*** WELCOME TO STRAIGHT TALK FOR MEN.***
Episode 3: LEARN TO BE AVAILABLE WHERE IT MATTERS.
There is one thing that amazes me; early 2016 when the recession hit us badly, I expected human beings to be moderate in their spending, I turned out to be wrong.
Animals got more considerate in their spending and consumption, you would see a chicken eat half its ration because it sensed that the owner wouldn’t bring in something in the afternoon as usual, so it would save some share for the afternoon; it wasn’t business as usual.
To humans, there was a different story, more bars and lounges sprung up, even more rickety shops where the common ‘abuo- five (two shots for five naira)” i.e. “ogogoro” is sold, came up; only that the price increased, don’t ask me to what. I just know that it increased.
There is something all these establishments have in common and that is our interest for today’s talk.
Can you guess?
A high population of men, many of them married and with children or even if not married, have siblings and mothers who need their company.
You know what is annoying there?
They spend so much time as they wouldn’t in a church, the same persons who will complain when a sermon exceeds 30 minutes or drag their feet when it is ten minutes past dismissal time will go to the joints and stay very late, sneaking home when it is so late and then leaving so many tasks unattended to.
If you cross those joints by 10pm at night, probably you have reasons to run late, you would see them very relaxed and not caring about the darkness.
There, time is not of essence. I have asked some people who enjoy those gatherings and one reason they give to me is that it’s at such places that they close business deals.
Good as it may seem, do we bother about the negative aspects of such gatherings, which far outweighs the positive, if really there is a positive one?
When I was in secondary school, one of my class mates told me that his father doesn’t even know his class, that he was asking him if he had finished primary school when he was in secondary school.
It was that bad. I remember having to always table my report card of each term to Dad who would go through them and see where we are doing well and provide solutions like holiday lessons for the places we are not doing well. So, I was amazed at my friend’s report. HE even said his dad was barely around and that is the image this boy grew up to have of his father, the man who would barely be at home.
This has left the crux of the upbringing to the women who will do the best they could and yet not get it done. I am not saying that they are inadequate, but God created us equal and different and thus there are roles each has to fulfil in child upbringing.
It was Nathan Hayes that said in the movie , Courageous:
“You know, if fathers just did what they are supposed to do, half of the junks that we face on the streets wouldn’t exist.”
I so believe this,
the reason that families are getting dysfunctional is that our men are not available where they are needed.
He courts a woman lovingly, donate millions of sperm to them to make a baby, the baby comes and then they are missing in action.
I once went to a friend’s house when the wife delivered his first child. You need to see the puffiness of his shoulder as fellow guys were shaking him and congratulating him for being “Odogwu”. HE was taking the praises, his lips wide agape in smiles.
Fast forward some years down, I scolded him for not imbibing the character of going to church in his child and he told me to help him by coming to take the son whenever I dress up for church. This same guy has all the time to hang out in bars with folks but when it comes to being available to take his family to church, he sees it as a big task. Such is the woe of many men.
You know, Solomon advised this thousands of years ago, He said.
“Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat”, Prov. 23:20
It didn’t start today, did it?
Men have been hanging out in bars and what do they do? Drink and eat meat. Check and prove me wrong.
There, families are broken apart because that is where you will see a man more vulnerable to temptations. I was once passing one of the joints close to my place and a man called me to help him fix his phone. I managed to listen to many things they were saying and I couldn’t mistake the gathering with the gathering of 5 year olds, the babbles were similar. I was so ashamed that grown men I would respect would gather and talk shit all in the name of hanging out and then I asked myself why they keep coming. I know someone will say they do so to avoid bad women at home; okay, that is not in my area of jurisdiction, but I will say here that there are better ways of handling them.
I am not here to teach about the roles of men and fathers, such is not the description of this piece; I am just concerned that men start getting available.
As you may know, I am a single man, a mummy’s boy to be precise. When I am not available, she will be largely uncomfortable and buzz my phones with many rings. When I complained that I was all grown up, she told me that it starts here, if I learn to come back early as a single man, then it wouldn’t be so hard to do so when married. She taught me to be home and just be available.
Also, when I asked God to help me be the best of fathers and of course husband, He reminded me that it has to start now, by being the best of son and the best of brother. So I have learnt to cancel out some engagements and just be at home, even with the many distractions of work and commitments calling me, to always find the time to hang out with family and laugh.
Finally, let me say something personal here with no direct reference to anybody. One of my jobs is the printing and publishing business. I like it a lot because it gives me the time to read people. When I produce brochures for burials, I have the honour of going through all the tributes and eulogies written to the dead in a bid to correct typos and grammatical errors. You know what I learn from there? There is so much regret at the death of a loved one, mostly from the fact they were not appreciated enough or given enough time when they were alive.
Don’t wait till the damage is done before you write the tribute, don’t wait till a bad habit has been inculcated before you start correcting.
Frederick Douglass said:
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”.
You can only build them well when you are present and the best way to be present is to be present, whether you are single or married. This is the most important thing you can do for your family.
See you next week, remember to drop your comments, read the comments and see the after thoughts. Let another man see this by sharing it.
My Name is KC Umeh, friends call me ProfKay, I am passionate about Greatness; living significantly and leaving a legacy.
I also believe that everyone was made to live a purpose and it’s my calling to help people reach theirs.
Might i add i am obsessed about education, I love it when education transcends schooling and is used to bring about solutions, hook me up, let’s chat, let’s grow.
Credits: Straight Talk for Men Episode 3: Learn to be available when it matters was first Published on Kosoluchukwu Umeh’s Face book page on July 21, 2017
Connect with him on Facebook @ KC Umeh
Follow me on Facebook, click this Link Kosoluchukwu Umeh
If you missed the previous Episode, follow the link below:
Episode 1: A Man’s Beauty.
Episode 2: Define Every Relationship