A boy is a boy, whether in the midst of plants, animals or human beings. In comparison with other boys, he is a boy, in comparison with man, he is a man.
Olu is a boy. Whether in the midst of plants, animals or human beings, Olu is a boy. In comparison with other boys, Olu is a boy. In comparison with men, Olu is a boy. In comparison with girls, Olu is a boy. In comparison with women, Olus is a boy. From all angles, Olu is a boy. Therefore, by human, societal and environmental standards Olu is a boy. This leads us to the following question – what is a standard? Who or what sets the standard? Are their absolute standards/ Are their territorial or bounded standards? Are standards universally acceptable or limitedly acceptable?
Olu falls sick when he compares himself with Tolu (Olu’s sister) and he fells his superior to her, he will also fall sick when he compares himself with a man and feels inferior to him. Sickness is with the mind, it is with what we think or feel about ourselves, mentally, physically, financially and in every otherwise.
When we talk about standards, do we have to compare two elements of a class? Do we arrive at a standard by comparison or by some arbitrary and conventional parameters? The checking of standards by ‘cross-class’ comparison is what leads to sickness. If the definition of a boy is a child in the age range of 7 – 12 and Olu fall between this range then he is a boy. Regardless of how old any other person is, by the standard of who a boy should be, he is a perfect boy.
Tolu also is a girl, if the standard for a girl is a female child who has long hair and she meets it. She is a perfect girl by the standard expected of her class. Sickness comes to Olu when he compares the standard of boys with that of girls. He feels superior but that is the problem, he compares two different things that are not of the same class or standard. Each having its own distinct standard that can not be inter-used.
This is one of the basic problems we have in society. It causes so many problems amongst us. Olu’s dad is a man, in a class with a different standard. When Olu measures himself by his Dad’s standard, sickness comes because Olu will feel lower and the is leads to low self-esteem.
Our society should learn to accept that there are some standards that are absolute and universal while some are class-restricted. It is a universal standard for all humans o relate with one another but it is a standard amongst the igbos that brie price must be paid before marriage.
Comparison has become the basis of the measurement of one’s standard that is why we are most times not satisfied. We should learn to accept the uniqueness of different standards and not superimpose the wrong standards from one class to the other. For example, if your dad is outspoken and playful this does not automatically make this the standard for all men. If you wrongly think that this is what all daddies should look like or do when your fiancé is not outspoken you will see him as falling short of the standard of a daddy. You are supposed to set your own standard based on what you want and not just adopt someone else’s standard. You can create standards for who you like, but not manipulate people into your standard. Every human being has distinct standards he/she expects in all facets of life. We all have standards of dressing, of doctrine, health, finance etc.
So some standards are set by human beings. If my standard of reading is 12 hours per day, that doesn’t make it the standard for you. Personality differences affect the way we set standards.
When you compare your new Pastor with your former Pastor, you will call for sickness.
However, this does not rule out the fact that sometimes comparisons are made to check for standards, I am saying that it should be done between two elements that are of the same class. A boy with a boy, not a boy with a girl, or a boy with a man.