I dare not watch that thing called Big Brother Naija. It is Vanity Fair extravaganza. Textual snippets of the show make it obvious that the viewership is not worth my while. Neither will one take the unenviable role of analyzing and decrying its immoralities. That would not stop it from being a commercial success.
Reality show is what they call it; and reality is what it brings to homes. It is reality that immorality is the in-thing. Depravity is appealing, immorality makes sense, wantonness sells fast. So you are not to blame, BBNaija, for showing people what they love to see. To be rich and relevant in today’s world, you must patronize the craze. That’s why rectitude is not a welcome theme in most shows and that’s why the BBNaija winner goes home with 100,000 Dollars, while champions at intellectual competitions would get a pittance.
How many corporate sponsors want a part of contests that challenge individuals to higher heights of creativity and industry? They would rather splash millions on popular jamborees of depravity. Promiscuity, violence, wickedness, rebellion flood the screens; and we have come to accept them as reality!
Nevertheless, we can create for ourselves a better reality. Chastity is a virtue, righteousness is pleasurable, and obedience brings peace. Virginity stands tall as a priceless virtue to be held dear. It is a beautiful thing for a wedded one to find that the spouse had kept herself for him, himself for her, in spite of the temptations. Just as brand new cars are preferred to used ones, marrying as a virgin is best – a mark of temperance and maturity.
Any researcher who says it is disadvantageous to stay away from sex until marriage must be working for the Devil’s Research Institute. Folks do not need premarital coital practice, as if marriage would be a competition. It is gratifying to begin and grow together, learning in the process to accept each other just as they are, and reaping the peace that true love brings.
Marital chastity makes more cohesive families, and children of chaste parents have better chances of growing into well-adjusted individuals. Non-sexual friendship and platonic love is still ideal. Males and females can be friends devoid of romantic commitments, thereby discovering the real essence of the other gender. Friendship was meant for mutual love and care, not a selfish lusting after the other’s body. So, let society and its means of cultural expression begin to celebrate true love rather than the lecherousness represented in BBNaija.
While social media have created room for adulation of self for achieving nothing, society can improve the quality of lives by developing young minds for a brighter future. Parents, put off that TV and let your kids get to work with their brains.
The mental and physical energy of the youthful age should be redirected into positive, creative thinking. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”, the Bible says. You are what you think, and a good gauge of who you are is the sum of your predominant thoughts.
Thoughts come from what we learn by seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching – our senses. To become a man or woman of worth, you direct your thoughts to what is good by seeing and hearing correct values. The entertainment industry of this world is not cut out for such positive learning, so it is a disaster that parents delegate their child-rearing roles to the television, and youths fritter away their time watching TV or posting junk on social media.
Young Nigerians need to turn away from sights and words that stir up unholy thoughts or passions. Instead, they should develop their mental capacities by following formal and informal courses of training in life skills. They need to find mentors in practice of works that interest them and put their minds into learning their art, science or technology. They could play musical instruments, learn an art such as painting, practice science with a scientist in his laboratory, play with computer applications or learn to work with their hands such as in carpentry, welding or sewing.
They need exercise of the mind in critical thinking as they gather raw materials for their thoughts from books. These would be avenues for their creative energies to be unleashed rather than expend their mental power on media-espoused fantasies. A child is never too young to begin learning – it is the method of instruction that differs between ages.
Crime is the outgrowth of a depraved moral state. Peace hangs in a balance until that potential criminal embraces rectitude as a way of life. Those who for selfish interest whip up tribal, religious and ethnic sentiment to get others out of their way or get benefits for themselves must know that a man reaps what he sows. Our minds need redirection to thinking on right values – love, honesty, compassion, selfless service, industry and the like. Leaders owe God and humanity a duty to groom the followership on morals and community spirit.
Political leaders in Nigeria are extremely powerful. They could use that massive influence to teach by example dedication to duty, patriotism, integrity, justice, fairness and everything that is good in God’s beautiful world.
The fear of God is the safest guarantee for building a sound mind. By adhering to the tenets of Christ as enunciated in the scripture, the young Nigerian learns correct values that counteract immorality and set their minds to pursue the things that are pure, lovely and true in life. Religion, when purged of selfish appurtenances of men, enhances formation of desirable attributes that will build a better Nigeria.
These are alternative realities higher than the upside-down values of modern society portrayed by the entertainment industry. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. One who watches, hears and thinks always about what is good, pure, lovely and true will produce good character that makes for peace and development in society. That is the reality that Nigerians should create for themselves.
Esara writes from Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State via [email protected]