Once upon a time, it was cool to labelled with that phrase. These days it’s said with derision. “Move with the times” they tell you. “The old ways of thinking don’t apply anymore” is the common refrain.
Here’s the thing, I’m old fashioned. And still as “new school” as most folks of my generation. Let me give an example; I was exposed to music at a very young age, old school music. My parents being christians raised us listening to Andrae Crouch, Keith Green, Maranatha! Music, Evie, Christy Lane, etc. I didn’t get introduced to artistes like Cece Winans, Kirk Franklin, Darlene Zchesch, Don Moen, Hillsong, Donnie McClurkin and most contemporary gospel musicians until I got into secondary school and the University. These days I’m also a gospel hip hop head, but this genre didn’t even exist when I was in secondary school; now I am as comfortable listening to Lecrae’s “Anomaly” that dropped this year as I am listening to Maranatha! Music’s “The Love of an awesome God” of 1985.
The thing with being “old school” is not about listening to old school music or wearing old fashioned clothes or using archaic pop culture references when you dialogue; it’s about the principles.
You could sport the latest fashion trends without succumbing to the need to be indecent. It’s perfectly possible to woo (I said “woo”, I know, who still says that right?) a lady without needing to be an asshole in the process; or to even ask her parents permission before you court her ( WEIRD! Right?! I even said “court”)and yeah it’s still “cool” to listen to AND obey your parents no matter how old you are or how much you think you know. We have left the things that gave us order behind in the march towards “enlightenment” and “modernity”.
Let’s take a look at marriages today, what are the divorce rates 40%? 50%? And rising? What happened? People jump in and out of marriages like swimming pools. Even telephone contracts are a lot more difficult to get out of these days than marriages. We’ve got celebrities setting world records for shortest marriages. In Days, hours even. What happened to fighting for the marriage?
Bring up the topic of some exigent circumstances? Then why wasn’t due diligence carried out? These days it’s common to see people get married without even knowing anything about their partners other than the fact that they “Looove” them. How can you be getting married to a lady or a guy and you’re meeting his/her family for the 1st time AFTER you both are already engaged? Where I’m from, love is work and that’s why most (there are always exceptions) are still together after more than 20+ years. Before you even proposed to a girl, you had met her folks, parents, siblings, gotten to know them. You’re not just marrying a girl, you’re marrying her people, customs, past. Parents on both sides did due diligence on the families of their kids’ partners. It wasn’t always perfect but it worked more often than not.
For laughs let me use this as an example; my parents whooped my ass as a kid. When I misbehaved. In fact my dad didn’t stop flogging me till I was about thirteen. Right?. They didn’t mistreat me, they didn’t molest me. They loved and still love me, bent over backwards to get the best for me. But when I stepped out of line, they were never scared to use the switch to remind me of what was acceptable and what wasn’t. Flogging your kids these days is seen as old fashioned, now you’ve got “time outs”, “groundings”, etc. Do these other forms of punishment work? Oh yeah, but in my experience the cane was the most effective. Note when I say “flogging”, I’m not talking about indiscriminate beating where it’s not instructive and the parent is just venting his/her anger and/or frustration on the child, that’s just abuse, violent abuse. I’m talking about “controlled spanking” or “spanking with a purpose” if you will.
Respect for authority is rare these days. There are points where respect is earned, at other times, it’s required. Earned or not. No matter how highly placed you are above an individual in position or achievement, age deserves respect. Your position doesn’t give you the right to act like a jerk to someone older than you just because he/she is your subordinate. For example, I was watching TV the other day and saw a kid cuss out his teacher and nothing came of it. My My. If you had the cajones to try that in my school when I was a kid, the whooping you’d receive would be legendary. Or for instance my parents were pissed at me for some reason, giving me an earful and I had the effrontery to talk back at them?! What?! It wasn’t about fear, it was about respect. Even if they were wrong or being “irrational”.
The concept of virginity is old school now. If you happen to come across a virgin ( and yes this includes guys ), it’s like seeing a unicorn. In fact virginity doesn’t even seem to apply to us fellas these days, and a lady who decides to remain one for whatever reason has eyebrows raised at her. It’s incomprehensible these days to be in a relationship and not have sex, when you come across couples in this rare category they’re like celebrity. These are just a few examples, if we look around and deeply reflect there are a lot more.
Like I said earlier, being “old fashioned” or “old school” is a matter of principles. Timeless principles that could only make you stand out.
Ariel Ugorji identifies himself as a mild insomniac, geek, nerd, an audiophile, an avid music lover, Liverpool Fan and an unashamed Christian; with more often than not a completely different point of view on the world and a love for sensible arguments. He Resides in Warri, Nigeria; the land of the sharp and the brave.
To view more of his write ups, please visit his BLOG. You can also share your views with him on twitter @arielugorji.
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