Growing up, it was drummed into my ears that I had to be exceptional. To my parents, that meant studying a professional course, and going on to fashion a life of comfort for myself. My parents were my role models. Rising from humble parentage, they went to school on scholarship. After that, they built a life for themselves, and rose to become highly respected among their peers. One of their ambitions, was to head any organisation they belonged to. They ended up doing just that. We had a standing competition to beat their O level results. Their friends and old school mates used to ask us if we are as brilliant as they were, and we would roll our eyes.
Where am I going with this? This generation needs godly role models. People with integrity, who worship God in truth, who get results doing things the right way. Many of us are hiding our light. Who mentors your younger ones? The nudists on media? The video vixens? The playboy driving cars he couldn’t have bought by honest means? Who?
I remember valentine night, some years ago. It was 2am. The nurses and I had gone to bed, after laughing at one another for being at work when others were partying. Suddenly, my phone rang. I groaned. Could even 1 night be uneventful? A young lad of less than 16 was brought in by his parents. He had sneaked out of the house to attend a valentine party. In a city where militancy was rife at the time, wandering about at night was irrational. People called me all the time to ask if I was safe, and here was a teenager risking his life to be popular. He had a deep laceration on 1 cheek, very close to his eye. It was bleeding so much that the gauze he held to his face was soaked. The party he attended, was invaded by hoodlums, who brutally attacked the fun lovers. Hacking people with matchets, and other weapons, he was fortunate to escape alive. Many died there. I’m sure he had a praying mother.
The nurses were already berating him for his silliness. I told him he was really lucky. Firstly, his eye was spared. Secondly, cheek wounds are dicy. If handled carelessly, the complications are worse than cuts on the limbs. (Think brain damage). Anyway, I promised him I would use a very tiny suture that would heal with minimal scarring, if he gave his word that he had learned his lesson. He agreed. I never saw him after that. Someone else must have attended to him when he came to loosen them, but I always remember that story.
I shared it because, I was so brainwashed as a child, I just felt that the hard way was the cool way. Some people thought I was old fashioned and called me out. Today, they are not surprised that I achieved what I set out to. I am exactly who I planned to be. Practicing what I enjoy, married to a man who makes me smile, and chasing my dreams.
I worry about those who accused Rihanna of being a bad role model. She rightly replied that she never set out to be a role model. Imagine Miley Cyrus being my sister’s mentor? Never! You and I are the ones tomorrow’s adults should aim to copy. The job of artists is to make money, not to mentor. The youth should aspire to make enough money, legitimately, to hire them to perform. Not aiming to dance in their videos! How hard can it be to wear the right make up, clothes, accessories? How hard can it be to strip and shake my booty? How hard can it be to tag along with a musician, wearing his cast offs, organizing babes for him, cleaning his shoes, since I have no talent of my own?
There are 2 approaches: The church can use the popular faces (business men, artists, etc), to mentor the youth. Alternatively, we can expose and celebrate those doing it by the book, and encourage the youth to aspire to success their way. It may seem easier to use the known than seek out the unknown, but I prefer it. This is because, we may send out the message that the church condones the lifestyle of those who live by their instincts, rather than living by grace. Do we love them? Yes! Do we aspire to be like them? No! Are we any better? Yes! We may not have as much money, but we have the hope of heaven, and this must become more valuable than all the popularity in the world.
If you agree with me, come out of your shell. Stop telling people your good behaviour is because of your ‘home training’, your temperament, your career, or such lies. Boldly proclaim your faith as the reason for your choices. Sow the seed in the mind of everyone you meet. My faith is the reason i refuse to do abortions, it is the reason i refuse to wear skimpy clothing, it is the reason i wouldn’t cheat in an exam. My faith makes me tell patients the truth. I can’t tell you how many times I have sent patients away with no medication, when I could give placebos and make money. Am I perfect? NO! I don’t have to be; I only have to be willing. I pray we will have an army of godly mentors, so we will dethrone injustice and impunity. Passionately, Dr. N.