Mommy, I Saw It On Tv

It's 16 days of a activism against child and women abuse. Every channel is running an ad or PSA on the issue. More poignant is the ad by Patrick Shai on SABC. The PSA ad just gets to you and someway does get the message across. 

With all these PSAs and documentaries on the issue of abuse does the perpetrators really get the messages? I am no expert but I think we somewhat missing something when trying to combat this monster that is lurking within the walls of our homes. I think there is a better and more practical solution to solving this problem and it lies within our children.

I read atleast one newspaper everyday and one thing that has always irked me when I read comments made by South Africans on issues such as “the Jules High School incident” is the fact that many always divert the responsibility to someone else. 

The culture of deflecting blame has become second nature to us. The easiest target for blame these days is TELEVISION. Many will say or write “with all these immorality our kids are exposed to on television, it's no surprise that we have 15 yr old rapists.” Helllo are you kidding me?

Wait... since when does TV parent your kids? There is a song by one of my favourite African artist, third only to Ceceria Evora and Lira, ASA. In her song “Fire On The Mountain” she sings

 “Who is responsible for what we teach our children, is it the internet or stars on television...”. 
In another verse she sings 
“Little Lucy turns 16 and like a movie she's been seen. She had a lover in her daddy. She can't tell nobody until she makes the evening news”. 
Who is the parent?
Children are a wonderful gift. They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are.” - Desmond Tutu

Parents have tuned out of their responsibilities to parent their kids and and have let them tune in to tv shows to learn what lives is about. Who's responsibility is it to make sure that your child does not watch soft porn on etv at 12am in the morning? 

Parents cry that porn is readily available to their kids on their cellphones thus making them be exposed to sexual behaviour at a very young age. Well, if you do not want your child to have porn on his cellphone why then do you buy him a wap enabled cellphone? 

Yes as a parent you can not monitor your child 24hours of the day, however you can instill some ground rules within so that he knows what is acceptable and what is not. If it's ok for your child to watch tv until 1am in the morning without being monitored then do not blame tv channels if you child is exposed to porn. 

As Tutu says, they will expose you for the shum of a parent you are when you want them to display model behaviour in public.

Author Michel de Montaigne wrote:

Socrates used to make his pupils speak first, he spoke afterwards. ‘Obest plerumque iis discere volunt authoritas eorum qui docent."
[For those who want to learn, the obstacle can often be the authority of those who teach].

Hands on parenting is very critical to the non-degradation of our society. If your child is taught compassion, control and respect, they would not watch another child being raped and laugh it off or film it. Teaching your child however does not mean imposing your own beliefs on them because when you push a child too hard one way the other way start looking appealing. 

The best thing to do is to lead by example. Gone are the days were mothers and fathers were heroes in the eyes of their children. Live a good life, a content life, a drama free life... your children will yearn to emulate your life. 

 Parenting is not about bullying because if you force your child to be someone he is not, you are no better than the bully who forces him to give him his lunch money on the playground. Sadly, just as he resents him he will grow to resent you.

Philosopher Plato (as if to reiterated de Montaigne) said:
... a free man ought not to learn anything under duress. Compulsory physical exercise does no harm to the body, but compulsory learning never sticks to the mind. .. Then don't use compulsion but let your children's lessons take the form of play. You will learn more about their natural abilities that way.
Yes, there are a lot of forces that make being a parent in this century difficult. Take this porn thing for instance, you just have to walk in town and it's displayed everywhere on the pavements. Yes, our youngsters are getting more and more sexually active at an alarmingly young age. However, tv, music and magazines do not create rapists. 

The erosion of common courtesy is what we ought to be more concerned about. Compassion for your fellow countrymen... Love for thy neighbour … RESPECT... those are society's fast eroding common trades and without them we will have a society where husbands think it's ok to beat their wives, where boys think it's ok to force themselves onto girls, where girls think it's ok to parade themselves around as objects of sexual gratification, where women think it's ok let the world parent your own child.

Think about an incident like the rape and mutilation of the little girl early this year for instance. It was reported that prior to her disappearance she was seen playing around at a tavern. Now what society do we live in where a child could be hanging around a tavern and nobody thinks to chase her home? 

Whatever happened to ubuntu where every parent on your street is every child on that street’s parent. Not so long ago, you wouldn't dare do anything you wouldn't do in front of your parents in front of any adult. These days, 12 year olds kiss and smoke in front of adults. Hell some even share the booze with them. How then do you not expect to be raising rapists and women beaters?

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these gave only life, those the art of living well. " - Aristotle

On these 16 days of activism against children and women abuse, instead of trying to outdo each other with speeches, PSAs and editorials let's take a hands on approach to this problem by being better parents. 

Showering your child with materials and privileges is not a measure of your love for them since often it's more about you trying to prove a point than your child needing those stuff. 

From today, be present for your child, know your child, impart in him or her the wisdom to distinguish between right and wrong, teach him or her the value of compassion for others and hopefully (just hopefully) you may just save him or her from falling into the pit of self annihilation like most of our youth now.

Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education. .. We are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally unprovided, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgement. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education.” - Jean Jacques Rosseau

It's been an awesome year for me and with that I thank all of you for taking the time to read my articles and sharing your thoughts and opinions with me. If this be the last time I share my thoughts with you this year, know that I am a better person today because I was able to learn from every single one of you. 

One thing that I strongly believe in is that the riches of the world do not lie in material wealth... yeah I know that sounds cliché and all but I have found no more joy in money than I have had in having you guys be kind to me. 

The fact that some of you take the time to encourage me to continue doing what I do and support me in every venture I take means more to me than any pay cheque I get. Thanks again for the debates and continued support.

To the haters, I love you too. For without your attacks and scorn I can never really grow. You push me to want to be better than yesterday so that I can shove my success in your faces when you continue to try and pull me down tomorrow.

I leave you with these words by an Athenian Greek Philosopher;
“I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvements of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person” - Socrates
Wish you all a wonderful festive season and an even better new year!

                      HAPPY HOLIDAYS (in advance)

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