Perspective! A very interesting word.
“Men make more sacrifices in marriage than women” Nite said, without fear of contradiction. Oyok was very quick to respond to that – “You can’t be serious, you must be joking – your mother is upstairs maybe we should ask her – how can you even say that?”
Every time I think about Nite’s argument with Oyok, 2 things come to mind:
The First thing is the danger of making categorical statements, especially when they are not backed by data or statistics. Very easily the statement can be rendered untrue, just by discovering one situation that is different from the assertion. I think in law, this is referred to as Hasty Generalisation. Statements like, all men are Liars; all women love shopping; employers are slave drivers; Fat people are dirty… the list is endless. Many times we fall into the trap of making these assertions, that more often limit us, expose our lack of exposure (no pun intended) or hurt people around us…hmmm.
The second is the fallacy referred to in law as Biased Statistics. This is when the results of an experiment are skewed in a particular direction, because of the predisposition of the persons whose opinions are being sampled. This is particularly dangerous because, people are generally a product of their environment and their experiences. Nite’s statement clearly is either from his personal experience, or his understanding of the concept of sacrifice. Oyok on the other hand, a vibrant, African, independent woman cannot even begin to relate to Nite’s statement as it is extremely different from her experience or orientation.
Every time, I think about the argument that night – trust me, quite an argument it was, lasting late into the night; I remember saying…”what if you’re both right? What if the issue is not the sacrifice made, but what sacrifice means to different people?” – Perspective! To the mother that has to give up her career to be a stay-at-home mum – Staying at home, giving up that career is the ultimate sacrifice. To the father who has to go to work and spend the more productive part of his day in an office, instead of bonding with his child, his family – going to work, time away from his family, is a huge sacrifice.
I think we are called to make different sacrifices, just by virtue of who we are. The key to living peaceably with oneself and with all men, I think, would be, not to esteem one sacrifice higher than the other, simply because, we are unable to adequately measure the cost to that person. I think for example, that a man can almost never begin to appreciate the sacrifice a woman is called to make and vice versa.
What I find most interesting though, is how different our roles as people are and the fact that, father, mother, husband, wife, employer, employee, business person – who/whatever we are, there is grace available to make the sacrifice that our role demands of us. I would suggest that we draw on that grace and focus on playing our role effectively without despising the role/sacrifice of another – what do you think?