Individuals have different views and opinions. The interpretation of sentimental words will uniquely vary across the board. The variation in interpretations should however be embraced hence, it gives worth and meaning to stories told as they are usually drawn from unique experiences such as personnel trials, tribulations or from heroic acts by others or from something remotely rare. The bottom line is the validation given by the narrator.
My inspirational story is based on the traditional values installed upon me by my father within a society influenced by modern cultures. Growing up under the guardianship of a traditional man who values the ways and disciplinary methods used by his father and his fore fathers sounded conflicting in the 20thcentury but somehow he made it work.
My father’s life motto depicts that a person should only be well disciplined and everything else will fall into place. By his motto he raised us by leaning on the cultural methods practice by his father and forefathers. He ensured that his children had a taste of the way of life practice by him and the generations before him. At home away from all external factors,that’s where the learning took place. My father possessed no training manual that instructed good behavioral techniques, for instance how to behave around peers, adults or how to handle yourself while at the dinner table. The whole process was trial and error. Basically he would observe how we handled ourselves on a daily basis and where he figured improvement was needed he would sit you down and present pros and cons and the way forward. Every informal disciplinary hearing in the household was referenced back to his era. According to him, punishment forill-discipline back then was handled with lashing, a day’s involuntary fasting followed by immense chores the next day. Realizing that he could not effectively pass on his values with western cultures lingering from his door steps he decided to compromise.
Trying not to completely deviate from the past methods he modified his by using lashing, immense chores, effective communication instead of starvation. One of the methods he practiced which I hated throughout my childhood was the kneeling position we were required to perform when greeting elders as a gesture of respect. Noncompliance with kneeling had frequent occurrences since we felt it was devaluing and embarrassing. The whole process was just awkward hence you had to literally go on your knees for a perfect execution.
It took us a while before we actually gave into his laws and regulation. By the time we fully understood he abolished all presumably harsh discipline methods but effective communication lived on. It was not always soothing being brought up in a home with strong cultural strings and still being active in a society with different norms and beliefs.The separation and integration between the two societies was most difficult. I was not home schooled thus I had to establish a threshold that allowed me to actively participate in a diverse environment and still uphold my father’s teachings. The whole integration required compromise in the sense that, there were days I had to adopt western ways at school and leave my teachings at home.
I still recall when I pitched a disciplinary technique(time out) to my father he was so disappointed he said, the initiator (my grandfather was not stupid). My father never backed down he was consistent when it came to his teaching and execution. The greatest thing I recall and attest to, is the fact that he did not love as any less nor did we love him any less.
Today a look back to my childhood with the realization that my father’s aim was to ground us into individuals with Strong cultural strings and strong will power.The power to identify, accept, adopt and embrace diversity.
Though his methods might be universally considered to be hash, in my opinion they made me who I am today. I believed and still believe in his way because my choice as a child was never taken away from. I knew exactly what the ramifications for ill-discipline were thus I had influence over the materialization of the punishment I got.
My father is my inspiration, he lit a fire within me that I intend to keep burning. One day when I have kids of my own I shall reference back to my era.