Intro by DDF:
Charles Nwodo qualified for the 2nd prize in the senior category. Below is his winning entry of the Voice sponsored Art Competition, he was selected for impressing the judges with his interest in the subject matter of #StopElderAbuse. He met the criteria of interviewing a Seenager and succinctly capturing the ‘nuggets of wisdom’ that he learnt during the process. His accompanying artwork also serve as an indication of his willingness to follow competition rules as well as his artistic talent.
Please read and share to promote the message #StopElderAbuse
2nd Place Winner of 2020, Art Competition
ESSAY ON NUGGETS OF WISDOM
“Turning and turning in the widening gear the falcon can no longer hear the falconer, the center can no longer hold,mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, things fall apart -W. B Yeast.
From the quote above, it is obvious that things have fallen apart in the very sense that the prestige of the society and life in general is no longer respected and revered. By this we mean that respect and value for elders which lead to all sorts of different inhumanity to human in the name of abuse especially towards the elders are taken for granted.Without noticing or realizing the fact that there are lots of nuggets of wisdom that can be achieved from these seenagers.
With this in mind, we discover that we get some variatable nuggets of wisdom from seenagers which can be highlighted in the life of my seenager in view with the following itemized Nuggets gotten from her because “What an elder sees sitting down, even when a child climbs an iroko tree cannot see it(an Igbo proverb to which promotes the nuggets of wisdom of the Elders).
So in this write up, I will enumerate and explain equally some of the Nuggets of Wisdom I adopted as a teenager from this my revered seenager,Late Madam Theresa Akubilo Nwodo -Onovo, who was seventy eight(78) years and happens to be my grand mother. But before I commence it’s good to know what Nuggets of Wisdom is all about and who are actually seenagers.
-Nuggets Of Wisdom -Nuggets of Wisdom (from adopted seenager) are words of advice culled or gotten from good judgment of life’s stories of this elderly person.
-Seenager -Seenager can be seen as an elderly person that is from 60 years and above. In other words can be called senior teenager.
Some Nuggets Of Wisdom From My Seenager Includes ÷
-Prayerfulness-She made me to understand the need for prayers. As Christians we believe that prayers is the means by which we communicate with our God. She expressed our total dependency in God together with our readiness to work physically. She equally lived a life as a devout Christian.
-Hardworking -I was able to learn from her how to be hardworking, knowing that there is no food for a Lazy man. She was hardworking, still producing palm oil even at her very old age till the point of her ill -health.
-Sustainability-She worked to sustain herself even when she was alone in the village, the little she had was enough for her. And to me, it was a good thing, and I was able to learn the spirit of contentment.
-Love-Love is the key to perseverance. She was so loving and caring. I learnt from her to always love and always pray for my enemies. She always said that “true happiness does not consist in just receiving love. Rather it is a balance of the receiving and the giving of love.
-Forgiveness -She lived a life of forgiveness. It is one of the good things I learnt, to always forgive my offenders. This I noticed and praised her, that when she was about to give up, she called everybody available both Children and grand Children and apologized, if she had wronged any of us and equally pleads with us to forgive her if in any way she has wronged us, it was for me a good lesson.
-Humility -The bible made it clear that “whoever humbles himself shall be exalted and who exalts himself shall be humbled “. I learnt from her to always be humble because it is only when you are humble that good things will come to you, but that does not mean you be a corward. She lived a humble life through close devotion to our blessed Virgin Mary as a Catholic. Even in her ageing, she always joins other women in sweeping the market place at specified days, and equally joins the legionaries in their christian task of the home to home visit and the care of the sick and aged in the community. With this now, I learnt the virtue of selflessness and communitarian spirit.
-Obedience -She always quote the biblical passage to us from the book of 1 Sam 15 vs 22.The bible teaches us that “Obedience is better than sacrifice “. So in view of that, as Christians and responsible individuals we have to be obedient to instructions from our superiors.
-Truthfulness /Sincererity -A sincere person is a trustworthy person, she often advices and admonishes me to always say the truth at each time, “because he who says the truth, clears his conscience “. She always frowns at insincerity. I remembered the time she scolded my elder brother so furiously about lies and trying to play pranks with the notion that it does more harm than good.
-Cheerfulness-She taught me to be cheerful and happy even in the midst of tribulations. That’s why in times of trials you see her always smiling even at difficult times of her sickness.
-Good Character and morality -Good character and morality is something every responsible human being should have, and she was a woman of honor and good character which is shown in her tittle in the church as “Ezinne”that is “the good mother in 2012.
However, there are other nuggets of Wisdom I can remember Which came as a result of my close interaction with her as her grand child. And some of them are on the following issues÷
I can remember my sister asking her in one of our discussions with her when we visited her, she asked, “Mama why are marriages noticed this days to be failing and the cause?.” And she gave us a wonderful advice which is;
*Family and Marriage -Marriage partners should be tolerant, kind and respectful towards each other. They should be sympathetic to each other, listen to the other’s problem and concerns and try to take an interest in their partner. She also said “genital contact is not the most important aspect of marriage. It is only one aspect of what should be a deep, well developed caring relationship.
*On family -She said, the loving and lively family nest is the basin of future mental and moral health within society.
On War and Peace :
Then I asked equally about the situation of Nigeria and our going to war again to regain our freedom, she sighed and told me, “my son instead of to advocate for a war, better we go into dialogue remembering with great deal of dispair what they went through during the Nigerian -Biafran war of 1967 which killed an estimate of 3.5 million people including his brother and her little niece who died as a cause of disease and illness during the war.
With all this, I discovered that abuse of an elder is not only a taboo to the present generation who through one way or another inflict pain to the elderly person but equally bring curse on themselves because “Ageing is a blessing “and if we cannot secure this blessing now, how can we move on in this present and future generation?. This is because the book of Proverb 17 vs 6 tells us that “The Crown of the aged is their children’s children, the children’s glory in their parents “. Also the words of Wisdom from people like Picasso who said “we don’t get older, we get riper “. We see that the Nuggets of Wisdom are not only important and beneficial to us the teenagers it is a gift from God to humanity.
Therefore, I will conclude by remembering the words of Samuel Tarloy Coleridge, who said “I have often thought what a Melancholy world this would be without Children ;and what an inhuman world without the aged”.
I vehemently honour all the Seenagers of the world in different levels of old age, as well as tenderly apologize in my little capacity through this medium to all those seenagers who have been abused either, physically, psychologically, sexually, financially, spiritually and otherwise. Then I equally wish in a most profound way to salute and honour the United Nation (UN) who deemed it neccessary and worthwhile to map out these days in every year (June 15th and October 1st) for the elders all over the world. In thesame vein, I joyfully dough my cap for all the promoters of stop Elder Abuse, especially Dewdrop foundation who through them this awareness is brought to limelight.
GOD BLESS AND KEEP ALL OUR SEENAGERS….. AMEN
Nwodo Charles C.
On My Eighteenth Birthday 26/May /2020
St. Vincent De Paul Seminary,
Agbogugu, Agwu Local Government.
Thanks to you All….Stay Safe… God bless