Society? A nice word with many awkward meanings. The difference between society and a science lab is that in a lab every statement or opinion comes with proof.
In a society very often, most explanations are pure gossip, rumour with a whip of disdain.
Take a confident person for example. Society brushes you off as arrogant.
And what do we say of the most humble or respectful? Now that’s a timid, frigid chap.
Or the timid who is rather gradually dying inside is seen as a rare specimen of humility – he would be a saint one day if he is catholic.
Ours is an awkward society.
These opinions and interpretations are not just simply wrong, they have an awesome push and pull effect on the victim. He walks around hearing the wrong thing but not knowing who is wrong and a herd instinct begins to kick in, getting him to change course if he wants a smile and more friends.
As far as our neighbourhoods are concerned, the opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity.
But the worse area- the awfully awkwardly worse area is sex and marriage.
Everybody appears to agree and advise girls to stay pure until they are married. Yet older men who endorse this advice to their daughters, throw it away when somebody else’s daughter is concerned. It’s smash and grab.
And there is this growing acceptability of a certain masculine excuse for promiscuity, that men are more than women, somebody needs to service the have nots.
A new definition of the best date is dating a married man because, guess what? He is a responsible man
We live in an enclave where when a girl is 18 and wants to get married, she is said to be a bad girl or put in the Akan language, “Mp3nins3m”.
In other words, she is just a whippersnapper! ; where when a girl is after 26 years, pressure begins to pile on her to get married! Shaking my head! This is the culture that when a girl is after 35 and not married she is branded as ‘not a marriage material’, or ‘ has a bad character’ or ‘has had enough men using her and so nobody is interested again’! Huh! I just sighed!
It’s such a contradictory space where when a man is even 40 years and unmarried, he does not go through any of these discriminations. This is my Ghana where girls or better still ladies are pushed to get married because time is running fast and when things go wrong in a marriage or a romantic relationship, the woman is first to blame; i.e ‘Oh don’t mind her, she could not handle the man, oh don’t mind her, she’s a b***h’.
We live on a globe where most men are branded as irresponsible with a tagline… “All men are the same” and so the good ones are never heard of. What a society!
We live on a planet where people are so so fast to criticize yet they’re slow to give you a thumps up when you do well; where people hardly talk about the good in people but the bad ones fly with eagle’s wings! What a shame!
This the society where everybody knows what is right when the wrong one is done, yet only few stand up to do the right thing to inspire others to do same!
We live in a society where people think the best way for them to feel good and to prove their worth is to undermine others. We live in a society where almost everyone seems to cry for good roads but when the roads are flawless, they drive carelessly until they kill themselves and other people!
This is Ghana where when politicians do what our taxes ask them to do, they want us to pick megaphones and trumpet how well they’ve done to the whole world!
This is the part of the world where almost every problem is linked to politics and so no problem is ever solved because the people to solve the problems keep shifting blames and justifying their actions.
They say ‘ You did it so don’t be a hypocrite and criticize me when I’m also doing it’ or ‘We’ve done better than you did’. When ideally what has been done is really not good enough!
We live in a society where I think lots of cash has been taken through road tolls yet roads that link our rural and farming communities are so bad the poor woman and man’s produce get to rot on the way before it ever gets to the market so the poor keeps getting poorer!
This is the earth where religious brothers and sisters dance to songs with foul languages and meaningless lyrics in the name of ‘the tone of the music is nice’ and do things unbelievers do. What do we actually believe in and what values do we have? Hmmm! No judgments!
We live in a culture where someone who seems to not know or engage in any of these things is seen as a hypocrite or better still someone who is trying to be holier than thou!
And please don’t ask me by whose standards I’m saying these! And did I just hear you ask ‘ who is this writer with such a harsh tone?” Please don’t be upset. It’s me!
Anyways, I know people have yielded to societal pressures and have ended up living lives of regrets and bitterness. But you don’t have to be?! Marry when the time is right! Speak out when you want to! Be polite not because you are a fool or a timid; No! But because you know you cannot take your words back after they’re spoken. Work when you have to.
Don’t be lazy and expect manna to flow from heaven or quails to fall off; because even in that biblical time, the children of Israel still had to step out and take the quails to cook anyway! But above all, live your life beyond societal pressure. At the end of the day, You and only You will give that account of what you did with your life! And so why the trouble?