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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shuffer and Shmile

So I haven’t written anything in ages because I am swamped! College stress! A-Level wahala! Those two things are enough to keep a lesser person completely under the radar but not this girl. It can only dim my light but not put it out completely but it’s definitely trying. A lot of things have been rolling around in my very over-crowded brain but the one I want to talk about was first brought to my attention by my friend Dayo Igun. So life has many categories for many people but one that no one has really looked at is the category that splits people into either the younger sibling/friend that has to live under the shadow of their older sibling/friend’s shadow and the older sibling/friend that has a younger sibling/friend caught under their amazingly large shadow. I say my friend Dayo Igun brought this ‘situation’ to my attention but he did this quite unknowingly. You see Dayo is younger than I am by a big enough age difference (I used to take care of him when he was little lol. Not to embarrass him or anything) and I was always a good student in school. I left my old school just as he got in and you know what? He has had to live under my shadow! By this time a lot of people should know what I mean. The constant comparison. The never living up to the standards of this ‘golden’ student. The constant frustration. It could almost make you hate the person you are constantly being compared to. Dayo is equal to the challenge though because he is a pretty good student. Now to throw in a little twist, Dayo has a younger brother who will meet Dayo in school and one can only imagine the kind of comparison and younger sibling trauma this boy will have to go through. Our natural inclination is to feel bad for Dayo’s younger brother but have we ever thought of what being the older sibling does to Dayo? He might not know it now but I know the consequences because I have been in his situation before although I’m the last born of my family. It means that one has to suffer in silence academic pressures. Before an exam people expect you to get an A and any other result is completely unacceptable. You also suffer behavioural pressures. Your younger sibling is allowed to run wild but if you so much as step one toe out of line, every teacher on planet earth will descend on you like the Armageddon. You are not allowed to complain about anything being difficult, especially not to your classmates or worse! your younger sibling. Who bears the burden of your sibling’s indiscretions? You of course! Very few people truly understand what it is like to be the older, supposedly wiser one. It is very difficult. Trust me. Probably harder than being the younger one because in Fela’s words you have to shuffer and shmile.

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