The world will be a better place if we all become liberal. Being liberal is the willingness to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from your own; being open to new ideas. Simply put – “Live and let live”. I like to think that I am liberal. You probably think same of yourself too. We let people live their lives as it pleases them as long as it doesn’t affect others negatively or cause harm to people in our immediate environment. We encourage and are encouraged to respect people’s choices and opinion even when we don’t fully understand it.
However, we now live in a world where the advantage of technology and the internet helps us connect with each other in ways that were unimaginable some 15years ago. You can now connect with people from different tribes, not just in your country of residence or birth but beyond and at large without having to travel. You can learn anything you want to, by the click of a button. So here are my questions;
- How liberal are you in your relationships?
- Do you embrace diversity?
- Are you open to people not from your tribe, region, country or race?
If I decide to focus on the divide emanating from our diversity just in Nigeria, we’d realise that we have so much to talk about, work on, learn and unlearn. Talk more of when we decide to go inter-country or interracial. Sometimes we decide to stay away from our neighbors or a particular neighbor because of nothing other than the tribe they come from. We have an already decided preconception of what they are, what they like, the difference, thereby forming an orientation which stops us from actively being as friendly as should.
We also bring this mindset to our relationship decisions. I’m also very guilty of this. Being a Nigerian citizen from the eastern part, I used to pride myself as a person who wouldn’t mind being in a serious relationship with anyone from any part of the country as long as I can get myself to understand their way of life and most importantly, my partner and his immediate family understands my own way of life and personality, tolerate and embrace me as much as I would do them, rather than forcing their way of life on me. But after series of not so pleasant experience in dealing with people from one of our major tribes in Nigeria, I unbelievably hear myself saying, “I cannot be in a serious relationship with men from the said tribe”. When I make this statement, a good part of me knows that I’m being myopic by judging a whole tribe with my encounter with a handful of them, but I seem to have allowed it sink that I don’t care that I am being myopic.
This right here is the typical us. We want to be liberal but there are boundaries especially in our relationship. We are not ready to diversify and see love from other tribe but for the fear of regret.