One man had an interesting observation on disappointment. He pointed out that many people are the agents of their own disappointment. He said we all had the ability to craft our lives in a way that would take away disappointment.
He was of the idea that people piled too much on their social plate and set themselves up for major disappointments. In his view, it was wrong for a man to be angry with his wife for demanding that he spend more time helping around the home when all the man wanted to do was be with his drinking mates and also sneak in a visit to a lover across the village.
This humorous and naughty-looking man said unrealistic planning and expectations caused disappointment and not the people around you. In a way the man was right. We expect other people to simply fall in with our plans. Increasingly, people rarely, if ever, consider the emotions of the next person. We have become selfish not just in our acquisitive nature but also in how we conduct personal relationships.
A man who drinks expects his wife to understand and accept that every two or three days he has to go on a drinking binge. A man with another love interest also expects the wife to accept that he has to go and fool around with another woman and that should be fine as long as he remembers to come back to the marital home.
The visit to Mashonaland East made me wonder about the issues that headmen and chiefs have to deal with these days — apart of course from matters to do with livestock and farming boundaries.
A headman I met while out in the sticks told me that there was an increasing number of cases of extra-marital affairs between married couples. He said some of the couples involved were neighbours. He spoke of how there seemed to be no remorse on the part of the errant partners.
“In arbitration you hear all sorts of reasons why people got involved with each other. One man told me that he simply could not resist how the woman walked. Her step was like a magnet. He liked the way her body swayed as if in some erotic dance,” said the headman.
There was a time when women in the rural areas were regarded as the true custodians of our culture and values, but not anymore. The headman said the mutilated relationships cancer that had struck many in the urban areas had become an epidemic in the rural areas. Pleasures of the flesh had in some cases erased sanity.
The teenage mom and her cider drinking baby
In the evening I would witness just how much this epidemic has spread. While having dinner at the place where I was staying, I noticed a group of very young men and women. I am sure they were not a day over 19.
By the look of things they had already had large amounts of alcohol. Their conversation was loud and lurid. One of them had a baby who was plonked right in the centre of the table littered with beer bottles.
No one in the establishment seemed to think this was an inappropriate place for a baby. I guess those manning the place were only concerned with making as much money out of this senseless lot as possible. There was no milk in sight for the baby but every now and then the mother shared some of her cider with the baby.
All my life I thought there was a reason why someone came up with an age restriction to certain leisure establishments. It could be my mad imagination but I seem to remember a time when this country actually enforced age restrictions.
Those young people should have been in a classroom somewhere and not in a bar drinking like their lives depended on it. People who run some of these places are also parents and as such, should ensure misguided louts do not overrun their places.
Parents now turning a blind eye, resulting in wayward children
What do parents of such young people think? Do they even care about what their children get up to? The fact that one of them had dragged a baby along seemed to point to evidence of a home where there are no set values.
What is it about our lives today that have turned some parents into spectators when it comes to raising their own children? Why do we seem to think it is acceptable to allow our children freedom to behave in every conceivable uncouth manner?
We have a breed of parents that should have never been allowed to have children. It should be illegal, treasonous even for anyone to raise children who behave as if they belong to the animal kingdom.
Whether we like it or not, we are a people who hold certain beliefs and have values that should guide us in how we raise our children. When we meet respectful children, we all sing praises of them and we give credit to their parents. And when we see disrespectful children we feel uncomfortable and it is easy to pass negative comments — we blame the parents.
It is easy to blame parents for raising ill-mannered children because the reality is that we are our children’s first teachers. Parents who play dead and let their children roam wild should expect it to all end in tears.
We must embrace the good that globalisation brings but we must never sacrifice our values and how we raise our children, all for the sake of appearing more westernised than the next person. I have said this before and I will say it again; children cannot raise themselves.
*Feel free to send your questions and contributions knowing your identity will be protected.