By Fatihu Ibrahim
Going through my newsfeed, I came across a letter dated the 7th of May 2021. Onukwubiri Ifeanyi Kingsley allegedly renounced his position as the first son in the family, because (as he said in the letter) the position increased his problems, increased his liability, and was a thorn in his flesh.
I wonder if he graciously relinquishes his position out of fear of responsibilities. If this is the case, he is wrong to flee from his duties. This life is nothing but a set of examinations, tribulations and challenges, running from the one you may likely encounter superior challenges along your way. So the best solution is to face your challenges and try your best to conquer them.
Historically, in a patriarchal society like ours, the firstborn child’s role has been socially significant, particularly for a firstborn son. As a result, there are sets of expected do’s and don’ts in the lives of firstborns.
As the firstborns, our parents expect us to be 101% good. We have to set the example for other siblings; we have to be brilliant, extra careful, perfect, intelligent, great administrators, toppers in any exam, good athletes and the list goes on. The level of expectation on us is very high, and the burden on our shoulders is quite heavy.
Being the eldest son was never our choice nor our intention, but nature has its way of imposing things on us, and here we are as the firstborns, a position we will hold for our entire life.
Moreover, our darling parents never see us the same as our fellow siblings but rather as alpha children moulded into hardworking gentlemen responsible for steering various homes’ wheels. This blend of expectation and motives sometimes stressed us, resulting in anxiety, which overclouded our verdicts. We fall prey to superfluous fear of the future, which affects our existence, dwindling our efforts in conquering dilemmas.
My advice to all the firstborns is never to see this position as a burden but rather as a blessing. Do your very best in all facets of life, and always look to the Mighty Lord for guidance. If by any chance you feel like losing hope, remember the Quran 26:62 “إنَّ مَعِیَ رَبِّی سَیَھدِ ینِ” “Indeed my Lord is with me, and He is going to guide me”. So when the lord is in control, we have to trust Him and play our part by doing our very best.
To all the firstborns, hold your head high up. You have been endowed with qualities such as strength, struggle and some considered leadership characteristics.
May God bless our hustle, amin. God bless Nigeria, amin.
Fatihu Ibrahim sent this article via firstname.lastname@example.org.