Some years ago at the airport, my Dad met an old time brother in Christ of his. With excitement he called out to him ‘bro ….. good afternoon, it’s been a while.’ Still in that mood, this brother in Christ rebuked my Dad immediately by telling him ‘don’t address me as bro, I am now a Pastor. ‘My Dad immediately apologized for that.
I laugh so hard whenever I remember that incident, but overtime I have learnt so much from my Dad’s experience.
In some African and Asian cultures, you don’t address someone who is elder to you by their name. Irrespective of whether you are related by blood or not. While in some western cultures, you are addressed by your name irrespective of your age.
I pray against pride from time to time and I always try to live in that consciousness of it. Little did I know it was living as a landlord in me.
I received a culture shock when I travelled for a program in one of the western countries. I was 28 years old when a 12 years old addressed me by my name. I thought it was a mistake until I met a 10, 9 and then 5 years old, always addressing me by my name without a title.
I thought I had seen it all until I heard a 5 years old child call someone of 45 years by her name. I noticed that the children and youths addressed their elders, including the Pastor of the church (who is already a grandfather) by their name. At this point I gave up.
An engineer, doctor, web developer no matter one’s profession are being addressed by their names.
To be honest I always felt insulted by these children. Most times I frown whenever I go to church or they come around.
But something happened one day, while I sat in the house. As I thought aloud, I concluded that this is pride and that
I hadn’t yet crucified this aspect of my life.
Many people want you to address them with respect but none addresses the Creator of the Universe with respect.
We shout His name when we pray or sing without adding Daddy God, President God, Master Jesus, Professor Jesus, Doctor Jesus, Engineer Jesus, Darling Holy Spirit, Sweet Holy Spirit and He still answers us lovingly without chiding.
I immediately began to ask for mercy. As I did that, my countenance changed and throughout my stay, I enjoyed every moment with them and learnt alot. On my birthday, one of the little children who I even felt was worse than his peers, gave me his savings as a birthday gift.
If you still place so much importance on your age, status, qualifications, race, background then, know that you are harboring pride in your heart.
If you still feel insulted or pained when addressed by your name, think of how you constantly insult God by addressing these Three Persons in One by His name.
Pride deprives you of enjoying the kind of life and lessons you should have.
NB: This article is not inspired to play-down on any culture but to eradicate pride where necessary. Please still respect and appreciate anyone older to you and love your culture as an African or Asian.