Telling it like it is

2010-11-13 08:21

We all have those people in our lives, the ones who say it as it is.

There is no ill will attached and, if ­offence is taken, they are often the most surprised because all they were doing was pointing out the obvious.

It could be an uncle or a grandparent or even a father.

They have usually reached a point in their lives where it ­becomes too tiresome to weave gentleness into the fabric of their observations.

I see it with my ­father.

There is a point a person reaches, when they have lived long enough, that they no longer worry about what other people think or say.

They speak their minds.

In the words of our elders, in the practices and sayings of where we come from, lies much wisdom and guidance in dealing with the world around us. Yes, much has changed.

Our parents were born into a world very different from the one we are living in, but that does not mean they have nothing to offer. They are that link in the chain that connects us even ­further back.

Across this continent, there are many proverbs and sayings that are as appropriate today, as they were then but, for some reason, we shy away from them.

Our parents have greater wisdom than we often think.

Their quirks seem embarrassing or amusing, but within those lies wisdom.

Justin Halpern took this knowledge to another level. At 28 years old, and dumped by his girlfriend, he moved back home to stay with his father and mother in San Diego in the US.

For most of us, once we created a twitter account, our greatest challenge was what to tweet about.

Halpern decided to tweet the hilariously insightful thoughts his father vocalises and went from an unknown, obscure comedy writer to over a million followers and a deal to publish a book, which he did.

Sh*t My Dad Says is brilliant.

Easy to read, amusing and a definite “laugh out loud” material, Halpern does not mince his words but his love for his son is glaringly obvious which comes out subtly.

The book is broken into short quotes as well as a couple of longer stories.

Reading it, I couldn’t help but think how many of us have access to much insight and knowledge.

All it is about is understanding and using the platforms at our ­disposal effectively.

Instead of ­focusing on the shallow, we should rather focus on how we can change the perception of Africa while using what is at our disposal to build lives.

Document the words of those around you.

Share them. They may resonate.

» Baffoe is the editor of Destiny Man magazine

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