Sometimes I feel out of space and shape, like an old soul in a young body. I dream of the Rhumba society when our roots mattered to us. Our communities have changed radically and drastically, so have we. In the Rhumba society, old people mattered, but the old is so hard to find these days. By old I mean the elders who could sit you down and talk to you about life issues like sex. It’s the era of the young, the Touch Screen society. In this era, I only got to read about sex during my history class in high school. I am now in campus and scared to talk about sex.
In our Touch Screen society, we lament a lot about the consequences of our sexual behaviors: teenage pregnancy, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infection (STIs) such as HIV. But the bitter truth is that we are responsible for the impact of our sexual behaviors. We include us, our families, close allies and groups. Ignoring the problem only makes it worse.
As a Touch Screener, when did you last talk to your family about your feelings toward the opposite sex? How did that conversation go? When did your parents last invite you to such a conversation? Did you listen or did you ignore the Rhumbarians? Because of silence in the family, young people talk about sex with their peers, who for not knowing better, encourage them to ignore parents and do as their heart pleases. Although sex and its consequences will not please the heart, the pressure within to be like peers and the external pressure of the media and culture to be sexually active is extreme. Parents are busy providing for their children’s stomach, forgetting about the needs of the heart. From work parents are tired, and over the weekend they need time alone.
Without guidance from home, the university freedom opens a black box. This is where some freshers are introduced into alcohol and later lured into sex. When pregnancy follows, families are unable to face it, silence continues, and scared of the Rhumba wrath, young girls run into illegal abortions that threaten their life and their fertility, all in the name “I didn’t know it could turn out this way.”
As Touch Screeners, let us learn to manage the beauty our freedom with self-control. Information is only power when used correctly and wisely. We all still need guidance on sexual matters, guidance that might not come from our peers, especially if they are just as blind as us to the long term consequences of our sexual behaviors. Focus your time and energy on what you need from a University experience, and use the remaining energy and time to serve others. Sex is not a taboo but communicate about your pressures in advance, when you see them coming, to secure your emotional and physical safety. Every choice has positive and negative consequences in the long and short term. Think about the impact of yours on you, your family and others.
Rhumba folks, talk to your children about sex matters. If we want to curb incidents like: murder because of a relationship, suicide because of break ups, we need to start talking freely. Give your children the facts and information needed, don’t make decisions for them. Let your children use the information to craft their paths by making wise choices. Allow your children to experience the joy of family support as they lead the way. Talk about the differences between the Rhumba era and the Touch Screen era, emphasizing values that will protect our future.