Na wa, kids of these days have no respect-Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha

Na wa, kids of these days have no respect-Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha

These kids sef.  I am not talking about my own children. I am talking about young boys and girls.

Ok, maybe not boys and girls like that. I mean young adults. Those in the late teen years and early to mid 20s.

Gbobgo ‘I-know-my-rights’ entitled AF bunch.

It is one thing to have a strong sense of self and the God given right to defend your space.

It is another thing entirely to think that you have the right to trample on everyone else whilst doing this.

You do not know a lot of things and you do not yet know that you do not know.

You will learn that in a world of co-dependence… yes, unless you live on an island alone…you will learn that life does not revolve around you and what you want or think.

You have over listened to the motivational speakers. With you- it is all ME ME ME ME!

You do not yet know that living comfortably on this earth is not only about respecting yourself but respecting other people as well.

There I said the word: Respect!

I hate going to the R word. It makes me sound old. Or like I am finally my parents.

But life has eroded most of my cockiness. Respecting the views of others or just that they are humans with feelings as well is a huge sign of maturity and will reduce the turbulence on this sea of life (how corny can you get with this your sea of life reference, Biodun…you are losing it o.)

I was on a flight from Abuja to Lagos a little while back. I sat on my seat with my baby. There was a woman (in her 50s I think) sitting across the aisle to me. We smiled and she complimented my baby. A man came later to sit with her. They chatted in a familiar tone.

Then a slay queen boarded and stopped in front of them with her ticket stub. The man was on her seat.

The woman smiled sweetly and asked the lady if she did not mind exchanging seats with the man whose original seat was further down. She was polite and tentative.

Now at this point, we did not know another lady standing behind the slay queen was traveling together with her and they were officially seated with this woman.

Also, the slay queen had every right to say no to this request.

But how she chose to do this was bewildering to everyone.

“Why? Why should I give up my seat for you? HE SHOULD GET UP FROM MY SEAT AND GO TO HIS OWN. NONESENSE.”

I was stunned.

This woman had asked politely and was 3 decades older that her at least.

I repeat, she was not compelled to say yes. But common decency and maturity 101 clearly states that there is a thing as declining something politely.

She went into a tirade.

The man quietly stood up from the seat and went to his own.

The woman tried to sooth the ruffled feathers of this lady.

She leaned towards the girl with a smile and tried to explain that she did not know it was not only her that was to be seated.

“And so? Why are you even smiling? Does this look like AY show to you? Abeg Abeg Abeg….face your front.”

Someone behind me clapped the ‘na wa o’ clap. You could hear a pin drop. Such rude behaviour. Such uncouthness. Needless drama.

The woman felt humiliated and the smile she had worn since I boarded was gone. I felt so bad.

After take-off, I leaned towards her and begged her not to feel bad. I told her it was ‘children of nowadays’ thing and they had not seen much of life to know that some things are unnecessary.

The girl in question was a very beautiful, well dressed young woman.

Very soon the woman seemed to be in better spirits. I think that my solidarity lessened her feeling of humiliation.

But karma started early for this lady when her drink did a full dunk into her lap. The woman and I looked at each other as we stifled laughter. The girl battled ineffectively with serviettes to clean up the mess.

Which brings me to why I started writing this. Cee C in BBnaija got a  Calabar themed dress for their Saturday party. Apparently, their clothes are made and sponsored by Payporte.  This young educated lady got a dress she did not pay for; a dress she only had to wear for a few hours and be done with.

But in the spirit of I-CANNOT-PRETEND/ I KNOW MY RIGHTS, she insulted the gown. Called it nonsense and rubbish. Then she hacked away at it removing 2/3rds of it with a scissors. Then she kept on insisting that she was a proud Igbo girl and by extension meaning that she felt wearing something Calabar themed was beneath her.

Payporte made a statement condemning this because obviously it is condemnable. How immature do you have to be to understand that you don’t have to trample on something repeatedly to signal displeasure. Are you not old enough to know how to behave?

Some people were saying “I like this girl. She no dey pretend. It is her human right to express displeasure.”

Really? A dress you did not pay for. A show you are privileged to be part of. You did not buy a ticket. You are not paying a dime for room and board or food. You are on a platform that makes you recognizable to millions of people in Africa at no particular cost to you. Do you know what people pay to have PR like that?

And you are behaving like an entitled brat.

But this is not just about Cee C. I see it all the time from younger people.

But let me stop here.

She gonna learn some day.

Life will take you and remould you. You will wear a Barney suit and clown around for daily bread if that is where you food will come from. You will greet your boss on your knees resist the urge complain to keep your job.

When someone is feeding you, you think the whole world owes you something.

The day you have to feed yourself, you will learn that being respectful is absolutely necessary to go far in this life.

photo credit

photo credit


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