Growing up in a liberal family is a very interesting thing; you get to make your own choices and decisions with guidance. My parents always said we advise you and you decide, we show you the rope and show the many ways you can use it and you chose.
I was told and shown what was bad and good, what was important and what wasn’t. There were decisions that were so hard to make but guidance was given and the ball was left in my hands. Explanations were given for everything that made no sense to me, so that I could make my own observations and decide with knowledge accordingly.
Democracy (the practice or principles of social equality) was something we learnt early as children, without even knowing the word. I and my siblings were given the power to be responsible for ourselves and others around us, with rules that made us equal in the family. No one was greater than the other, we were all children to our parents and they equal to each other.
My parents never dictated but rather suggested and shared the pros and cons of anything. We understood why dishes needed to be washed after every meal, why clothes needed to be changed every after a day and why napping was a necessary requirement for a child. Why Dad was the head of the family and Mum his deputy and helper. Why dad always drove and mum sat comfortably in the navigator’s seat and us in the back.
This education has shaped the person I am today; it has helped me become responsible for my decisions and making good ones at that. I have had times when I have made bad ones but it was still my choice I was not decided for, until I met the 2016 elections.
Without finding my name in the register after seeing it during the verification days, I was decided for leaders that I didn’t choose. Even though I trusted others to make wise choices, the incumbent government made theirs look like that one time I decided to get into a fight with a snake and it won. Left me with 2 snake bites and crying my eyes out.
I have seen authoritarianism in the last few days make my childhood learnt democracy so weak, I wondered if I had lost it. I had lost the one thing that made me free to do whatever I wanted as longer as I was not affecting others. I have lost my freedom to communicate, to transact at anytime I want and my sense of security.
How can one person decide for a country when to transact and when not? How can he decide for us mediums to use to communicate? How dare he make us outlaws? Why make our decisions so lame we doubt our capability to make wise ones? What gives a man authority to make others feel irrelevant?
I have very many questions but I doubt I will get the answers; this is not my dad who would sit me down and explain everything or my mother who would narrate a story to make me understand or make sense of how systems work.
I kinda feel lost right now…