Learn This My Son

Learn This My Son

 

Learn this my son: they are called “loved ones” for a reason.

Love them with all your heart.

Say you love them as often as you can; show that you love them always.

Put them first before yourself.

When you are famished offer them food.

When you thirst ask if they would like something to drink.

This is the kind of man you ought to be.

Your family will cherish you for it.

 

Learn this my son: it is called hard work because it is hard.

Is what you are doing hard?

Then you’re probably doing it right.

Persevere!

Do not shirk away from your duty.

Chip at it like the mason working on his prized sculpture.

Remember to always aspire!

Visualise, my boy!

Plan ahead before you set your chisel against the stone, lest your eagerness ruin the masterpiece long before it is realised.

Do this and your goals will be achievable.

 

Learn this my son: stay away from negative influence.

Anything that clouds your judgement blocks your route to success.

Read!

Surround yourself with people with clear agendas, with goals as high or even greater than your own.

Learn from them.

In their presence do not speak the loudest, instead listen the most; this is how you’ll grow.

 

Learn this my son: yesterday was yesterday.

Yesterday is gone.

Tomorrow you will be one day closer to heaven than you are today.

Do not be afraid! Be excited!

You know now that you have limited time… make the most of it!

Live every moment!

Push as if you’ll never push again.

Strive to your maximum at every attempt.

Do this and you will have no regrets.

Do this and you will be content.

 

Learn this my son: laugh.

I cannot stress this enough,

Laugh!

This way the aforementioned ‘stress’ will not be enough to stop you.

Laugh in the face of adversity, your family will cherish you for it.

Laugh, for that is how they will know they will get through it.

Laugh while you do all that I have taught you and your days shall be long and joyful…

 

Learn this my son: I am but a man and I teach what I have witnessed with my own eyes.

Your true guide awaits you to find Him.

Search for Him for He has knowledge far beyond my capabilities.

Learn how to be a father from Him, He is the greatest Father of all.

He will help you find one to share your love and laughter with.

He will give you direction and strength.

He will show you where opportunities lie.

He will endow you with wisdom, my boy.

My son, do all of this and you will make me undoubtedly proud.

Do this and I will be as proud as a man can be.

 

Excerpt from ‘Bleeding Heart’

Man Of Few Words

I think a lot of emphasis is placed on the importance of the practical roles of a father, and rightly so. A father is expected to protect, to guide, to provide and to renovate. I guess that is why there is a massive spike in the rate of DIY accidents among fathers than men that have no children. By the way I just made up that statistic, did you believe that statement? It makes sense though.

One aspect that is undervalued is that of the words the father speaks. Encouragement, affirmation, direction, discipline and observations are essential to unlocking the full potential of one’s child and to make the relationship as wholesome as possible. I think about the few times my father’s dished out verbal discipline and how those moments have stuck more than any other. I find it hard to do the things he admonished me for simply because of our relationship and his role in my life. As a result I sometimes wonder if I would be drastically different had I been admonished more. Would I have less of what I view as character and organisational flaws?

Self-esteem and self-confidence can be massively boosted by having a father who affirms you. You are a genius, you are beautiful. If you hear such rousing statements from someone who matters so much to you, you won’t have that void being filled by another character in your life. You’ll find you’re less prone to people pleasing and you don’t need to impress others to earn their respect. You would have developed self-respect by knowing you are valued from a young age.

Lastly regarding direction. While it is important for a father to give room for a child to grow in their talents it is also essential to help point out the skills and talents the father views, as unbiased as possible. Mostly those that are phenomenally talented at something don’t see how good they are until someone tells them. I believe it is the role of the father to observe what his children’s talents are and prescribe possible pathways for them to make the most impact on this earth. Furthermore we forget how difficult and unreasonable it is for a teenager still in the process of discovering oneself to make vital decisions that can potentially set the direction for the rest of their lives in stone. During this crucial period guidance from a father, who presumably has accrued wisdom through wide reading, and experiences (partaken of and received through sharing), will be able to give the child as many (right) options and a good way of helping them choose which one.

Perhaps it’s time for Dads to stop being the silent brooding voice but to speak out more often and to do so positively.

An Ode To You

Where do I begin?

You are my pride and joy.

Seeing you smile warms my heart,

Seeing you fall pains me.

I live for your achievements.

I will forever wish success for you.

When you stumble I want to be there to steady you.

When you tumble, my hand will prop you up.

I want to give you all my wisdom,

All my resources,

All my time,

All my love.

Son – I will affirm you.

I will praise you.

I will chastise you.

I will teach you in the way you should go.

I will provide you the tools you need,

To be the best version of yourself.

I will love you when you don’t love yourself.

I will show you your value.

I will keep my promises to you.

I will make time for you.

I will die to self for you.

That’s the love a father should have towards his son.

Dad did the same for me,

I’ll be damned if I don’t do the same for you.

I’ll be the best dad in the world for you,

You can count on it.

My Biggest Misconception

This may sound ridiculous, I hope it doesn’t coz every pore already oozes absurdity, but I always believed that after a certain age a certain invisible switch would be magically flipped and “adulthood” would sssslide in smooth as an eel (unlike me in them DMs).

I always thought that when I became a father I wouldn’t think like I do now. After all my wise father isn’t really the same person in his mind as he was pre-marriage surely? Right?

Ahem, turns out – THAT IS NOT THE CASE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! What made the realisation dawn on me was what I thought to be an innocuous conversation had after talking about my 90 year old grandfather and the Liberation War:

Joe: If there was a war between Zimbabwe and… Zambia for example, would you pack up your bags and take Kim and Mom to safety in a neighbouring country, or would you stay and fight?

Dad: I’d join the army… the Zambian army 😀

Classic dad joke. This plus numerous other exchanges raced through my mind and BOOM. Nuclear bomb went off in my mind. The first mental lightbulb in ages it seems.

Now that I know it was a massive misconception, looking at my father I’m supremely impressed… and looking at myself, I’m very worried 😀

Thank you for your time:)

 

An Example Of Excellent Parenting

This is why I cannot accept defeat in failure

In the summer of 2006 (normally winter in the northern hemisphere) my parents attended their first Parent – Teacher Consultation at my new school. I’d moved a few months prior and had just received the worst report card in my, then short, academic life. Their response to the ordeal they faced is just one of many reasons why I feel blessed to be their son.

The backdrop of the story is this. I’d previously attended a government run school for the first four years of my primary education. Consisting of nearly fifty students a class it was quite competitive at the top end. Yet with their influence, great teaching and, I believe, some natural talent (as well as ‘luck’) a young Ayanda Joe Munikwa came top of the class on three separate occasions in the four years I was there. The joy of my first prize giving ceremony will come later, maybe tomorrow?  We’ll see. Anyway I’d been moved to a private school. My parents had invested a great deal of money because they wanted what was best for me. Personally in their shoes I would have bought a new car, tv or something; but not them. They did this only to see me failing at nearly everything I touched. I was below mediocre. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was so confused at the time I thought “dictionary” and “diary” were synonymous (story filed for yet another day). It seemed like nothing was going according to plan.

So with all this having occurred, my parents dressed smartly for the Consultation. If you thought I was a fish out of water, you should have seen their more than slightly nervous expressions as they exchanged looks. They looked gorgeous by the way, no bias. Anyway they headed in to the classroom at their appointed time to meet my teacher; The One Who Shall Not Be Named.

I’m sure you picked up the Voldermort link. I still talk to one of my closest friends, who was in the same class with me back then, about him. Maybe it was the stress of twenty odd kids looking fresh faced and seeming not to understand anything. Or maybe it was the stress of the impending inflation that was even then gnawing at every working adult’s pockets. Maybe he was just naturally bitter and mean. But boy did he love taking it out on us and anyone he came across. His personality was as blunt as his face, but I appreciate him now because even he has turned around. (A story for ANOTHER day)

The man I spoke of above was the man they were going to meet. I was convinced he hated me. When they came back and told me what he had said I was even more convinced. Apparently I was “beyond help” and, to put it bluntly, “stupid”. He was also perplexed as to how I passed the entrance exam in the first place. I was apparently one of his worst students. While they recounted his words I could see in their eyes two things, pain being one of them. But even deeper, even at that young age I could see it, the second thing, resolution.

“I know you. You’re my intelligent boy! My genius! Maybe you didn’t do so well this time but I trust you more than I trust this teacher. Final exams are coming up. Go show them what you’re made of.”

I didn’t cry in their presence, even then I tended not to do that. But I did when I was alone in my room afterwards. Then I made a conscious decision to kick ass in school, prove my parents right and my teacher wrong.

Needless to say I came first. Every year for the next three years of my primary school education. Even when they introduced streaming in the sixth grade where the “top students” from both classes were merged into a separate class. Oh I also broke their (then) recent record for the National Exam. This isn’t me just mollycoddling my ego, this is just to prove a point. None of those meagre achievements would have been possible if my parents had chosen to withdraw their love and support.

Sure there are different ways to approach the problem – the problem of my plummeting grades after sending me to a supposedly better school. But I believe they chose the right way, not only because of the exam results that followed but because of the opinion of them that was formed in my mind that day… one I still hold to this very day. And one I hope to inspire in my own children in the future.