A letter to my son- Amb. OlusolaHeadlines Saturday, July 21st, 2012
Chief Olusegun Olusola who died last Thursday was not only a broadcaster, actor and culture icon; he was a good family man who mentored his son, Olujimi in many ways including writing series of letters to guide him in confronting the vagaries of life.
The ten short letters written in 1986 titled “ A letter to my son” reproduced in the late Ambassador to Ethiopia’s biography by O’Femi Kolawole : Olusola: An Icon of Man’s humanity to man, focused on coping with ‘bad and good times’, ‘sex and sexual relations’, ‘living on your own’, ‘initiating your own family’, ‘your responsibilities to your people’ and ‘club and clubbing’. Other issues addressed are ‘employment dilemma’, ‘management of resources, ‘uses and abuses of alcohol’ and ‘culture’.
Excerpts are reproduced below:
On coping with bad times and good times
In good times, a plan for the future particularly the immediate future helps you to contain the joy and conviviality and the celebration of the present. This discipline in enjoying the present good times also has the advantage of putting celebration in check in the interest of a large majority of your contemporaries who are not partakers of today’s good times.
As in good times, so also in bad times which represent another passing transitory phase and no matter how unpleasant or inconvenient, the awareness that such failure is not likely to replicate itself the next day should assist you in preparing for what is certain and to be a different and better tomorrow. And no matter how really bad a bad time is in your own estimation, there are bound to be some few others at that point in time who are experiencing even worse times.
An unnecessary display of sadness and recriminations therefore indicate a lack of consideration for these other less-endowed. This does not mean that you must not objectively review the causes of and antecedents to bad times in order to strengthen your preparation for the next day.
In the same way, a careful calculation of the efforts and preceding events leading to sudden celebration should be a good resource that you can call to enable you transmit such formulae to your friends and younger relations. For although, you may not need the formulae that led to your success this moment in the same way in future, those coming behind you will certainly benefit from such communication since nothing stops such successes being replicated in other people in similar circumstances.
Responsibilities of young people to their parents
Your first step to understanding what your responsibilities to your parents should be is a review in your mind of what your parents responsibilities to you have been up till now.
Just think for a moment of the day you were born and your mother’s life and death agonies and the home coming, and the growing up and schooling and so on and so forth. Your first responsibility therefore rests on the recall of the pains your parents took to bring you this far and a feeling of gratitude thereafter.
This deep-seated feeling of gratitude you must ensure does not leave you for as long as your parents are alive. For even if such feeling does not result in any further action on your part, no curse can affect you. For a thankful soul, is its own preserver. But of course, you must follow-up the feeling of gratitude with some definite action, particularly now that you are a master of your own time and resources.
Let us contemplate material resources for a moment, consisting as they are, such things as houses, private vehicles, furniture, clothing and those things that money can buy, it is not likely that either of your parents will ask you to spend your money in acquiring any of these for them, but do not be too sure, for the very thought, of your making a contribution, however little, towards the acquisition of the any of these material comfort for your parents, will not go unappreciated.
‘‘Living on Your Own.’’
For a growing young man, it is important that you must have ideas about where you want to live and how you want to live. And the initiative for providing answers to these belong to you. Particularly so, since your Polytechnic education has provided you with a ready-made skill to make a living, it is important that you determine that making a living on any resource at all involves shelter and food.
You cannot afford to let the initiative to provide these pass from your hands so early in life. I therefore advise you to thank your parents for the initial provisions made for you but go out and seek a comfortable shelter either on your own or in conjunction with your friends as long as it is a place of your choice.
You will feel more mature and bigger in the estimation of your friends and certainly more responsible in the esteem of your parents. There is nothing that I would appreciate more than visiting you in your new apartment be it a one-room apartment or a whole house or flat as long as you can afford it from your resources. You know of course assistance can be forthcoming. But there is a difference between an assistance requested by you and thereafter freely given and a mode of life thrust on you in the form of an assistance.
‘‘Sex and Sexual Relations’’
Ideally,, there ought to be a purpose to every sexual act-and the most purposely one is one that leads to reproduction. But it is not always convenient for everybody. Happily, there are all manner of devices –natural and manufactured available to couples who wish to have sexual relations without reproduction.
Personally, I do not recommend total abstinence or else would not be writing to you on this subject.
In my experience, a complete wash-up in the bathroom has done wonders-which is why you must not be violent lest your woman feels too beaten down to get up and wash up.
I would personally recommend that your experience of this most refreshing relationship is most often with your fiancée or your wife. Since such experiencing grows and ebbs over a period-your wife and you will be able to look back at some truly exhilarating relationship as your experience ebbs.
If you can, I would advise you scorn the so-called short-time affairs that leave both you and your co-habitors breathless and strangers. There is so much giving involved in the sexual process that should lead to a more-abiding relationship.
A completely-fulfilled sexual act should leave you and your woman mentally and physically refreshed-but you do not process into it at the slightest provocation because its nobility depreciates.
There is a mystery to human sexuality, a self-regulatory open and close system which baffles even the most knowledgeable. When you reach such dead-ends, such bewildering impasse, do not hesitate to talk about it to me.
Even in sex, there is nothing new under the sun.’’
On Initiating your own Family
Because your wife must live with you for the rest of your life, she must be a person you feel good living with; and I have no amount at all to any amount of rehearsals you design in order to prove this point. What is the use getting married to a woman whom you sleep with one night and hate the sight of her the next morning?
Now, do not get me wrong. I do not advise that you go about sleeping with every woman you come across to prove you will like her the morning after.
Marriage is a life-time business and is well begun right. At first, she is an acquaintance-either a friend’s friend, or a colleague at work or even a school mate you once ignored. Thereafter she becomes a friend, learning to know you and reading your habits and meeting your girl-friends. Then, you start consulting each other and warming up to each other. If at this stage, provided she is clean mentally and physically, you exchange your desire for each other’s relationship-you may in fact spend an evening or night together.
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