The Rwandan culture of silence when offended only worsens the situation

By: Arnold Agaba

A human being is fundamentally born free and is endowed by his maker with certain rights and freedoms like the right to life, the freedom of expression and worship but everywhere he is enthralled by power hungry control freaks who think that it is their duty to intimidate, bully and harass the common people.

Equally disturbing are the perceptions and prejudices of the society to certain aspects of behaviour in individuals for example in Rwanda it is generally expected that people will say ‘good’ when they mean ‘bad’ and they will call you ‘friend’ when they actually mean ‘foe’.

 This kind of behaviour is hypocritical, personally I think that honesty is a virtue that we need to adopt and it is through talking about our grievances and complaints that we can solve the problems that we face daily in this our lives.

I really like it when someone tells me exactly what they feel about me, that shows that they are interested for my welfare however when telling a person something that could hurt it is necessary to use tact.  It means that while using freedom of expression, one should take into account its limitations. In fact using freedom of expression does not mean that the rights of others should be abused.

In most cultures of the world there are certain expectations of the societies on the conduct of teenagers, young adults and adult. Here in Rwanda teenagers are expected to attend school and sometimes help with chores at home.

 When the teens grow into young adults and they complete University or college education they are expected to start working and form a steady relationship with a member of the opposite sex, Adults are generally expected to have families and live a decent life style that is exemplary to the young generation.

When an individual fulfils his duties and responsibilities to himself, his family and the society, he is respected and reaps the benefits attached to having a good reputation for example he or she may be elected to administrative positions like the portfolio of mayor of Kigali district.

In my humble point of view individuals also have the responsibilities of speaking out on the ills of the society and giving advice on how these anomalies can be remedied.  It is wrong for citizens to pretend that everything is okay when it is not as this only exacerbates the situation.

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