The Times Are Modern, But… By Chukwuneta Oby

I had arrived Enugu (newly) and was marvelled that young people there would still bother to greet a complete stranger-that they just pass by on the road.

The first time I experienced that-I thought the fellow knew me from somewhere but it would take my going out more to realise that a lot of them do that.

I took a taxi home (from a mall) and halfway through our journey, the driver told me that he actually settled for the sum that I offered because he was moved that I bothered to greet them-when I passed by.

I have never regarded ‘greeting anybody’ as a big deal.

In our younger years, one would even receive an alarmed stare (if not outright ‘knock’ on the head) from parents for failing to ‘greet’. And then you have older folks who would ask “weren’t you taught to greet?”

There is no way your upbringing would incorporate these bits and you would still be found wanting in certain ‘manners.’

The problem is…parents are becoming too ‘modern’ to do their job. Some are raising kids who think a ‘nobody’ of who isn’t paying their bills. And what we have are BRATS all over the place.

Teachers are not even spared from such disrespectful conduct.

It’s in this clime that we heard about a teacher who disciplined a student for distracting the class with his mobile phone. The next day, his father (who was a prominent figure in a political party) showed up in the school with police men, who manhandled the teacher…for not recognising whose son he messed with.

A friend once said that he is normally appalled when someone he barely knows reaches out to him for assistance. He believes that such a person must have exhausted the ‘goodwill’ of folks ‘around’, to have to ask ‘strangers’ for help.

A situation arose recently, and one was forced to revisit that ‘conclusion’.

I missed calls from an unknown number. Then, an sms followed. I know who the sender is but she isn’t an acquaintance. Her request was so ‘minute’ that one could sense hers was an emergency.

I decided to get closer and actually sobered up on ‘situations’ that people grapple with.

She is not a hungry lady by any standard but with a husband that is drunk most of the day and an ailing child that needs a ‘round the clock’ attention…not many people can hold it together without falling apart.

Gone are the days when family is one’s ‘shame coverer’ or when one’s problem is every one’s ‘concern’ in the family. It is now each to his tent. Strangers have been known to help more than some ‘family.’

A video went viral, recently. A group of middle aged men (husbands and fathers!)…being entertained by completely naked young girls, who were ‘twerking’ to their thrills.

I have had to ask ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT BORED IN THEIR MARRIAGES, that sexual undertone has to be infused into ‘everything’…even for some supposed ‘friends’ to be engaged? Except one is firm these days, you can’t even talk ‘business’ without most men trying to ‘steer’ the talks.

Those expected to be above board even disappoint alarmingly.

I have lost count of how many men that I blocked on the social media on account of ‘’send me your picture” requests.

Where then, is the place of discipline and values-if everything is chucked to ‘modern’ times?

Relationships don’t have depth anymore.

Interactions shouldn’t always be hurried into the ‘sexual’ alley. And one who comes ‘close’ shouldn’t be assumed to be interested in ‘playing ball’.

Sometimes, people just need ‘a friend’ to talk to.

I know the times are ‘modern’ but it’s become such a relief to meet someone who is ‘old fashioned’- these days!

Punch