The Uncle stereotypes.

Hey! Did I share the good news that my only sister (elder) just gave birth to a bouncing baby boy recently. If I didn’t do that before, I am doing it now. So writing this piece today is a proud uncle of a wonderful child of promise.

The first visit I made to my sister at the hospital after she put the bed was quite an epic one. It was my first hospital visit in a long while. I hate hospitals despite the fact that I kinda work in one. They do a good job though, but the smell of it irritates me. And to think that as a fresh secondary school grad I had intentions of studying medicine. Thaaar! Anyway, this isn’t about me and my hate of hospitals so let’s move on to other things.

As I stared into his glittering eyes that faithful day, it dawned on me afresh what a baby represents which is Responsibility. Having a child is a great task and so is being an uncle (he’ll soon start asking for candies and biscuits you know). It is infact one of the greatest responsibilities that exist because you are responsible for a whole and complete new life apart from yours. That’s much! And to whom much is given, much more is expected (parable of the talents).

So all these got me thinking about all the various types of uncles that exist and the type I’d want to be to my brand new nephew. Some uncles are good for nothing, some good for somethings, and others are adorable and fabulously good for ‘everythings’.

Let’s look at them one after the other.

Stereotype1: The uncle that stays with us. This kinda describes me right now because I currently stay with my sister and her husband for reasons I won’t disclose. Not for long though, my escape plan is in order *winks*. This kind of uncle falls into the category of good for somethings. They’ll help with house chores, if smart help with school work, and sometimes pass their undersized shoes and clothes to you. They can also become your confidant, cover up, and first line defence against parental discipline and attacks. But I can’t be this uncle! They really don’t have a life of their own as they truly can’t stay on their own. Simply put- they are over aged dependants!!

Stereotype II: The uncle that lives away but is always coming back. This one is like a step ahead of stereotype I because he has an apartment of his own. But he is always coming back because he needs one favour or the other from your parents. The good thing is that he buys you biscuits whenever he visits. Apart from that, everything else is same as stereotype I.

Stereotype III: The uncle that still is still a bachelor at 40. This reminds you of that your player uncle right? LOL. These are the lover boy uncles. He is not married, neither is he single. He just doesn’t want to make commitments and as soon as his present girl starts pressurizing him to pop the question he runs! He is likely to have a nice apartment, good car, good job but still thinks he is a kid and lacks the idea that he is getting old and time is going. This kind wont give you cousins or at best he’ll make you a ‘uncle-cousin’ i.e. cousin to people you can father. By the way, he is a bad example for you despite the huge influence he is likely to have on you during your teenage years because of his flashy lifestyle. The countless tales and pictures of the uncountable beautiful women he has dated is no good for the mind of a growing boy.

Stereotype IV: The uncle who is a wife in his house. For some reason there is a husband in his home but its not him. This type doesn’t even encourage any family member to visit him except those that like house chores and doing laundry. They get to assist him with his house work. The real issue isn’t that he isn’t winning the bread for his family (some stay home dads do), but that he lacks a sense of purpose for his life. He is a bundle of wasted potentials.

Stereotype V: The uncle who is rich and famous, but who you have never met. I hate this type. They are only good for when you want to feel important amongst your friends and so you start bragging about how related you are to someone important. He is consumed by work and has forgotten that family comes first. He has no time for even his wife and kids so…hello, who are you? Nobody should have success that comes at the expense of the people you love because in the end you’d only find loneliness and dissatisfaction there. By the way, most of them end up being suicidal and unfulfilled.

Stereotype VI: The uncle your dad hates receiving calls from because he’s always asking favours. Oh, he is also like stereotype II but this one doesn’t really visit. He is probably in a distant city just like stereotype V but this one is poor and not famous. Worst thing is that he is proud and egocentric and also feels your family owes him the favours he is always asking for. He’ll also accuse you of being proud when you don’t call him or send those ‘happy-new-month’ texts his fellow strugglers send monthly. (that was a joke. lol)

Stereotype VII: The uncle who is a model of all round success. My last but in no way the least stereotype falls into the category of the good for everything. Good family life, thriving business and/or career, great personality, awesome spirituality. Infact, your parents would regularly recommend that you go spend time with him and his family of which you yourself wont try hesitating because you know it would be fun and worthwhile. You find it easy to call him Dad because he is in many ways like a father too. He is a type of uncle you can call when you need money, need advice, need a proper scolding or when you just need to feel important amongst your friends. Now that’s me briefly described 😀

This is the kind I’d love to be to my nephew. But I cant just wish it, I have to become it. All we potential uncles will fall into one of these categories. As much as we would prefer one to the other, it is our actions and decisions today that will eventually choose for us which category we fall under.

The best way to predict the future is to create it. My nephew represents to me responsibility. I owe it to him, to myself and the whole to be the best me possible. I need to take responsibility for that today if I will become it tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m presently stereotype VIII- the uncle that drives him around and takes his pictures. Ciao

Soaga AfolabiIMG_20150608_085136

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Post-Eden experience: GERMAN MISTAKE II

We understand from scriptures that the first man Adam was created and placed in a garden called Eden. Eden was the perfect place. Imagine the most luxurious getaway tourist spot that exists today and even that isn’t half of what Eden felt like. one thing I’m quite sure of is that unlike most of us today who can’t wait to just leave this ‘earth’ and go to heaven; Adam had no need for such thoughts because his Eden was just like heaven already. Why seek a greener pasture when your pasture is greenest!

just about when Adam was starting to get his groove on, life happened!

In a twinkle of an eye, Adam lost everything. Talk about having serious problems….that was what Adam was having here. You know, there is nothing you and I can face today that someone else hasn’t faced before. But for Adam, life outside Eden was a completely new experience and there was really nobody around that had experienced such before. No manuals, no history, no experience or anything of such to consult. All he had in the midst of that problem was uncertainty!

But Adam survived!

He did because he could ADAPT. One of the very first inherent ability man had to exhibit outside Eden was the ability to adapt to his new and hostile environment. And over the years as he conquered new territories, mankind has had to re-exhibit that God-given ability.

So despite the hostile conditions of cold, heat, hunger, pain, need, danger, uncertainty, insecurity, etc, that  he faced outside Eden, though he wasn’t used to such conditions, Adam could live through them because of his adaptive ability. He was naturally resilient

You and I are naturally resilient too.  We just need to reach within ourselves and tap into that ineffable quality. And so in the face of a seemingly overwhelming challenge, its important to remember that we have what it takes to exhibit this ability and live through our storms also. Rather than being defeated by the challenges we face, we can live through them- we can adapt to survive.

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Then Adam moved past surviving. He started to thrive!

He did this by unleashing his creativity through the power of thought. As Adam started getting used to his new environment, he soon discovered that resilience and adaptive ability won’t be enough to guarantee his survival in the long run; he needed to be more than that. He knew deep within that there was more to him than all he was experiencing!

The first rain experience for Adam came shortly after he vacated the garden. The waters came pouring like they were purposefully sent to torment Adam. Adam noticed there and then that the animal skin clothing he was wearing wasn’t sufficient to shield the cold or keep him from the rain. stage one of dealing with this was to cope by adapting to the cold and rain and survive while it rained on him. But after that rain, he sought how to make himself a shelter or at least a place he could hide when next the waters came pouring from the sky.

Soon he discovered he could make fire. With two stones and a stick from a tree, Adam could create this magic called fire that would provide him heat for those cold days. More so, with the fire he could roast his hunted game which tasted far better than when he had to maybe eat it raw.

however, It wasn’t just nature that was giving him a tough time. The wild animals started getting actually wild. All the while in Eden they all lived together as happy little friends in their fairy tale existence. But outside the garden, the animals were totally different. They had started eating themselves and man reasoned that sooner or later, they’d come after him. it was either they get him, or he gets them……it was a jungle mehn!! Eureka! Weapons came into existence. From simple wooden spears to the more complex bows; Man had invented something he could use to defend himself.

Decades upon decades, centuries upon centuries; and today we have a fast paced high technology world. We have cars, airplanes, escalators, sky scrapers, phablets!, internet, and every other invention that makes life comfortable today because mankind is naturally creative…. because you and I can create things! We can create to thrive

God didn’t create finalities; he created man and then he created possibilities. Its man’s saddled responsibility to turn potentials into realities and his dreams into his history. Your challenges and problems are also not finalities, they are just opportunities. You only need to see the possibilities!

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From Adam’s post Eden experience, we see two things. One is that we can adapt to any condition no matter how strenuous it may be. We have the impeccable ability to live through any storm that comes our way and come out of it victoriously. Two is that beyond that, we can create lemonades from our lemons; you can take the stones life hurls at you and build yourself a castle with them. With creative thinking we can figure out an escape road out of any difficulty or better still, convert our challenges into opportunities.

There is no problem or challenge that can survive the continuous assault of deep thinking. Your imagination and creativity is your ticket into your dreams. No condition has to be permanent, you can change things; you can improve your life. You can do better than adapting and surviving; you can create and thrive!

PS: You don’t have to be content with living in a world that has been created by others, good or bad; you also can create a better, a world others can live in.

Bye!

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