The tranquility and cool breeze that came through my window on this quiet Saturday forced me to stretch out to the compound. And as I lay down under one of the oldest trees, my mind took an impromptu and very interesting journey down memory lane. And the fact that certain experiences provoked questions about human behaviour made every moment worthwhile.
For example, while growing up, I never understood why in society, older people tended to bully “new comers” in any given institution or area. And it can take any form from a slight case that the so called “veterans” might not have understood to a privilege that they are supposed to have, etc. All in the name of owning up to the “know it all” role hence nothing happens otherwise.
For instance, when I joined boarding school in primary, I happened to be the youngest in my class (P.6) at the age of 10. The “veterans” in P.7 teased me like there was no tomorrow! On different occasions, I was called to their cubicles and asked to give reason for lying about my age.
In shock, on countless times, with my ka head being pocked momentarily, like it was my fault, I would narrate how I used to forcefully wake up, get dressed and follow my elder sister to nursery school (despite not being ready), where the teachers embraced my bold moves and let me be, so I somehow skipped a few classes.
Evidently, none of them bought my explanation because such was never the case in their life as “veterans” so you can imagine my plight. Fast forward to secondary school, I reported two weeks to the end of the term. You know those things of you want to go to a school where you can maintain your hair and things jam, you drag decisions until it is crystal clear that there is no way out?
So with a long face, I reported alongside my parents who managed to surprise me by convincing the authority in charge to let me keep the hair (even if it was longer than the supposed one inch) for the remaining two weeks of the term.
The “veterans” still did not disappoint in this case. They demanded to know how I had made it past the main gate with such hair. Never mind my explanation because, it did not make much sense until the next term when my hair was one inch. These chaps eeh! To date, the situation has never changed.
The other day, I noticed an evidently young babe cruising with excitement and without indicating, she abruptly swerved to another lane. The old lady next to me, who was staring critically as if waiting for the mistake exclaimed in aghast! “Whoever taught and let these kids have such rights as driving on the roads prematurely killed us! In our times, driving was for old people.
For example I took some good years to get on to the road. I had to first come of age, then understand how the machine operates, get used to it, then get on to the road. ” So what is it with some old people and assuming, that everything new, fresh and young is prerequisite for havoc? And then, tell me about the rigid obsession of expecting things to happen in the same exact way as they perceive it like they invented all the professions, institutions and theories on the face of the earth?
While it is common knowledge that during the olden days, elders were considered a source of wisdom and any word from them was never challenged, I think that it is about time, we embraced an open way of looking at issues while availing a platform to accommodate the younger brains (“newcomers”) because they can in many cases cause better outcomes of various circumstances.
It is a fact that generations are bound to change and when they do, they come with a different way of looking at and addressing issues. For example, 15 years ago, we had one main TV station that opened at 6pm with Munira Ali reading the programme line-up and repeating the routine before every other programme started. The situation is different today.
We have several stations, operating differently and the verbal role of introducing th programme line-up has been left to modern technology. The same goes for networking. Who still needs to write a letter when there is such a huge networking platform with the social media? I therefore find it awkward that society has certain people who can still stick to the rigid way of looking at situations, with that sickening attitude of anything young equals to lesser brains, inexperience and disaster.
Why is it that every “little new comer” has to be judged from the onset in a demeaning manner by the “veteran bullies” yet it can be a different case all together? I guess things can change. How? By giving that young chap an opportunity to be the best they can be.
And when his ideas seem unclear to them, the “veterans” can take the trouble to at least understand, before trashing the idea, offer guidance in a respectful way and if need be, try to seize an angle for a new idea because I always believe that something good can always come out of even the seemingly worst case scenario.
At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, things are bound to change, sometimes for the better or for the worse but one should have the ability to exist through different generations without a hassle. And it is as simple as having the attitude to embrace, accept, understand how different generations behave, and how everything can be accommodated without necessarily rendering either party as total write-offs!
Before I forget, because of the concerns my column of last week raised, I should have mentioned that I work for the transport company that was the gist of my story. My views however remain the same.