Life Lessons from Roald Dahl
Teaching young people about life skills is a staple intervention when working with young people in the context of sexual and reproductive health. It posits that if a young person’s life skills is developed, s/ he can make informed decisions regarding various aspects or milestones of her/ his life such as coming to terms with their sexual identity, getting into a relationship, and initiating sexual activity, among others. All of which have long-term effect and impact on their lives.
Life skills is nothing new. However, not many young people are able to examine and improve their life skills because there is a prevalent misconception that this type of knowledge is dangerous to young people. Those of my generation know this too well.
However, I managed to get past that. My savior? Reading.
When I was young, I didn’t have a lot of books because they were fairly expensive for my family even back then. But in my maternal grandmother’s house there were a lot of books. They were old because my aunts and uncles have gone through them when they were also kids. I read those storybooks greedily and enjoyed being entertained. In high school I learned to navigate our school library with relative ease. It would take years before those books’ other effects would manifest. Somehow, having read those books helped me cope with difficult situations and mitigated their harmful consequences.
I believe that these ideas in my head, like respecting other people’s differences, accepting my own limitations, and knowing that appearances can be deceiving came from the things I read as a child as much as they were taught to me verbally by my elders.
Deep inside, this drives my desire to write fiction for children. Because I feel that I have something valuable to impart. And I believe I can impart these while entertaining them as well.
Roald Dahl, who wrote great stories for children, would’ve been 97 years old yesterday. His stories are filled with great stuff and life lessons, articulated HERE.