Monday, May 5, 2008

“If you go to Rome, do as the Romans do”: How to Perfect our Nomadic Way of Life

Do you pick your nose in places frequented by the public? Do you floss your teeth with toothpick in public and then spit in piecemeal? Do you place the same toothpick closer to your nose in order to assess the devastation of the smell from tartar known to attract hungry house flies in waiting? Do you brush your teeth with ‘Cadey’ (Salvadora persica), in public places thinking that it is a hygienic practice that is okay anywhere and everywhere with everyone? Do you cough up phlegm in full view of a foreign person? Do you munch ‘Miraa’, ‘Nakhwa’ ‘Qaad’ or ‘jaad’ like the only cow you owned in your homeland-the only ‘xil iyo xoolo’ you owned in your lifetime and are your rotten teeth and greenish ‘daaqsin’ visible to eyewitnesses? When eating food, have you noticed how ‘suugada’ decorates your lips? Do you disgorge ‘dhuusada’ in public and in private transportation believing ‘waa iska caadi no’ such that passengers look at you with curious eyes and feel like getting you by the throat? Do you swear day and night thinking that it is ethical and part of human way of life? After eating with your hands, do you massage your palms, arms, and face with the sticky traces of ‘dufan’? Do you say ‘uf’ to others because you feel they emit bad smell?

Also, in the process of chewing ‘Qaad’ and after depression (also known as ‘qaadiro stage’), do the sheer looks of your eyeballs threaten young kids because of your menacing characteristics? Do you eat food with your mouth wide open exposing all the cavities housed therein? In the process of chewing ‘Qaad’, after your semen transform in to ‘caano barax ah’, do you grasp your genitals at the sight of a female assuming that you are signaling desirability? Do you use your clothes to wipe off mucus and sputum instead of handkerchiefs or napkins? Are you sensitive and hypervigilant? Do you urinate in public assuming you are safe from the eyes of onlookers? Do you chatter like apes and conduct business in the ‘monkey business’ styles? Do you sit comfortably in public transportations while the feeble and elderly hold on to the guardrails in standing positions? Do you avoid sitting on toilets for fear water may splash on to your buttocks and do you prefer the ‘kadaloobsi’ technique until you break the toilet to pieces? Do you beat wives and children senselessly in the course of ‘Qaadiro stage’ thinking that you are disciplining them?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, then you better watch your polluted and repulsive behaviors because you are psychologically a sick person belonging to the Sanitarium. The old wise saying, ‘if you go to Rome, do as the Romans do’ is pretty much the same as our own Somali proverb that says ‘haddaad tagto meel il laga la’yahay, il baa laystiraa’. What I have posed above are crises that need crisis intervention.

“Often, people in crisis are in a state of acute turmoil and feel overwhelmed and incapable of dealing with the stress by themselves. They do not have time to wait for the customary initial therapy appointment, nor are they usually in a position to continue therapy over a sustained period of time. They need immediate assistance. Crisis intervention has emerged in response to a widespread need for immediate help for individuals and families confronted with especially stressful situations-be they disasters or family situations that have become intolerable (Butcher and Dunn, 1989; Everly, 1995; Greenfield, Hetchman, and Temblay, 1995; Morgan, 1995)”.
A crisis may include a traumatic divorce, an injury or disease, and a natural hazard such as a deluge that make social readjustments almost impossible. Lack of minor resources and social prop up fade a person’s ability to survive a crisis. Responsible nations put much interest in how their citizens behave. That is why we have a line-up of sciences dealing with human behaviors and treatment.

Unfortunately, in governments run by dictators, there is absolutely no remedy and that dependable child rearing is almost ambiguous as there are no institutions to educate the mass on how best to live and interact with others. Educating children in early stages, showing them what is good and bad helps polish their transition to adult life. If our leaders are busy bickering in ‘fadhi-kudirir’ and are unable to get to the bottom of the long-running civil disorder that is running to almost two decades, who do you think will come to our rescue? The genesis of such negative behaviors developed from the many years of neglect by heads of households causing long-standing biological consequences of distress and irregular physiological changes in our family members.

Without the great efforts of past successive Persian Empires recorded in history books, the fields of human sciences from Greek civilizations and from other ancient powers that we so much cherish in the world today would never have been possible. The Persians observed, memorized, and translated whatever transpired in Ancient Greece in to their mother tongues and preserved tons of knowledge that would otherwise have been lost had they been left to others. Even in the most overwhelming wars, the Persians prudently hid their manuscripts from all sorts of damage.
Let’s borrow a leaf from one of Plato’s analogies and see where our leaders belong.
“Imagine, then, that something like the following happens on a ship or on many ships. The shipowner is bigger and stronger than everyone else on board, but he’s hard of hearing, a bit short-sighted, and his knowledge of seafaring is equally deficient. The sailors are quarreling with one another about steering the ship, each of them thinking that he should be the captain, even though he’s never learned the art of navigation, cannot point to anyone who taught it to him, or to a time when he learned it. Indeed, they claim that it isn’t teachable and are ready to cut to pieces anyone who says that it is. They’re always crowding around the ship-owner, begging him and doing everything possible to get him to turn the rudder over to them. And sometimes, if they don’t succeed in persuading him, they execute the ones who do succeed or throw them overboard, and then, having stupefied their noble shipowner with drugs, wine, or in some other way, they rule the ship, using up what’s in it and sailing in the way that people like that are prone to do. Moreover, they call the person who is clever at persuading or forcing the shipowner to let them rule a “navigator”, a “captain”, and “one who knows ships,” and dismiss anyone else as useless. They don’t understand that a true captain must pay attention to the seasons of the year, the sky, the stars, the winds, and all that pertains to his craft, if he’s really to be a ruler of a ship. And they don’t understand there is any craft that would enable him to determine where he should steer the ship to, independently of whether the others want to go there or not, or any possibility of mastering this alleged craft or of practicing it at the same time as the craft of navigation. Don’t you think that the true captain will be called a real stargazer, a babbler, and a good-for-nothing by those who sail in ships governed in that way, in which such things happen? I certainly do. I don’t think that you need to study the simile in detail to see that the ships resemble cities and their attitude towards the philosophers, but you already understand what I mean” (R 488a-489a).

Decades of misrule and power wrangling has left us in the lurch such that we have become a laughing stork in the eyes of the world. Some writers have called for Somalia to be placed under a United Nations Trusteeship because of the incompetence of her leadership. The analogy above presupposes that there is a body of understanding on hand to the statesman parallel to that applied by the navigator. We lack leaders with strong political power, tough philosophical foundations, and sound educational arrangements-leaders, who, regardless of censorship, propaganda, and indoctrination, will uphold the banner of persuasion, moderation, and rational willpower and discard irrational ideologies from internal and external meddlers.
If most fathers remain a nuisance, then, what do you expect from a presumably steatopygous, overweight, or embellished and desolate Mama who has been a victim of deliberate wife beatings for many years? Obviously, such negative results and overwhelmingly unmanageable stress add up to the predicament of a mother already under pressure leaving her irritated and dejected in the initial end. It takes a sober mind to raise healthy and disciplined children. Recurrent or concurrent wars, famine, social turmoil, and floods have been found to cause human behavioral changes exacerbating long-drawn-out and complicated conditions beyond parental control and expectations.

The tone of aggression and hatred from pathological responses to death increase instantaneously triggering impasses in children as well as in adults regardless of gender. Scars from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) intentionally inflicted in childhood leave behind trails of persistent indicators like exaggerated startle response, brief psychotic mayhem, periodic illustrations, flashback experiences, and false impressions. Senseless beating of children exhibits a gloomy future with unstable adjustments that time and again exude flashbacks and future contemplation of vengeance in their path to adulthood.

Lack of age-group persuasion that would instill confidence, mass media and molding plans that would deglamorize negative aspects of alcohol and drug use, and programs to raise self admiration, seem to be missing in war-torn nations of the world.
Tragically, it has come to the attention of many Somalis in the Diaspora that raising children in a foreign country is not the right thing to do. The agony is that, these children are unable to kill two birds with one stone: their desire to stick to the cultural values of their parents and their want to assimilate in to a new environment has caused cultural variations. “An object of striking appearance catches one’s attention” (anonymous). If you were to observe heavy traffic on a highway, obviously, your attention would be focused on to one vehicle or to someone of the opposite sex because of color, model, or shape acceptable to what your inner soul covets regardless of the condition of the car or the shape of your preferred partner. Children learn from adults and often practice meticulously what they see. A good child is the one who had a good upbringing with solid foundation in his or her early stages in life either raised by an affectionate biological or caring surrogate parent whose desired goal entails ensuring the child becomes accountable, subservient, inspiring, and tranquil. An adult who picks nose in public, defecates in abandoned structures, has no shame in whatever negative act he/she does must have had a poor rearing.

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