Different By Default? Nah!
“You are a product of your parents and to be different from them can’t be by default”
In my ‘overzealousness’ to fix the myriad of problems facing Nigeria, I tried to fight generalisations, and see fellow Nigerians as individual entity, and not an offshoot of a tribe, region or religion. That means, I try to interact with fellow Nigerians void of some popular generalisations about the ethnicity, religion, or region the person comes from.
My brother would always caution me with these words, “you cannot be wiser than everyone that hold such views/ generalisations about the people. It was not cooked up, but a product of several experiences”.
In the TV series Game of Thrones, the character Daenerys Targayan who later became a Queen against all odds, (though briefly), had the belief that she was different from her progenitors. The more they shared stories of how her ancestors had ruled with fear, burning alive any person, group, or community as a whole, that dare crosses their path; the more she said to herself that she was different.
But what do they say about crisis? ‘It is during crisis you know the true character of an individual’.
When she had control over a sizeable portion of the kingdom, she did what her progenitors had always done; burnt both her enemies and the innocent masses in rage!
We all are products of our parents, environment, acquired knowledge, and experiences. You cannot be different from those that share same knowledge as you, living in the same environment, and with very similar life experiences. It is technically not possible. It is liken to being in a community and not speak in their parlance, accent, and slang; it cannot happen by default. This is because by default, you would most likely act like them. So to be different, you have to put in the effort, the dedication, the consciousness, and the unwavering desire to be different!
You can not just wish to be different and then think you’re different. More than once, I have been a victim of certain things that would have been avoided if I had taken heed to the ‘generalisations’ about the place the people came from. If they say a particular people share a common character, don’t just wave it aside, by saying this particular person is different. You have to guard yourself and put checks in place before you fall a victim.
This was the mistake Tyrion Lannister made, when he felt so confident that Queen Danerys Targayan would not be like her fore fathers. By the time he discovered he had misjudged her, it was too late.
On the other hand, if you as an individual wants to break yourself from the negative attributes in your family or environment, you must walk the talk. It is not going to be by mere wishes, you have to put in the effort to be different.
You cannot be different by default!
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IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.