OF MENTORS AND RESTRAINERS
“Babe, I want to ask you a question.”
They were sitting in his car that cool evening, just enjoying each other’s company. They were getting married in a month, so they were going over the plans.
“Ok, Darling: what is it?”
He cleared his throat. “I was just thinking… When we get married and something happens and I get very angry, I get so angry that you can’t reach me, I become distant… what will you do? Who can you call? Who do you KNOW can talk to me and make me calm and regain my senses?”
“Dr. Johnson! I know he has your mumu button! You respect him too much to disobey him: I know that, Babe…”
They both laughed.
They got married as planned. Six months later, they had a nasty fight! He was livid! He drove out to work that morning in anger. When he was done around 5pm, he didn’t want to go home. He drove out to the outskirts of town and checked into a hotel. Around 10pm, he sent her a message: “Please be informed I will not be coming home today.” she responded: “Ok.”
At 11pm, his phone rang. It was Dr. Johnson. He picked.
He asked, “Where are you?”
He told him.
Dr Johnson said, “I will call you back by 12 midnight: I want you to be at your house.”
He quickly checked out and drove home. He got home by 11:55pm. Dr Johnson called at 12 midnight as he said he would.
He asked: “Where are you?”
“I’m home, sir.”
“Ok.” He dropped the call.
Husband and wife talked and resolved their differences.
What was a potential one week quarrel was settled in 24 hours.
Because the husband had a RESTRAINER.
On a Saturday morning, my sister’s four friends came to visit her (she lived with me). They packed themselves in her room, screaming, laughing and talking. I was in my bedroom, but I could hear the shrieks of laughter emanating from my sister’s room. Then one of the girls brought up an issue: she was having a challenge with her boyfriend. She told the group the problem and asked for their advice. When I heard the advice given, I was alarmed! I walked up to the door and knocked. And entered…
“Uncle Harry! Good morning!” We exchanged pleasantries.
I told them, “Sorry ladies: do you mind if we have a talk?” They had no problems with it.
I continued; “I know my sister is 24: how old are you, Ruth? And you, Amina? Chika….?”
They were all between 23-25 years old.
“I’m sorry but I overheard you telling your friends about your issues with your boyfriend and I heard the advice they gave you. How old is he?
He was 27.
I told the young ladies, “you are all within the same age range. You have the same experience, same realities, same outlook, same understanding, same exposure. There is no way you can give each other advice that is beyond the level of your mind. Why don’t you seek counsel from older women who have gone through similar experiences? I can guarantee you their counsel would be different! Y’all need to get a Mentor, a Restrainer in your lives: someone who has your best interest at heart, who loves you as you are but loves you too much to leave you as you are.
Truth be told, we ALL need MENTORS AND RESTRAINERS in our lives. If we are left to ourselves, we WILL self-destruct.
I always advise young folks: GET SOMEONE TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THROUGH LIFE! You cannot be an authority to yourself! You are NOT as smart as you think! I have seen young folks take wrong decisions that scarred them for life just because they had nobody to advise them. I see young ladies fall in love and accept marriage proposals from men who have no MENTORS AND RESTRAINERS. Such men are DANGEROUS: they are answerable to nobody. Who do you turn to when he starts misbehaving? And trust me, he WILL misbehave!
Two weeks ago, I had a discussion with a young woman. She told me about a man she’s dating and they are planning to marry next year. She’s a Church girl, so I asked, “Is he a committed Christian like you? Which Church does he go? Who is his mentor?”
Her response: “He is trying, Uncle Harry. He is God-fearing: not everybody can be quoting Bible like you…”
I just smiled. There goes another young woman walking into a marriage with a man who has no MENTOR or RESTRAINER with her two eyes wide open. May God help her.
I engage with young folks often online and offline. I can easily tell those who have Restrainers and Mentors and those who don’t. Those who have are courteous, respectful, terse, polite and civil. Those who don’t are rude, loud, toxic, obnoxious, crude and ill-mannered.
For your life to pan out as planned, for your dreams to come true, you need Restrainers and Mentors, folks.
If you don’t have one, you WILL face too many unnecessary challenges.
And if you THINK you don’t need one, you won’t really go far in life.