June 20, 2021, was supposed to be one of those memorable days for human beings who have my kind of sex organ. Having become too used to Mother’s Day holding umpteenth times every year and having totally forgotten about the existence of Father’s Day, that fateful Sunday came like a rude, sweet shock. I combed the social media for ad hoc thoughts especially by our mothers, sisters and daughters. And, oh la la, didn’t I read some really funny stuff, which, unfortunately, because of space, or the lack of it, cannot be accommodated within this space today!
However, we have space and time for my find; for, you know, what I gleaned from listening to and reading comments about fatherhood and about the day. First is the somewhat uncanny male and female unanimity that fatherhood far transcends gender. That is to say that a woman can also be a father. I saw many posts and heard many people, boys and girls, say, “Happy Father’s Day, Mum.”
That might sound funny, but it is too profound to be laughed off as one of those things. Robbing Joseph to pay Josephine (even in a divorce) is not and cannot be one of those things. Robbing Daddy to pay Mummy (where she is not a widow) is not and cannot be a joke. Or, are more and more sons and more and more daughters starting to write or say, “Happy Mother’s Day, Dad”?
We should come back to that, presently. Meanwhile, here’s my find number two. More and more men and more and more boys are getting to publicly accept that they prefer their mother to father. Even more worrisome, less and less women and less and less girls are rooting for daddy over mummy.
This grim reality is a vital sample statistic that foretells the future of the male human being. We are losing ground. I mean, which man or boy would contest that having seen that right on Father’s Day, even the menfolk wished it was Mother’s. Life is a chameleon, indeed.
Life is unfair to men. Or why should even men prefer our mothers to our fathers? An alarming majority of children prefer their mothers. It’s a crying shame, really; the so-called head of the family does all the work, bears all the cost; answers all the vexed questions, solves all the knotty puzzles and ticks all the boxes yet it is the woman, the neck of the family (hereinafter called wife or mother) who steals all the shine.
The consolation used to be that a handful of girl children prefer daddy. That no longer adds up because that demographic is growing minusly, coupled with the fact that our own sons prefer their mothers, and even we, our mothers. To worsen matters, it does not end there: something terrible had long happened to the men who -we were told- rule the world. The world-ruling bigwigs are themselves now ruled by their women (wives or mothers or sisters or friends).
Can life get more chameleonic than this? The way things are going, men may wake up one day to discover that all we have is past glory and all we can do is take solace in the fact that the Son of Man, worshipped globally by both men and women, is a man. To stop this comedown from snowballing, to reverse the trend and restore men to our pride of place, even non-fathers must henceforth accept and discharge the gender’s concomitant bounden responsibilities with faith, justice and love. We must become more responsible, more responsive, more present, more loving, and more less egoistic, more less chauvinistic, more less arrogant, and above all much more altruistic.
That’s how life is wired. You are only truly great when you humble yourself in service. If we heed this road map, next Father’s Day shall see the world give us a standing ovation in place of the perfunctory semblance of applause we got penultimate Sunday. Men -as sons, brothers, husbands and friends- must today return to our place at the headtable; the place of honour, of humility and of love.
“I can still see the apple stuck in your throat. Adam, swallow your pride”. That’s how one Uyo FM station puts it. I don’t know why I love the glaring insult, but I do -I really do.
God bless the male gender -and the gender that completes it.
Understanding unpicked telephone calls
There are many forms of abuse known to man. Verbal abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and sundry known versions are child’s play. The real deal are those in the unknown typology, which have remained largely undiscussed.
One of such is the communication or telephone abuse. As with all technology, telephony was created to accentuate life. However, trust man, the thing has mostly been turned upside down.
Much friendship has been created via video or audio call or SMS or other telephony functions such as voicemail, call redirection, conference calling, call logging, and sending faxes. On the other hand, much more enmity has been generated by line blocking, call barring, call rejection, and by calls or SMSes being ignored. This is assuming a dangerous dimension, enough to put it on the agenda of public discourse.
People ignore telephone calls and messages for a number of reasons, some of which are hate, envy, anger, pride, strange number, unavailability, fear, doubt, inconvenience, and intentionality. The caller or sender ought first to contextualise why their call or SMS is being ignored. Whatever the reason, it is best not to react angrily but to work hard and wait, because, as Chinua Achebe succinctly put it, if that thing in a man doesn’t die young it shall eat bearded meat.
Realise that in a society where money or power determines even such basic, inalienable rights as love and respect, your call or text message might be despised because you have none of both. Also, hate, envy, pride and anger all point to the recipient knowing what they are doing. It is a different matter if your call or SMS is not being picked, returned or replied because your number is hidden or strange or the recipient is afraid, or not free, or not well, or not conscious, etc.
Work to make yourself independent, respected and trusted if you don’t want people looking at their phone when it rings and hissing or sighing before looking away because it’s you. Don’t make yourself a telephone pest. Don’t call people more than twice, successively; don’t seek help every time you call or text -and never badmouth someone for not picking or responding, because you never know.
Do everything in your power to keep clean so that it would be clear that those who neither pick nor return your calls have a problem with integrity -not with you. Learn also to wait, because some people who don’t pick may themselves be waiting to first honour their pledge to you. Finally, no matter the temptation, be tactful, be slow to anger and above all never publicly express bitterness over telephony abuse!