Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Millennial Question.

*Kindly note that this is a long post...a mild rant, if you will.*

So it is Thursday Post day!!!!!! Yay!!!!

Hello guys and dolls. 

How has your week been going?

I'm seriously trying to keep to my weekly blogging schedule. This is post 3 in January, so I can say it's looking good.

So...I wanted to show you guys a video I happened upon. It's about 15 minutes long but it is worth the time just to listen to the stuff this guy called Simon Sinek has to say.




Have you checked out the video?

What do you think? Be sure to leave a comment below if you agree or disagree or agree in part or vice versa.

I'll share my thoughts (for what they're worth).

I most certainly agree with him.

So I have decided to look at his views from my situational eyes i.e. being a Nigerian Millennial. If I am asked to rank the four factors Simon identified in order of importance for how it impacts Nigerian millennials, I would rank them as follows:

  1. Enviroment 
  2. Impatience
  3. Technology
  4. Parenting  

Let me now break down how I think these factors have impacted or are impacting us as a millennial generation.

1. Environment

We have a dearth of leadership and it has affected the outlook of the country and millennials. Education is a non-factor. Jobs are non existent. This is one generation that was worse hit by the decay in society. I had an uncle tell me once how my generation was to fix Nigeria and I almost bit his head off. My answer was "with what?". He was of the generation of scholarships. Meal tickets at federal universities. Jobs waiting for them in civil service. Entering the workforce fully with a school leaving certificate. All of that at their disposal and what did they do, they packed the ladders and burnt them before the next generation could step on one rung. If they had all of that and could not fix their country, edakun, what am I now supposed to do? The generation that you keep changing it for everytime? To give their children a competitive edge, they sent them abroad. To make sure they got better jobs, they insisted school leaving certificates were not good enough and we should all aim for university degrees. When we all started flooding the job markets with our certificates, they decided they only want post graduate degree holders. And on and on. The game keeps on changing. The millennial has to deal with nepotism and bureaucracy and doesn't know whether he is coming or going. So he stopped playing by the rules and that's where things went from bad to worse and that leads to point two: impatience. 


2. Impatience

I agree with him completely that millennials are impatient.  We are the most informed generation - we know what everybody is doing, we know where everyone is. It makes us itch to do great things but leaves no room for a respect for process. There are several factors that contribute to our impatience and a disdain for process such as environment, societal pressures, religion.  

Just talk to people about their hopes and aspirations and you find that they have no concept of process. Talk to an average millennial who wants to start a business. They can give you projections for 2018 and talk about the site of the business and what they hope to generate. There's no consideration given to marketing, getting and retaining customers and all the things that businesses are truly about.(Look at Instagram vendors for example) They just want the lifestyle that owning a business can afford. They want to hit. They want to hammer. They want "Dangote Money" never mind that Dangote has been at it since 1977. Social media influences, where you see E-Money spraying people's salaries out of a card counting machine, fuel this desire to hit without giving thought to how to get to the place of hammering. 

Now add religion to the mix and it becomes toxic.

As a christian, I've heard of how God can bring a man from the jail house to make him a prime minister. How God can bring you from a hundred steps back and put you in the front. Do I believe? Yes I do...with qualifications. When our religious leaders say things like this, they make God out to be a waiver of processes. Newsflash: God is not. He is a process guy. 

There's a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant and a time to harvest.

That does not sound like Someone who abhors process. 

Our generation has taken preparation and preparedness and thrown it out of the window. Messages of triple promotion that you did nothing to earn or deserve, validate that action. The non-spiritual ones are impatient to hit and will hit by any means necessary . The spiritual ones think they should get what they want because they asked God nicely. We no longer respect process. We have no time for process. 

It even shows up in how we work. We literally have no joy doing day in and day out things. We want excitement. When he mentioned wanting to make an impact, I nearly fell out laughing. I use that word...I've heard others use that word. We use it liberally. We want to make a huge impact. We are not content to contribute to rippling waters like small pebbles, we want to make a big splash like when you toss a boulder in a sea.We are told we should make big splashes, at home, in church and at work. Contributing to the the common good is too basic for us.  So we get very bored very quickly in our jobs and businesses. We want what is new and what is next to keep it fresh and interesting. Unfortunately for us, most jobs don't work like that. They are regular, repetitive and routine. No matter how many times we hop from job to job, we'd still end up doing routine work. It's a fact of work life. I think our parents were the last truly content generation. They were patient, worked the jobs they had for decades and respected process. 


3. Technology

There's a Yoruba insult that goes "wo ti gba were m'esin". It is typically used to insult overly religious people and literally means accepting madness as part of religion. This is how I view Nigerian millennials and technology. We have accepted madness as part of our technological advancement to where we can't see the forest for the trees anymore. 

I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I am not chained to my phone (much to the annoyance of my friends and family). I have social media accounts. I tweet when I want and Instagram when I like. My facebook account is moribund. After I grew bored with Bobrisky, my Snapchat has grown cobwebs. I'm not of the millennials he was referring to in the technology section but I also have problems with them. Private technology is new to us. Mobile phone technology was introduced to Nigeria for widespread use in 2001. So generally, Nigerians don't use technology in a respectful manner. Couple that with the fact that we don't do things (especially bad things) by half, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the fanatic and militant Nigerian millennial social media users.

The Nigerian culture (across all cultures) is typically a hospitable and relational culture. That is all but dead now. Communication has been reduced to a series of 140 character blasts. I find social media interesting because it gives the illusion that we are allowed to opt out of real life. On twitter you see this kind of post flash across your way often:

 "it's not just twitter. People are getting married. People are doing big business. Be there saying it is just twitter".

That to me is the dumbest crap ever. It IS just twitter, despite that. That...which has been described as the "magic of social media" is in effect, simply...life. People got married and did business before twitter and would continue after twitter, if there's an after. 

The joys that my generation finds on twitter is the same thing that is destroying their social skills. What twitter does that is uniquely fascinating is that it brings a group of like minds together into a clique. You are able to screen people by their ideas and ideals and decide whether or not they are worth following. This is cool. But when you spend most of life on twitter, you are conditioned to think your opinion and those of your like minded friends are the only opinions that count. America found out to their dismay last year that this, isn't in fact, true. Life does not allow you screen the people you come in contact with. It is by coming in contact with the good, the bad and the ugly that we develop street smarts and vital communication tools. When I see differences in opinion degenerate to epic conflicts online, I am more convinced that millennials are becoming less and less capable of disagreeing amicably because we feel we just don't have to. Why should I disagree amicably with you when I can just block you? Our forebears believed that you might need people in the future. They did not subscribe to the idea of burning bridges. We have no qualms with setting bridges alight and watching them burn. The relational side of us is dying. I'd call it a type of disuse atrophy. We don't care because we are getting the validation of our cliquey-clique. To me, I feel a way of life is coming to an end and I'm dreading the new way of life that is emerging. 

We are so obsessed with retweets that people STEAL TWEETS! Imagine that? Just so a bunch of faceless and unknown people can say "that banged!" "nice one!" ????? People "sub" people who "unfollowed" them. I used my hand to follow you, why do I now need your permission to unfollow you?  People are validated by the number of followers they have. When you are ill and you just want someone there to say "I bought you ribena" how many can you count on? I am stressed out by the idiocy of living a life online and if it is this off-putting in my generation, what will happen in my children's time?  

Those who live their lives online do not see that they have an addiction. I like that he broke it down on how it is an equivalent of smoking, alcohol and gambling. I logged out of my active social media accounts for almost two weeks now. I have returned thrice to twitter to post a link of my new post and to retrieve a message. As nonchalant as I am about social media, I found that I struggled. I'd pick up my phone and hit the icons then see my sign in page. It became reflex to just pick up my phone and hit the icons. If I had not signed out and just said I won't look at them, any time I hit those icons, I'd be 4 weeks deep into someone's Instagram account before I realise. Social media has revealed the voyeuristic tendencies we all had that would have been considered creepy in times past. In fact we have turned things on its head with this stuff...we want to talk to people that aren't there and spy on people we aren't necessarily friends with and live vicariously through them, shouting "goals" at every nonsense thing they do for attention online, while slapping filters on what is really going on in their lives and we think this is how to live????


4. Parenting

I am on the upper spectrum of millennials and discipline was still very important at that time. I was born during the first Buhari administration so War Against Indiscipline was widespread and it entered into our homes. Thus, I have never received a participation medal for anything. My parents only came to my school on visiting days and occasionally for PTA. 

Along the line, there was a shift from the traditional parenting. 

Parents began to do things that were considered odd just to move their kids along in life. In my first year at Ogun State University, I had a friend whose mother would "sort" lecturers during exams just so he would pass. At the time, I couldn't wrap my head around it. But things gradually got worse.
Spanking became child abuse. Doing house chores to build a sense of responsibility got outsourced to domestics. Teaching children to respect their elders became "respect is reciprocal".

Some of our parents and some of us who are parents began raising obnoxious and entitled kids. Obnoxious and entitled kids grow up to be obnoxious and entitled adults. 

Millennials' parents now think that their child/ward shouldn't have to go through a singular struggle to get where they need to be. So we see a lot of "parental involvement" in the lives of people who are considered adults in the eyes of the law. 

The trickle down effect is that millennials won't do a good job raising children. I've seen the most spoilt children and I am just itching to reset them with a well placed slap but...child abuse. So in the upcoming, millennial raised generation, we will see more participation awards and kids whose sense of entitlement would be unparalleled. It is a vicious cycle. 

We are a generation susceptible to raising a generation of over-coddled, impatient and technology dependent addicts who would live in an environment that doesn't give a hoot about their sensibilities.

As the Chinese proverb says: May we live in interesting times. 

What are your thoughts on his views and on my thoughts?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Really?????

Hello lovairs (if I still have any out there).

How has the first two weeks in January been? They've been pretty slow for me but January is looking great and promising which makes me extremely optimistic for the rest of the year.

I've been on a bit of a journey which has led to some soul searching and introspection. I was reading a book on hearing from God and in one of the chapters, the book talks about the gifts we have and how they tie in to what we really should be doing with our lives. The book suggested using one of the myriad of internet resources available which group our talents and attributes into one place and suggest a suitable career path.

I was curious so I did mine. I'll share it with you. I used a resource called goodnet.org
I was asked a few questions about what I liked to do and what my reactions were in certain situations. The result? See for yourself...





I find this very uncanny because I get this a lot from family and friends that I should be in media.

In keeping with my mission statement "to love God and bring joy to others through the gift He placed in me, do you think I should start making my way to a media house? Who has contacts in NTA 2 Channel 5? Hep a sister!

Do you think this is an accurate assessment of me? Will you be taking the quiz for yourself? If you do, please share your answers.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Fresh Start

Happy new year my loves. 

May this year typify God's grace in our lives. 

As you all can see, I did not manage to finish my 30 days posting. I got tired after a while. I read somewhere that if you blog about yourself mainly, it's a sure fire way to burn out the blog quickly...unless you are an extremely interesting person. Unfortunately, I blog about myself and my personal experiences mainly AND I am in no way extremely interesting. 

What is one to do? 

Anyways, to avoid the burnout, I will return to the original template of this blog and post once a week unless it is a heck of a week and I have plenty gist. 

I feel very strongly about this year being a fresh start for me. It's not palpable but that phrase has just resonated with me. Last year was bleh...for lack of a better word. I literally coasted through in a haze of self pity, sadness and tears. I did not stop to smell the roses. I tried many times to snap out of it but, though I put on a brave face for all around me, it was tough. But in that year, God was faithful. He did amazing things for my family and I (even though my self pity made me completely ungrateful) He surrounded me with amazing people. I began my professional certification course. And I was in great health for most of the year. Only God can reward unfaithfulness with maximum faithfulness. 

"To have fun in [my] journey through life and
learn from [my] mistakes"
 
So this year, I am excited to announce that I have a new lease on life. I want to do things completely differently from how I did them last year. I coasted from month to month last year. How I managed to do the few things I did was down to God and the encouragement of family and friends. So this year, I've made a little to do list of things I want to do in 2017. Some of them are projects and some of them are behavioural aspirations for the new year. In coming up with my to dos, I started thinking that I need a mission statement for my life in 2017; something that guides my actions and embodies my purpose. So I looked up personal mission statements. I found that a few CEOs had shared their mission statements and when you look at those statements, you literally see the people. 


"To be a teacher and to be known for inspiring
my students to be more than they thought
 they could be" 


So I decided to do mine as a budding CEO and as a person generally. This took some introspection. Not a lot. But a fair bit. I asked myself who I am and what I like to do. I found that a lot of my efforts and talents have been channelled towards making people happy. I like to give gifts, help, make people laugh, do things for people from time to time, gist etc. My business interests are centred around helping, adding colour and adding value. So as a person, first and foremost, and as a budding CEO, my mission statement (not just for 2017, but for life, (subject to more modifications at the appropriate times)) is



"To love God and bring joy to others through the gifts He has placed in me". 

I'm happy with that. I think it somewhat describes who I am and who I will be going forward. 

I think it is worthwhile to consider a personal ethos that will guide ones future actions. 


So I have shared mine. What's yours? Do you think personal MS are necessary or I am being too optimistic for life and too emosh? What are your thoughts? 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day 16: Adult Christmas Fun

I love Christmas!!!!!! Jesus's birthday, amean, what's not to love??? I love Jesus and I love birthdays...it's the perfect holiday for me.

Adulting is super hard and sometimes one needs to cut back and have a bit of fun. What better time to have fun than during Christmas, eh? The problem is that everybody seems to be falling over themselves to entertain kids. There's all sorts lined up for kids during Christmas like it isn't good enough for them to get almost a month off school *rme*. No one thinks of the grown ups who have been worked to the bone during the year. We also need to be entertained! 

This Christmas, I was planning not to go home to Lagos, I was going to spend Christmas with my friends and knock about the capital  city but I've been cajoled. I had thought of what I'd do or like to do during Christmas and I want to share some of my thoughts on fun adult activities to get into over Christmas. 

Leggo!

1. Caroling 


I think Caroling is tons of fun. I don't have the best voice but I'll lend it to a spot of caroling. Some church women carol round my estate from time to time. You know they are giving us Christmas hits like "E lu agogo" and "Keresimesi tu ma de o". It'll be nice to have a young, hip, alternative belting out 8 days of Christmas, This Christmas, Santa Baby etc. So if you have quirky friends or loads of siblings, this is a great activity for Christmas 

2. Cookie Decorating Party

I got this idea from the TV show; New Girl. I like to dabble in baking tinz from time to time. So if you like to bake or just enjoy giving things a go and were planning on having a little party for yourself over the holidays, you should definitely throw a cookie decorating party! I suspect it could be a fantastic ice breaker: people that can't decorate to save their lives, people who put rude things on the cookies, people who just give up, people who steal other people's cookies. It would be quite cute and fun and a great way to get talking to strangers.  

3. The Amusement Park

When was the last time you went to an amusement park? Most of us went as children and I've only been twice as an adult. If you get a bunch of folks together, you all could go and be a bunch of agbayas at the amusement park. I actually will do this over Christmas. A friend recommended it. She did it last year and had a most wonderful time. 

4. Spreading Christmas Cheer


This is not exactly fun, more like a sobering reality of the times we live in. It's a pretty tough time in the country generally. Spreading Christmas cheer is a great way of demonstrating the actual spirit of the season. Getting together with friends to organise charity runs, food drives, soup kitchens, etc could put the fun back in the season. You could also arrange to visit IDP camps, hospitals, orphanages etc to bring them some Christmas cheer. 

5. Christmas Themed Movie Night


I LOVE Christmas movies. Most of them are silly, of course, but that's ok. Staying in and watching a bunch of Christmas movies is a budget friendly and all encompassing activity that one can do with siblings, friends, kids, le boo etc. A lovely movie, a nice Moscato, some plantain chips, a bed and I'm golden! If you're looking for an activity to do with a bunch of friends that doesn't really involve going anywhere, inhaling second hand smoke, having drinks spilled on you or dealing with the policemen that will inevitably line the streets during the yuletide season, let out your inner child and turn this into a pyjama/sleepover potluck party. 

These are my recommendations for fun, adult things to do during Christmas. Any other suggestions Will you try any? Let me know.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Day 15: Favorite Bible Verse

By a technicality (it is 11:19 p.m) it is still day 15. So here's my offering for today.
I have a post coming up on my struggles this year. I've really struggled this year and one of the things that has kept me going is the Bible and the promises it contains for me. Anytime I manage to break free of the haze of the struggle and get into God's Word, it always provides a comfort apropos to my challenge and resets me. 

I have many favorite verses in the Bible but the verses I will be sharing with you today are my all time favorite. For where my head is at these days, these particular set of verses brings it all together for me and makes me see purpose in the struggle.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV): Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

The break down of these verses is basically as follows: 
1. There will be challenges.
2. God Himself is the one who will comfort us through those challenges.
3. The help and comfort we have received is not just for us. We are not comforted for just being comforted sake. God has set an example through the comfort we have received and it is our duty to now dispense what has been deposited in us. 

This hits home for me because though I'm struggling, it hasn't stopped my purpose. Life is not lived in isolation. There are people who God wants us to reach out to right in the middle of our mess when we don't even feel like getting out of bed let alone helping someone else deal with their own issues. 

I've wanted to be selfish a lot this year. I've wanted to turn people away when they approach me to talk things out because I have my own stuff going on. But what I found was that merely by offering a listening ear,  I myself, became blessed by the responses the Holy Spirit gave to the issues through me. I would say things that I KNEW I did not have the wisdom to come up with. So while the Holy Spirit was doing His work, I also was being offered comfort. I always felt so much better after having listened, talked and prayed with people and I think that typifies this verse for me. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Day 14: I Want To Learn How To...

...Sew.

Because tailors are mad and I am over them.

That's all.

Happy public holiday tomorrow, all. Might I take this moment to appreciate my Muslim brethren for how they steady gift us with these holidays? God bless you.