How has your family contributed to who you are today?
A family traditionally is related by blood. Through marriage, a male and female unite their lives and create new lives by giving birth to children. Procreation allows separate bloods of two completely independent people to intermix giving birth to a new child, which creates new blood and advocates the idea of family defined by Random House Western Dictionary.
It is an incredible and unbreakable bond created by mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. It is a source of inspiration. It is love and support. It is wonderful, and it is necessary. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
In ancient times, individuals needed families to accomplish the common goals. Those families were extended families, a mother, a father, children and grandparents of children. They lived together because of their necessities like food, shelter and security.
Throughout my childhood, there were times I missed having a father in my life, he was still alive but work restricted him from us. Nevertheless, I have grown to be a young man who is passionate for self development. I believe no excuse is good enough for lack of success. I hate complaints, blame game and unnecessary criticism but rather I love to take responsibility for the growth of myself and those around me. I was not born like this. I had to go through a process of becoming who I am today and my family played a big role.
My father and mother were born to poor families from Nigeria. Their parents, my grandparents were both farmers, people who worked the fields for a living, for just small amounts of money on which to survive. But my parents had big dreams of living a better life.
In 1993, my father became an ordained pastor after graduating from Calvin Theological Seminary in Michigan. One year later, he got married to my mother, she had just left secondary school and was yet to pick up any undergraduate course in university. I happen to be their first child of four born in July, 1995. My first sibling was due to follow soon in September 1997. However, it would be after eight(8) years before anyone else followed and the last came in October 2006.
As a son of a clergyman, I was raised strictly on Christian doctrines and teachings. We committed to God through devotion every morning before the days’ task and every evening before going to bed. This was not enough to shape my life and set me up on a path to greatness, nevertheless it aligned perfectly with the bible verse, “Proverbs 22:6, train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”. I had other lessons to learn, either from my family or the outer world. The outer world was not to be the tutor of these great life lessons as they proved a complete disparity and instead, deprive me of the good virtues my parents wanted me to grow on.
As an elementary school kid and all through high school, I became susceptible to the world and its moral depravity. Just like every other teen, I was vulnerable and effortlessly liable to influence from my peers. I embarked on a wrong path that will lead me to destruction with all of my great potentials and dreams unfulfilled. I knew everything that was right, my conscience were working but I could not do the right things because of my environment and the people I girdled myself with. I was brimful of negativity. This was where my family played the most important role in my life and what they did ended up becoming a turning point in my life.
My father became concerned about my future and he made a big call. He opted I go to live with his friend somewhere very far from home, something he reprobates, but he had to make this call and ultimately it was the right one. I was 20 years old already, and on my part, it was really difficult adapting to a new environment and tons of new people. Sarcasm, negativity, rudeness, etc were few of the attributes you could use to describe me at that time. My new guardian quickly espied all these features in me and this was where the work of my transformation began. Many at times he sat me down, he introduced me to a new life I have never known before. He shrugged off the negativity in me and made me try to see a good thing in every situation at all. Above all, he ignited passion and desire in me, he made me draw a line between determination from desperation. He fed me with both the worldly and Christian view of living a purposeful life by giving me Christian and motivational books with deadlines of when to finish reading each book. With this, I was able to read at least four(4) books per week. Sooner than later, my life began to change, I saw the other part of life and since then, I have not looked back.
I attribute my life and who I am today to my family because of the decision to alter the negative environment I was living in, as well as the toxic peer pressure. I encountered my turning point as a result of this big decision. You can not name a dollar price to that. I am a college student now with clear set career objectives and purpose driven life and I hope to reach out to more lives and touch a spark in them just like someone else did in me. He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.