Have you ever just wanted someone to just hold your hand, give you a hug, look you in the eye and tell you “everything will be okay.” We live in such a chaotic century in which we are constantly busy and the world expects so much of us. Balancing your work, education, friends and family at some stage becomes so overwhelming, you wish you could just stand there and scream your lungs out.
Many of us go through this life longing for affection from those most near and dear to us especially when your world seems to be crumbling. Having that warmth or tender touch may not change the situation but it surely restores hope in your heart. You think to yourself that you may be in a horrific situation but at least you have someone by your side to ease the pain.
But how does one deal with people in your life that show NO affection? Human beings are emotional beings and we feed off the energies of others. However African customs bring a division between sexes as men are not allowed to be as affectionate as women.
They aren’t allowed to express their love and fidelity to their spouse or even worse towards their own children. If an African man is too affectionate he is labeled as weak or gay. Not many can say that they have heard the words ‘I Love You’ from their father.
And this isn’t because he doesn’t love his children but because of conformity and a generational cycle as he too never heard those words from his father. In as much as we know that our parents are proud of the people that we are becoming and growing into sometimes you just want them to say “Ndeshi I am really proud of you.”
This gives one a new drive towards life. And as Africans we believe that words uttered from the elders unto you translates into blessings from above.
When we take a microscopic view of the social evils our country is faced with a lot of it is attributed to the lack of affection. Young girls seek the love of a father in older men. The feeling of being loved, adored, cared for and protected. Young adults turn to alcohol as a sense of security and comfort. A friend of mine once said something very shocking. She said Faith “do you know why I drink so much?” I said no please tell me why. She looked at me and said “I don’t need to beg my Hunters Gold for attention when I am down and out”.
This was profound to me as this illustrated what happens when one feels like no one really cares about you. At this point I felt that I had failed her as a friend. How is it that we spend most of our time together but all along she felt so alone? She found her comfort in drinking.
I began to do some self-introspection. This one conversation taught me to connect more with my friends and family. Tell them that I care as often as I remember. Go on dinner dates and have those deep conversations. I may not always have the right advice but if I lend a listening ear it may ease the burden.
Showing someone that subtle affection can soothe the deepest pain.