I had the privilege of speaking with about 50 youths at a Youth Leadership Seminar organised by PRRC (Prison Reformation and Rehabilitation Center) on Saturday, 4th of March, 2017. According to the convener, Mr Chinedu Chima, the event was held using entertainment to attract youths out of criminal behaviors. Below is my message to the youths:
Topic: Preserving Our Cultural Values in the Reality of a “Devalued Globalization”
According to Business Dictionary, Cultural Values are commonly held standards of what is acceptable or unacceptable, important or unimportant, right or wrong, workable or unworkable, etc in a community of society. Globalization on the other hand is a worldwide movement toward economic, financial, trade, and communications integration.
While globalization on it’s own benefits every individual, organization or society in terms of improved national development, technologies and communication however, it is not without it’s negative attributes which affects mostly developing countries like Nigeria as we strive to match up with the developed countries without adhering to clear-cut principles of behavior.
In order not to loose ourselves and our commonly held principles of behavior in the reality of a ‘devalued’ globalization, there is need to revisit these core areas:
Family Ties and Connection
Nigeria and Africa as a whole operates a close-knit community lifestyle. We build strong ties and deeper connection around family relationship and affiliation unlike our Western counterparts.
Raising a child within our culture isn’t the role of parents alone but other members of the family takes pride in raising a child that will represent them within and outside of the home. This fosters genuine interests and respect between family members in that each member of the family watches out for the good interest of the other. This explains why a father cannot give out his daughter or son in marriage without consulting other family members.
Globalization is gradually creeping into our families by pushing people apart and creating a gap within the family unit. Our responsibility then as youths, is to foster the spirit of brotherhood; create activities around family that will enable us to bond with both immediate and extended family members, provide support to any family member in need, give advice and create good memories that will be passed to the next generation.
In order to preserve this, we must attach a deep sense of value to family ties, respect for each member of the family (both young and old) and genuinely care for them.
Morality and Ethics
Looking at the rate of crime, drug abuse, sexual immorality, laxity, corruption and all manner of impurity that exists in our society especially the ones communicated to us through the media, it is fair to say that globalization has eaten deep into our value system and placed less emphasis on morals and ethics.
The responsibility lies greatly with our homes and churches to instill the standard of morality as portrayed through the life of Jesus but unfortunately, these institutions have failed us.
We cannot continue to degenerate to a state of decadence. Today, I call upon youths that will raise the bar of moral standards:
- Youths that will use their brains instead of their bodies to earn a living and create value for the society.
- Youths that will be accountable for every penny and responsibility handed over to them.
- Youths that will dress decently and yet fashionably.
- Youths that will not be afraid to stand for what is right and speak against wrong.
- Youths that will be global influencers and moral representatives.
Hard work and Dignity of labor
I see we are in a generation where people believe that things must be handed over to them on a platter of gold. Where success is equaled to “who I know” and not “what I know“, forgetting that,
there is no success without investment – Click to Tweet
Our fathers worked very hard to give us the future we know today; they toiled in the farm, traded under the sun and walked the corridors of an office to give us food, shelter, clothing, education and other benefits. We cannot rely on the efforts of our parents, we have to create the future our children will live in and now is the time to pay the price.
There is no shortcut to success, we must work hard and eschew laziness. Opportunities abound within our country, even within the streets of Lagos, it’s then left for the creative minds to look inward, discover what you are good at, go through training or apprenticeship to improve on them, learn from industry experts through mentoring and launch out. Some of us here will turn out to be excellent writers, beauticians, photographers, singers and even home makers. You never can tell which one of these endeavors will put food on your table. Ty Bello trained as a Lawyer but today, she’s a celebrated photographer.
We are also blessed with youthfulness, this is the time to take up jobs especially weekends or holiday jobs. I tell you, your children will not take any excuse for why you cannot provide for their needs. Get busy for there is dignity in labor!
Education and Acquisition of knowledge
Education is the most easily measured form of human capital just like land and other forms of wealth. Once acquired, it cannot be stolen rather transferred and it’s value appreciates with experience. Education is important but truth is, not many of us will have the privilege of a formal education. For the privileged few, your responsibility is to justify every investment made towards your academics with hard work and determination to succeed.
Education in itself, goes beyond the classroom learning. Learning opportunities abound both online and offline (for example, e-books, YouTube channels, Online courses or articles, Book clubs, Networking groups, Support groups, etc) that will help you maximize your potentials and expand your horizon. The onus lies on you to be hungry for knowledge and create experience through learning. When you come across new things, new ideas or new interest, search for answers and be a solution to the world.
As a youth, you must know something about everything and everything about something – Thomas Henry Huxley
Information system and Social Media
Statistics has shown that about 60% of active internet users are youths with presence on all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. What this tells me is that information is free BUT
What is the quality of content we are sharing?
Will these contents project our values in a good light or help to depreciate it?
Before the advent of social media and online platforms, we take pride in sharing information and stories that promote values of morality, respect, integrity, peace, love and unity within the family unit. Remember those days we all sit around the fireplace at night to listen to stories and folklore’s from our parents and elders? By the way, who remembers Tales By Moonlight?
These days, everyone both young and old are busy on social media, the TV and all forms of entertainment without taking time to check the quality and effects of these activities on our value system. Thanks to globalization!
My call is this…
- Each of us through our online personal profiles, need to portray a positive image of ourselves.
- We should use these platforms to promote and sell our talents, skills, interests and businesses.
- The online space should be used to share beneficial information that will inspire and empower others and at the same time yield financial benefits for us.
- Ultimately, our message should promote morality, hard work, peace, love, support and respect for one another.
As individuals, businesses and organizations thrive to attain international relevance or influence, these improvements are good notwithstanding, we shouldn’t lower our commonly held standards of acceptable behaviors in the midst of these ephemeral attributes. The next generation will have us to answer to the decay but unfortunately, we may have lost every control. This is the time to change things for good and it must begin on a personal level.
What are you to do as an individual?
- Discover the reason or your purpose on earth (I wrote about it here)
- Create a morally strong personal values (I summarized my values here)
- Live a deliberate life (I wrote about living deliberately here)
Crown Musings | Become The Best Version of YOU.
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Nkem Offonabo is a Banker, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Lead Editor, Crown Musings. She is passionate about Decor, Personal Development and Wealth Creation. She believes that every individual is unique and has potential for greatness if properly nurtured. She hopes to use her blog community to Inspire, Motivate, Empower, Transform and ultimately help people be the best version of themselves.