A realistic portrait of the distinct qualities of teenagers.
Yeah, she’s human! On a low-key I call her “Miss Mathematics”. Nope! Maths is not her favourite subject but she appears to be identical with the subject; very complex but once understood could be as simple as slurping noodles. Engaging in a conversation with her is twice as interesting as her character; an aspect that excites me. Our conversations birth ideas, disagreements and informal lessons.
The last time I chilled with her was one of my special days; the days I long to hear something different. Sitting just opposite her with my hands resting on the table, the fan which situated above us blew calmly, creating an effect that lifted the sheets of my jotter. The sheets produced perfect soundtrack for my curious mood. So, I said to her; “Cess, tell me a story”. She replied with gleeful expression; “Auntie Vicky, I will tell you a story I tell everyone.” What is this story everyone knows asides me? I doubled my listening frequency, a listening radio! Not like I expected anything but her story wasn’t what I should have expected if I had the chance to. Cess told me her early secondary school histoire.
“From Jss1 to Jss3, I was dumb; well, that is what everyone said. My mom would say beauty + no brain = ZERO. The teachers complained too. School and home had no difference; it was filled with bunch of people who believed they were telling me what was right but in reality they were judges! Well, I won’t blame them; I was a child that repeated primary 4, then, failed the same examination for Jss1 and SS1 twice. I never cared, even when I did, I never showed. However, that life wasn’t for me, I didn’t realise that myself… A woman with heart of gold opened my eyes. The owner of my school; she heard about me, a child that failed the same exam twice. So, she insisted to see me. Quite funny, I broke a record that attracted a very important personality but for all the wrong reasons. She came without fire but with love. She told me a lot of things, how I am a STAR and have great opportunities to make the best. She said I am important and must prove my worth. Auntie Vicky! She touched me, then, I began to excel. I worked harder than ever and I haven’t stopped. I am also happy she never lied to me, because truly, I am receiving every reward of my hard work.”
That was my reply!
Humans, this might be biologically or environmentally designed, whichever way but we are too quick to point out problems without finding or aiding to create a solution. It is more like, “you’re a bad child, better change your ways!” Change ways to what way(s)? In the verge of gifting someone with advice we end up becoming judges instead of counsellors. We dwell on the faults destroying every atom willing to heed to us especially the vulnerable ones. I mean, whatever advice we might want to give was prompted by the misbehaviour or attitude of whoever that is at the receiving end; that challenge is clear but it could only worsen when we dwell on the challenge forgetting that a solution has to exist and applied for any change to take place. I am as perfectly imperfect as any other human, so, I recognise the fact that in such situations it is difficult to be calm. One could be torn in between tough love and rage, you want result, it should be instant and you push harder! With a child like Cess, that action can only build up walls of resistance, resistance to advice. To her, it is enough you shunned her, so the best way to retaliate is by not taking your advice. Very funny but Cess attested that it was part of her plan.
Most times, such attitude provoke thoughts that I pour out loud to Mummy Febi, she would always say; “Vicky, that’s why they are children, you are to guide them”. Well, the latter is proof I don’t support or justify the actions of Cess. Nonetheless, it would be great to look at the picture of who we would want to build, it would help with the words we pump into them and perpetually have in mind that just as we differ, our road to understanding differs also. What worked for Cess, would probably not work for me or you, maybe ours might just be tough love!
Happy New Year!!!
Photo credit: @stevenphotographyng
And I am the humble muse!