To My Child: 12 Commandments for Your Difference in 2014(8)

My dear child, sure you are doing great today. I have missed our discussion for so long. I am grateful to God that I am able to make it here today. I must apologize deeply for my absence. Thank you for all the reminders you sent to me about this discussion. I am glad that you have really learnt a lot from this whole parent/child chat.

I am desirous that we finish this discussion this January so that you will have the rest of the year to put them into practice. I think without taking too much of your precious time, I will proceed to continue to discuss the commandments:

8. Live to Love: love must be our motivation for all we do. Love and respect go together. When we love we respect. Love here talks about loving every man or woman you come across for who they are. Love them because they are made in the image and likeness of God and respect their dignity of human person. Martin Luther King Junior instructs, ‘I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.’

You may not accept what a person is saying, but I think you will have to respect their right to say it as long as it does not infringe on other people’s rights. The truth is that even when it infringes on other people’s rights that does not give you the right to hate. Hatred is toxic. So is prejudice. I think prejudice breeds hatred. With the twin plague of prejudice and hatred, a young boy or girl has not future. He/she will be shortsighted and he will never seek or have the full picture of life enough to have sound judgment of the affairs of life. And once a person lacks sound judgment, his/her opportunities are limited. The English dictionary defines prejudice as ‘preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.’ I charge you my dear child, relate with everyone you meet with a free mind. Do not have preconceive opinion about people because of their race, colour, ethnicity, sex, background, physical disability (which I like to call THISABILITY) etc.

Give every person you come across in school, places of worship and other places, the opportunity to show who they are before you form your opinion about them. When you form your opinion about them, even if it is not the best of opinion, do not hate them for it and do not go to town with it. It takes a person, who has no sin to cast the first stones. In my years of living, my dear child, I am yet to meet one. We must be careful and even if we must correct a person, it must be in love. What does it mean to correct in love? It means we must never attack the dignity of human person of the one we seek to correct in the process. Correction must make its object a better person and not a bitter person. To correct in love is to avoid labeling, to address the issues and express confidence in the person we are correcting to turn a new leave. It is also important that before we correct, we must seek the consent of the one we seek to correct because nobody made us a judge over the other person, no matter how right we think we are.

My dear child, I am not saying, you should be close to everyone you come across or even anyone, who seeks to be your friend. All I am saying is that do not habour ill-feeling against anyone. The truth is that you cannot be close to everybody. You can and should only be close to those who share same values with you. I will share about meaningful relationship later.

My dear child, please note that when I talk about love, I am not talking about lust after the opposite sex. The love I talk about here gives and preserves your present and future. The lust between children or teenage opposite sex, which is today erroneously defined as love only destroys. It takes lust, inability to delay sexual pleasure until when it is due for you to be engaged in sexual relationship at your tender age. That is not love, my dear child. Love does not empower you to submit yourself to be violated, to give your body cheaply to the opposite sex, to abuse your sexuality and dignity of human person. That is what happens when you engage in youthful lust. Your sexuality is your physiological signs of difference. Your organs are given to you by God for a glorious purpose. They are not given to you to truncate your future and set you up for shame and reproach. My dear child, understand this, whatever is misused comes with dire consequences. You cannot wash your face with pepper and go free. It will not matter that you thought you were washing your face with water.   Therefore, beware my child. Love does not lust and lust does not love. Open your eyes very well and refuse to be deceived.  It does not pay to awaken love before it pleases your destiny. Remember the child of who you are my dear child, you are God’s child, made in His image and likeness.

I am proposing that we should hang it here today, my dear child. What do you think? I am glad, you agree. I will do my best to be here tomorrow. Do have an INSPIRED day.

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