When I was growing up as a kid, I often heard older people saying: “When you are begging a little child for a morsel of food or piece of bread or anything, you don’t stretch out your hands to them.” The reason they gave back then was that “when the child refuses to give you, it will be very embarrassing for you in putting your hand down.
Now, one good strategy they provided then was that just asked the child to give you without making any gesture. By this method, if the child says no, it is only between the two of you because people looking at you two from a distance will only think of an ongoing discussion between you and the child and therefore you save face-Even if the child claimed later that you were begging, you can still denied the allegation and you treat it as non-issue.
My son, I know you are driving at something again, because I know that whenever you go back into your childhood story files, it’s like you are about to point out something.
Father, you are so right. I strongly feel that people learn life’s best lessons from childhood that is why even the Good Old Book teaches us to learn from children, although some people claimed it is “dirty” and that they can’t even touch it before I say kiss it.
You know, this thing about not stretching out your hand to beg a child for his or her food, teaches lot of moral lessons.
Is that so my son?
Yes, Father, there are a lot of things that one can learn from this kind of moral lesson.
You see, Father this is one thing many of us are guilty of, including me.
What is that my son?
You know, to stretch out your hand to beg a little child could also mean pouring out your heart in public, while vowing to do this or do that and attracting too many attentions as you create that scene.
Ay, what do you mean by this one my son?
Father, let take for instance, you got a report about something and you swear to your Mamie “tay-tay water” (same as mother’s breast milk) that no matter what, comes what may, this is what you will do and nothing is going to change it. That is your heart you are pouring in public right there and many people will hold you by your words. If you revert that decision without giving any convincing reason after making so much noise, people who saw you as a tough person will now consider you as a mere noise maker.
You know, what brought this to my mind was the recent event between the Chiefs at the Upper end of our Traditional Council and that woman who has come so far to described the Good Old Book as “dirty.”
The Chiefs made plenty noise around the village which attracted so many attentions, with people from everywhere in our village congratulating them for the bold decision to exercise their power.
But you know what Father, after making all that noise and even telling the woman to get out of their face that they don’t want to see her again, they went into their secret room and embarrassingly went back on their words.
You are joking my son!
Father this is no joke.
But son, was it not the same people calling this woman all kinds of names and even asking the Old Lady to look for another person to act in her stead?
Father even the paper to say the woman is free to go back on our village feeder roads hard to be issue because of same.
The thing is why make plenty noise when you know very well that you will not fight to the end. Father, I strongly believe that one of the ways to have handled this thing here is to have just stood up and beg the child.
What do you mean son?
Oh, Father, instead of making all those noise around here, the chiefs should have just quietly invited the woman and they talk and say okay we will get back to you but in the main time you just stay home until we call you. Father if they had taken this approach, funny face wouldn’t have caught them by now. But their problem is they like to beg while stretching out their hands and that attracts too much attention and at the end of the day it boils down to them going over their words.
Son, does that mean they don’t carefully analyze things, weigh the pros, and cons before dragging people at the Traditional Council?
Father that is a good observation of which I can’t comment, but if I know that I will not go forward with certain case there is no need wasting my time starting it in the first place. The Traditional Council is not where you wake up one morning and say let invite this person here for, so, so and so, without a particular objective in mind to achieve that will change something for the better in our village.
But since I came to know, it is all about noise and at the end everything dies down.
My son, don’t you think this is why people often think that the chiefs can only make noise to get something in return.
I think so too, Father, because if they are only making noise, people will always think of them like that.