It took me about 16 hours to get through Omilola Oshikoya’s The Richer Woman because it was quite a compelling read. Huge thanks to Tee for being generous enough to lend me her copy [Read her review of the book here]. Amongst many insights from the book, one in particular stood out to me. The topic of this essay might give you a clue as to where I am going with this.
Omilola mentioned amidst her many pointers to living a richer life that one needs a dream team. See below.
This got me thinking. One of the reasons I can say that my life is rich and fulfilling as is now is that I did not have to look too far to find this dream team. In fact it is almost as though this dream team found me. I’m talking about my immediate nuclear family.
Let’s take a close look at this by examining each person in Omilola’s model of the dream team and putting it against my own family and how I’ve found them to fit into these roles effortlessly.
Mentor; someone who has walked the walk and you can look up to.
Both my parents fall into this category because I consider them both quite successful and noble. Not that they are perfect, but they are a standard I can aspire to because I have seen them at their most celebrated and most vulnerable and their character stays reputable.
I know that the role of mentor usually is referred to somebody in a specific line of work or career or even aspect of life. That is also needed and perhaps should be sought outside of one’s immediate family. But at the most basic level we need mentors at life and living, mentors that will teach us values that transcend careers and various facets of life, such that wherever you find yourself you can still stand tall because you have a strong sense of identity and formidable character. For me, I’ve found that in my parents.
Coach; someone who encourages you.
Also my parents, for reasons as stated above. Most especially my mom, because she is a woman as I am and so she can empathize with me and even teach me certain things in ways my father is simply not equipped too. Although, there are also things that my father exposes me to and teaches me that my mother is not equipped to… simply because she is a woman. This shows that both sexes are needed for a balanced and healthy worldview.
Confidant; someone you can share deep concerns and thoughts with.
I would say also that my parents fit here but not as much as my brother does. My brother is the more approachable, easily accessible confidant. Because we think alike, have same value system and are also around the same age group, it’s easy to talk. So yes, my brother is my go-to guy for secrets and whatnot.
Buddy; someone you have fun with or have a laugh with.
Both my siblings fall here. We have the silliest moments together and lots and lots of fun. Inside jokes and all. My siblings are really my friends and we bond over all sorts of things, even though our personalities are very different. Either way they are my guys.
Sponsor; someone who believes in you, who will sponsor you or find funds to support you.
My parents, hands down, are the biggest supporters of my dreams in every way. Yes, they are my sponsors. Lol. I can’t say more than that.
A prayer partner; someone to pray with you.
Mentee; people you can teach.
Judas; someone to keep you accountable and remind you that you can’t share you dreams with the world aka naysayers aka doubters aka haters.
I left this for last because this is the only part of the dream team that can’t be found in my family and that’s just fine because the world will provide more than enough of those.
Not to say that I don’t have amazing friends/people that also fill these roles in my life. I do. I have many good ones at that. I am only highlighting my family members in these positions to make my point lucid.
My argument is that the nuclear family is more important than we assume it to be and because each person is fundamentally a product of their upbringing, if we had better people we would have a better planet. I understand that there’s a tendency for oversimplification in thinking this way because people are complex beings and sometimes it’s not always as clear cut but for the most part, the chances are, if a person is raised in a loving supportive home they will be good human beings who will in turn raise good children of their own. It’s a generational pattern. It’s also vital to note that the opposite is also true. If a person is not raise in a good home, then chance are, that person will repeat the same errors in raise their own children and so it becomes a generational dilemma. Of course, change is possible but change like this requires great effort of which most people would rather avoid and I suppose that’s one of the reasons for some of the global declines that we face as a race today.
My aim in doing this is not to brag about how wonderful my family is. No, not at all. I only want to inspire you and open your eyes to the importance of building a strong family unit. If you’ve never thought about your home and how you want to raise your kids, you should probably start giving it a thought now. It will not only be a source of joy and peace to you but it would also be a huge blessing to the world at large. You’d be, big-picture-wise, building global problem solvers.
What do you think?