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LEAVE YOUR KIDS ALONE!

I once lived in a part of New Jersey called North Bergen. It was quite European by design in most parts and was obviously an escape for all who had a phobia for the clutter of New York City. Most people, including me, worked in the City and the morning and evening commute was a social phenomenon to be observed. I liked it though. I was constantly drawn to the evening and weekends of the North Bergen life, which I have come to appreciate as a microcosm of big City conurbations.

Some evenings and weekends, I go jogging or biking in the park and derive my motivation from the older populations who display such pleasure at keeping fit than a fledgling male such as this writer. After combusting the calories I will usually sit on one of the park benches, earphones in place to pump some good low notes, and begin my careful observation on one of the highways of human activity. In doing this, I was particularly drawn to kids who were at the park training at one sport or the other, in particular Baseball and Soccer. Standing and sitting at the sidelines were several parents watching carefully over their wards.

During my many evening trips home from work, I had passively noticed that the parks were always bubbling with people exercising and parents who had brought their kids for after school training in their chosen sport. These are the baseball moms and soccer moms that wield so much influence in typical American sociocultural and political life. I recalled this from my park observatory and moved my attention to the several parents who were screaming and cheering from the sidelines and I thought how beautiful it was to see parents who are so involved in the lives of their children, something we scarcely see in this part of the world.
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FOR WANT OF MY FUTURE MY CHILDHOOD WAS LOST: RECLAIMING MY CHILDHOOD(2)

Some persons would think that looking back to your childhood for guidance is a delusional attempt at escaping from confronting the challenges of today. Realism seems to suggest that we do a critical analysis of the present and hone our skills to meet the demands, thereby rightly fitting into the flow of things and a making a profit thereof. I had many friends in high school, having witnessed the era of the Pax-Computera, began chasing a dream of becoming computer gurus and migrating to locations where the sector was intense. Some made it and are enjoying the pleasures that come with runaway successes of the computer age, but many others remained totally frustrated at locations where the grind was slower. With the burst of the dot-com bubble came also the burst of many dreams stimulated by glossy success stories.

Years later, I was to witness how several friends, who landed the shores of the United States with a degree and sometimes a post-graduate qualification, would scramble to start a new profession in the medical field such as Nursing as well as in Accounting. Nurses and Accountants were the in-thing-professions and if you wanted to have security in life’s market, ‘prevailing wisdom’ spoke to a high consideration in this regard. The result is that society is replete with examples of the walking dead, alive to nothing but a sense of survival and a total coldness to the inner promptings and cries of a stifled childhood.

All around me are those living within the socially carved cocoon of convenience, while living without the essence of a true call. And what is worse is that the more complicated the world becomes due to advancement in knowledge and the apparatus to explore such, the more it becomes very difficult to wade through the demands of life. We are born into a season when it is the times that dictate what men must do and not men dictating what time must afford. So many of us are simply living for the moment because it feels like the seconds are whizzing past without our capacity to interject it. So we engage society on its own terms and not ours.
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FOR WANT OF MY FUTURE MY CHILDHOOD WAS LOST: ISSUES WITH MY MIS-EDUCATION (1)

I remember reciting this poem as a kid in nursery school and knew nothing of what I quoted. My fresh brain had crammed it and spat it out at the instance of Mrs. Nkuda. The poem went this way:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

When Shakespeare penned this down, he probably didn’t realize how perfectly fitted this sestet would be to describe some of the contemporary issues surrounding the process of education in much of today’s world. Unbeknownst to him, he was ordained a poetic prophet to a certain time; a time whose vagaries may have been too complex to comprehend at his time. Consequently, this poem has given me a historical frame through which I can share my thoughts on how mis-educated I feel today.

Now by ‘mis-education’ I do not mean the same thing as being uneducated. But I am speaking of a concept that encapsulates a whole process of wrong applications of the mind over time that result in a mediocre performance on life’s stage. At this stage of my life, when finding satisfaction in whatever I lay my hands to do is more than a wish, but a need, I find that I am less qualified to really get a hold of that life I so want for myself. How did this ever happen to me even after I went through formal education and doing very well at it for that matter?
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