It was during one of the long ASUU strikes in the mid-nineties that three sophomore students of a certain federal University in the South Western part of Nigeria decided that staying at home with no end in sight to the tussle between the academic staff union and the federal government would be detrimental to their overall wellbeing.
For one, they know that staying idle could lead them into doing things that could be illegal and they didn’t want to tarnish their image and that of their parents, jeopardizing many years of hard work, the three siblings decided to go to a construction site in a newly developed area and engage in manual labor.
There would be a whole lot of gain to that venture, one of them explained; they would be mentally and productively engaged and they won’t be bothered negatively about the abrupt stop in their educational progress. They would also learn artisan skills that would enrich their future professional lives in terms of interaction, coordination, interpersonal relationship, and team work.
The news reporter who interviewed the siblings asked if they were not ashamed as they worked at the construction site and one of them responded, “there is nothing for us to be ashamed about because we are productively engaged using our hands. Our parents taught us honesty and integrity with dignity of labor so there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.”
Any honest work should come with dignity and pride.
The way our world is moving on suggests to us that being skilled is a major economic deciding factor that parents must teach their children. While preparing children to get a formal education and be prepared for the workplace is laudable, parents must also teach them to be skillful especially when they are naturally talented and gifted within a certain line or area.
Enlightenment and exposure of mentors, guardians, and parents would go a long way in helping a child shape his or her future economic engagement and power by the direction and advice that is being provided.
More so, working to earn some money, in a safe and secured place, while children are growing up would make them more matured, independent, and accountable.
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