Evil Bird

My grandma would tell us that they were evil birds sent to attack us, especially my mother and we would increase the intensity of our prayers screaming and trying to bring down the whole neighborhood, neither of us wanted our beloved mother to die.
If ever a bird flew in our direction, this went further to solidify her statement in our hearts and I grew up with this idea up until I entered college. Unknown to us, they were nocturnal birds.

In Retrospect, I laugh at us and our vigils, she still believes birds that cry( or whatever noise they make) at night are evil and I don’t try to correct her, her reaction makes me laugh. I just enjoy seeing the confusion in her eyes which is immediately followed by a power-packed prayer session.
I also remember going back to school after every holiday with stories about our vigils for my classmates who were always eager to listen to me, we would gather in small circles and I must admit, I enjoyed the attention. So here I was, giving out fake information packed in juicy stories that were sometimes made up. I was a very good storyteller, the dramatics and everything made the stories more believable.

How many ideas, beliefs, and information passed down to us by our parents and grandparents are false? And the fascinating thing about it is, that we only get to find out these beliefs are false on our own, unless we inquire about their validity and factuality we keep wallowing in ignorance. An idea that worked for your parents doesn’t guarantee it will work for you.
This brings me to the idea of learning, unlearning, and relearning. If we can question everything we come across, and find out if the information gotten works for us and is the truth, we will be in a much better place.

I live in a community where most people believe that giving birth to 5+ children is something to be proud of irrespective of their poor economic status, this ideology has been passed down to them by their ancestors.
In the olden days, men are seen as wealthy based on how many wives they married and how many children their wives were able to give them especially male children, the greater the number of children they had, the greater the number of hands to work on their farmlands which made them acquire more farmlands.

With the advent of Christianity and the one man=one wife doctrine, polygamy has reduced but the need to have many children is still inherent in them, few people have any knowledge about family planning and only a small fraction of these few actively practice it.
When you advise indigenes of my community to take a break as regards bearing children they give you this generic reply in Igbo that translates to “It is God that trains children” at the end of the day you see them ship off their children to distant relatives to help raise their children.
These distant relatives use these kids however they like, only a few are lucky to have relatives that treat them with love and kindness.
I can’t begin to list out the downside to having children you are unable to cater to, that may be a topic for another day.

So, what’s an “evil bird” you were taught whilst growing up? Is it a fact? Is it the truth? If not, what are you doing to change it?
As always, there are no fixed rules, take what works for you and leave the rest. Until you hear from me again, keep staying safe.



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