurred by the alcohol and told her to ‘ask her mother’.

You see Efe is the product of a woman who could not figure out who the father of her child was. She had promised herself initially, that she would never end up like her mother but as the bad days came, she took to the bottle, just to see if it really did drowned out the pain. Alas, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

She thinks of Jibola, the angriest guy known. Jibola would light up like a match at the slightest provocation. Always in brawls here and there, always the guy to throw the first punch. A strong believer that the sword is mightier than the pen.

As she stood at the door of the nurse’s office one day, watching Jibola getting a wound stitched after a messy fight, she asked him why he was so hot tempered. Why violence was to him the solution to life. He looked up at her thoughtfully, then said perhaps I needed to ‘ask his father’.

You see, Jibola lived in a home of whips and belts. His father, the man of the house, would beat his mother, sisters and even him whenever he saw it fit. If the food wasn’t sweet enough, his mother might get a good hiding, if he got a B and not an A, he might again, get a good hiding. Initially, he had vowed, never to end up like his father; a coward who beat up women without the slightest provocation. But you see as time went on, he just didn’t seem to have the patience for people. Females could be so annoying someday; they deserve a good beating to shut them right up he said.

She thinks of Tolu, the sweetest guy she thought she has ever met. Polite, gentlemanly, until he steals your wallet or things. You can tell he has a good heart. Ever the class clown, intelligent and charming. Tolu keeps things cool and interesting. He builds trust, then just when you begin to like him, he sweeps the rug from right under your feet.

One day, as she held sides from a joke Tolu had told that she couldn’t stop laughing at, she asked him why he felt the need to take things that didn’t belong to him. Why he could break trust so quickly. He shrugged and told me that perhaps I needed to ‘as the parents he never had’. You see, Tolu is an orphan, left on the streets at a very tender age, taken in by a very poor and sickly woman who could not afford to even feed him.

As he grew older, the love he had for his guardian, his fear that she might die, made him pick a few pockets here and there. I have come to realize, that a lot of the time, people are the way they are because of the circumstances that they find themselves in. What they were born into, how they were raised, who they were raised by. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not in every case that one ends up like his parents or the opposite of them.

Sometimes, people end up much better than their parents, other times, they end up much worse. The way and manner, in which we are raised, will always have some effect on how we turn out. These people were raised in homes where there was not enough love, not enough nurturing. They were raised to only see themselves, to be selfish, carefree, and violent.

A lot of people in our society today are quick to point an accusing finger. I see so many old people, turn their noses up at other people children, hiss and make comments like ‘omo ti o leko'(a child without manners) yet, they are most times unwilling to teach the child some manners. After all, he isn’t theirs.

Why should love be limited to just a man and his household. Are we so selfish, so vain, so self-absorbed, that we cannot put ourselves in the shoes of others and try to help them? Should love be so difficult to give? So many people want to blame a product for its inadequacies. They forget that every product has a manufacturer.

We cannot always expect that somehow, people will work themselves up from their situations, the circumstances of their birth, to make them better people (no love gotten, no love given). Love should not be difficult to give; it is patient, kind and selfless. One must give love whenever he can, to whomever he can.

Our leaders, our parents, our growing teenagers, we, must learn to see past our noses at others that need more than we do. To love is the easiest thing; to teach and to learn. For lack of love, a generation lost. Do not let us become a generation lost.

Thanks for reading!

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