Monday, April 18, 2011

Did I Miss the Announcement?

Ode to Leroy Jethro Gibbs, leading character of my favorite T.V. show NCIS for the title of this post :)

There are certain times I like to sit down and ponder things that are going on around me in this day and age, and there are some things that I observe that when I think about them, I ask myself the question, "Did I miss the announcement?" I mean, since when is being a jerk considered the "new cool"? I have observed so many of my fellow males act like complete jerks towards other people, especially those of the opposite gender, and their friends giving them pats on the back and high-fiving them like it's no man's business. What? You think it's cool or something? Some say chivalry is dead, (I don't believe it is) but even so, what happened to acting civilized in front of other people? Whenever I think about acting like a jerk towards somebody, the image of my mama comes to mind and I remember her words. The prospect of her popping out of nowhere with a wooden stick scares the hell out of me too! lol And so when I observe my fellow young men (and sometimes boys) acting like jerks like it's the coolest thing on the block, I ask myself, "Did I miss the announcement?"

I'm in the cafeteria of our student center during Sunday brunch one afternoon and I am in front of these two male students and I happen to eavesdrop on their conversation (I mean, would I be too far from the truth in assuming we've all done it at some point in our lives?). Anyways, these two guys are in to it debating over a particular topic. I couldn't help laugh a little, but also feel really sad at the conversation I was eavesdropping on. These two guys were busy debating whether or not "Jewish" was a religion. I mean, last I checked, Jewish (or Jewish people) are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating with the Israelites or Hebrews. Judaism is the traditional faith of the nation. On so many other occasions, I have been left speechless and dumbfounded at the level of ignorance exhibited by some of my peers. "Do you speak African?" "Do you ride elephants to school back home?" "Do you know such and such a person? He's from Africa?" And a personal favorite, "You are from Africa right? Did you leave a wife and children to come to school in America?" Please note this is not intended to be a pun on my brothers and sisters that I have had the privilege of getting to know during my time in the States, but sometimes things like that boggle my mind. If we are going to continue to brag that our generation is so much advanced technologically, which makes access to information so much easier, shouldn't we take time to read up and become knowledgeable on some of these issues? We can no longer condone mediocrity and ignorance, not in this day and age. But when I encounter such mediocrity and ignorance, and some people being okay with it, I ask myself, "Did I miss the announcement?"

On occasion, I like to go online and read up on the current affairs in my home country reported by the major newspapers. I came across an article in The Post Newspaper, the country's leading news reporter, about drinking. The article had the following title, "You are not drunk until you are belegede (basically passed out or...worse)." While the article in of itself was in no way advocating drunkenness, it highlighted the drinking situation at home. Basically, it has become the norm that on weekend's, most Zambians (particularly the youth) indulge the bottle and feel there is no point of drinking unless you are belegede. Such is the moral decay of our society that this article made me sick to my stomach. Since when is getting drunk on the weekend a social norm? And since when is being belegede the acceptable standard for drinking? "Did I miss the announcement?"

Recently, due to technological innovation and advancement, I have been able to reconnect with some of my friends from back home through Facebook--friends that I went to high school with. Now, this is in not intended to question the moral character of my friends. One thing that I have seen as a trend is that when most of my friends post pictures on Facebook, it's pictures of their kids. Now, I graduated from high school in 2005, quite some time has elapsed and things do happen, people change, blah blah blah. So sometimes I imagine myself, at 23 here in a couple of weeks, having one, two, maybe three kids, and of course, it's just my imagination running wild. There are times I feel like I'm being left behind you know, know that feeling? But then again, this is not a race or about who has the most kids by a certain point. But I wonder sometimes, when I sit down and ponder such things, I find myself asking the question, "Did I miss the announcement?"

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