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Tradition and culture

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Letter to Jack- Data Breach

My dear Jack, you’re still not getting it are you? Let me see if I can help you see it. Continue reading

My dear Jack and Jil, I present a few nuggets from my letters to you this year. Here they are: Continue reading

My dear Jil, you won’t understand and can’t understand: fathers are particularly protective of their daughters. That’s the problem you have with your father. It’s why he’s giving you all those troubles over marriage.

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My dear Jack, the starting point is seeing your gynaecologist. He or she will give you a picture of what’s going on. I advise this so your imagination is not fired up with worst case scenarios. Which is really what we tend to do in these circumstances. We automatically begin to imagine the worst, start all sorts of permutation, calculating our odds and options.
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We all have a past Jil, there’s none of us without a past. There’s none of us who hasn’t done something he or she is not ashamed of in life. We all have unrevealed stuff that make us cringe in regret, actions we’d rather not talk about, memories we’d rather not revisit. Unless of course you somehow did a quantum leap over the period of youth and arrived at adulthood suddenly. Even as adults there are things we’ve all done we’re ashamed of. Everybody has a past, everybody has a present. Agreed some pasts are grosser than others and some sins more egregious than others, but we’re all sinners.
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Dear Jack, inter-tribal marriage shouldn’t be an issue. There are many thriving and successful inter-tribal marriages. You can’t focus on someone’s tribal identity and totally ignore the person’s qualities. She has no control over her tribal identity. And you can’t hold someone responsible for what someone from her tribe did to your uncle thirty years ago. Continue reading

My dear Jack, you can’t marry on another person’s timetable. You marry when you know you’re ready. The problem you have is that you’re dating someone four years older than you. That has its own pressure. To be sure, she’s also under pressure from her family. They want her to marry fast. What she’s simply done is transfer the pressure to you, but you’re nowhere near ready.
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Dear Jack, she isn’t the prettiest of girls but she’s kind. Something about her drew him to her. She is not in his social class either. Very few would be. His father is rich. Very rich. She recognized early on he could date other women – very beautiful women, and yet it was her he chose. He trusts her implicitly. She’s selfless. It was that selflessness that created the trust. Selflessness creates trust. There are no airs about her. She’s as basic as a piece of pancake. No, not American pancake with all its embellishments and retinue of excesses. She’s just a basic person, a good soul. She couldn’t even dress well. Her sartorial taste was terrible and passable in equal measure. She is a friend, a girlfriend and mother all rolled into one. It was to her he turned at the critical juncture of his life. He trusted her with his data and emotions. Not that she totally understands him. But she loves him and cares for him.
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My dear Jack, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes are immediately apparent. But some others take nine months to manifest. Yours will take nine months. Impregnating your girlfriend while still in school is the nine month variety of mistake.
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My dear Jack, I don’t see any specific charge against this lady. Just a generic ban on her nationality. You’re the one who knows her, your family knows nothing about her. They’ve never even met her! Yet they’ve judged her as unfit for you to wife, just for belonging to another nationality. Continue reading

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