"Ọmọ tó bá mọwọ́ wẹ̀ yóò bà'gbà jẹun " A child who knows how to wash his hands will eat with the elders. It means good manners will earn you privilege and opportunity. Americans are allergic to good manners. We tend to think that they are either empty formalities or an encroachment upon our ever-so-important "rights". In order to appreciate the importance of manners and decorum in Yoruba culture, however, just consider the greetings system. People greet one another extensively and tailor the greetings to fit every situation. There are greetings for awakening, greetings for working, greetings for eating, greetings for sitting and so on. Then there are greetings for the time of day, greetings for emotional condition and time of year. Every òrìsà priest has his own greeting, like Aboru aboye, which is reserved for the Babalawo. Failure to greet someone properly is a show of disrespect and raises considerable suspicion. When you consider the fact the impact of first impressions, you can appreciate how vital greetings are to building rapport with respected elders. And so, manners can be the deciding factor in measuring your ability to learn from the elders. Live the medicine.
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.