Lately, littered all over social media are opinions about how mutual respect is not recognized by Nigerian culture. I’m shaking my head in disagreement because what do you need mutual respect for as a “youngin?”. Why are you reaching beyond your years? It’s just a disguised escape from respecting elders. As a young person, why do you need people who are older than you to respect you? For what? You are beginning to lose track of the things that matter and I’m here to put you right back on track.

Firstly, you need to alert youngins like you to stay updated. Not woke but updated. Woke is wrong. Tell them to stay solely focused and committed to adoring and “respecting” people who are older than they are. Their time will come too; Your time will come.

There’s the need to quieten your voice, thoughts or opinions. When you feel ill-treated, swallow it and deal with it because why are you even “feeling” around an adult, don’t you realize how disrespectful that is? You are permitting yourself unduly to get negatively affected by what an older person says, thereby giving room to complain about it.
It’s wrong and I’ll tell you why. It’s simply because they came into this world before you, they have paid their dues, and given respect to whom it was due without scrunching up their nose or making attempts to argue or disagree with elders. Who do you think you are to want to ruin this pattern? Face those younger than you are and heave your frustrations on them. That’s how it’s always been. Don’t come around here thinking you can ruin this cycle or something.

Now, I know you are properly pissed at me, wondering what exactly it is I’m saying. I need you to calm down really. We have always been known to have a respectful culture. One that recognizes you enough to be acknowledged morning, afternoon, evening, night, while washing, while cooking, while eating, while peeing… but come on, there are clauses just as with every other thing in life. You see, as a younger person, you need to learn patience and understanding because when you need it most, culture will not acknowledge you; you are young and there are people ahead of you whose needs need to be placed right above yours. You need to learn to give up your opinions, your honour, your esteem, and your concern for the things that matter most; respect to the elders. Your truth, opinion, and feelings are invalid as long as an older adult is in the picture. You need to learn to give it up or else how will you cope with the challenges of life? You are subtly trying to say an older person is wrong? That abomination, you think you are bold enough to do it? Well…
A very urgent issue needs to be addressed as well because it seems as though you all now want to start biting the hands moulded before yours. Otherwise, tell me why you are disagreeing with an adult. Tell me exactly what pushed you to that extreme. The sheer belief that you can stand up and express yourself without toeing the line of thought of someone older makes me shudder.

What has this world become? Do you not understand that you need to be as obsessed with respect as older people are? And that points to the fact that you certainly have to revere them as well as what they think and believe in. Who are you to disagree? Do you think you can now rule the world just because you were born two days ago?

Now, let’s get into even more crucial issues, some of you think that fear is wielded as a weapon used by older adults to get those younger than them to respect them. If you ask me, I think it’s a smart tactic but you wouldn’t know that because you are hell-bent on being treated fairly and justly, young or old. Pay attention first. Learn! It’s boring to just depend on purely healthy mechanisms to wield the respect you deserve; how can you not see that? More effective measures need to be taken if truly anybody is going to be serious about getting younger people to constantly agree with their every thought. If you don’t get a youngin shuddering in front of you, how can you then know deep inside that you are indeed, an adult, an older person? It’s only logical that the clouds quiver and the earth twerks a bit when you enter the building otherwise, how then would these uncultured youngins know that you emerged this life long before they became fetuses?

You call it toxicity, we call it getting people to respect you as the older person you are. Respect is not reciprocal. It is given to the adults who have earned it with their years on the surface of this earth. If you think it’s easy, oya do am.