This post is a follow-up to the first one of 2nd October 2017.
In this Digital era where information generation and sharing have become the normal and the world shrunk to a Global village, all cultures are affected worldwide. This demands that our cultures become more dynamic so as to remain relevant in this fast paced world.
Since the Dawn of Time, parents have been their children’s first teachers and they have shouldered this responsibility for a lifetime. They have had to give their children love and affection to make them feel a sense of being desired and belonging. Once the children feel secure, they can then engage fully in the world around them. The parents continue being their role models and doing things with them.
Most African cultures are more concerned with group cohesion- groups like tribes than the individual. It is therefore mandatory that parents teach their children their heritage and traditions, encouraging them to embrace what the parents themselves cherish and want to preserve. Children should be encouraged to develop a positive view of their identity and to be involved in the celebration of their culture. They should be taught to speak the language, cook and eat the food, wear the traditional attire and to spend time with relatives and family friends.Gradually they develop a sense of identity and as they continue to grow they are socialized adequately to be effective in the society in which they live. Anchored in their culture, they will be free to follow and assert their independent values, opinions and desires and use them to seek their own good and for the good of humanity.
From what I see around me;I grew up in a different environment where my parents took the primary responsibility to make sure that I was safe and secure as far as the environment could allow. At the same time, like the pack of the African wild dog, the whole village played a role in bringing up all the children.
At a tender age, my parents taught me some simple but significant common sense safeguards that helped to keep me from being easy target for a criminal. I still carry them today and have passed them on to my children.
They include the following:
1. My identity : my names, my age, the names of my parents, where they lived and worked,our home telephone number(landline) the names of our neighbours
2. Never to be collected from school by anyone else
3. Never to accept gifts or money from strangers
4. Never to accept a lift from a stranger
5. There is Safety in numbers.
As I grew up, more of them were added as the need arose while my parents’ love,guidance and advice became more significant.
Before I knew it, I had become the parent of the day and had to shoulder the same responsibility as my parents. I polished up on what I had seen my parents do then I opened my mind to learn the new things every day. By then,many things had changed in the real world. None of us ever saw it coming: the 3rd Industrial Revolution-the Digital Revolution.It changed and continues to change the real world forever. I have no doubt that my children will face bigger challenges than myself as they bring up their children.
Any children caught up confused about who they are :in terms of values and traditions, will find it terribly hard to thrive in this ever-changing environment. As I said earlier on that the Internet had shrunk the world into a global Village, Telecommunications has opened up a varied mixture of cultural richness. In this Global Village,we have to embrace diversity and the values it brings with it-different gifts of different cultures and races.
If we did a good job in anchoring our children in what we cherish and want to retain in our cultures, past and present, then they have become open –minded and free to learn from others and love and value them. Anyone who is secure in who he/she is, has been empowered out of ignorance, prejudices and tyranny. He /She can easily become a citizen of the world while standing firmly on her/his launching pad of uniqueness.
As our children fulfill their responsibility of bringing up their own children during the Digital Revolution , their work is already cut out for them. No doubt it will be a more challenging task since the 4th Industrial Revolution is already gaining more momentum leading to a proliferation of more new technologies.
As Alvin Toffler (1928-2016) an American author said: “The illiterates of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.’’
Socrates, the classical Greek philosopher(469-399 BC) pointed out: “The more I learn the less I know.’’
As we learn, unlearn and relearn we have to avoid becoming Copycats: not to copy wholesale- not just copy and paste but only pick what we consider relevant and what will help us to develop into better human beings. I have observed that grounded into what I value, I become more receptive to new ideas and I at the same time acquire a deeper knowledge of my own identity and strength.
Learning remains a life-long process and only becomes easier if we are grounded in the rhythm of who you are: a member of a family, a member of a gender group, community and a nation.
The famous Physicist, Albert Einstein said: Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.’’
As you can see, you and I are somewhere along this journey of a lifetime. Do not allow yourself to become one of the illiterates of the 21st century. Keep walking to find a more fulfilling and effective life.
Thank you for visiting my Blog and reading this post. I would like to hear from you on how the Internet and Social Media are influencing your life. Please leave a comment and feel free to share the posts with your family and friends.