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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cheating in marriage

Cheating in marriage nowadays has become common between couples in almost every culture, religion and race. Cheating in marriage can be precisely defined as having sex outside of the marriage. There are very many reasons why cheating take place between married couples and it is often believed that it is a signal for change. But, the obvious effects of cheating in marriage are mostly negative and individuals who indulge in such activities do not think about these adverse effects prior to cheating or when they are cheating their partners.

The first and foremost cause of cheating in marriage is when there is no love in the marriage. This can occur in arranged marriages where the couples do not love each other. Similarly it could take place when the couples marry each other for other reasons like financial status instead of love. Extra burden to the family is one of the many effects of cheating in marriages. If the husband cheats on his wife an illegitimate child could be a result of the cheating thus he will have to pay for social welfare adding more burdens for him and his family. Similarly if the wife has an affair with another man and eventually has a child, the child will not be very welcomed in the home, especially by the husband. There will only be more conflicts and extra burden for the family. This is not very healthy in a family life and it could have been prevented if there was no cheating in the first place.

Secondly, cheating in a marriage occurs when fights are inevitable between the marriage couple. Disagreements and differences off course cannot be avoided between the marriage couple but to make it a habit of the marriage would be a cause for cheating between the partners particularly when there is hardly any attempt to resolve these problems. This in turn could result in either or both of the partners experiencing social problems such alcoholism and drug addict. An example of this could be a troubled husband who always fights with his wife and turn to alcohol as a means to forget or get over his problems. This does not solve the fights but may lead to more fights and continue to deteriorate the marriage relationship. It would worsen the situation and the other partner most times will never trust his or her partner again. It can be stressed therefore that, marriage problems was and never will be solved by cheating or drinking.

Money is also one common factor for cheating in marriages. Firstly, if the accessibility of money is easy married individuals think that they can do what ever they want with their money. A typical example in the Solomon Islands is when land owners whom are usually uneducated men get payments or royalties from logging Companies operating in their land; they would spend them all on alcohol and women. They would rent motels and pay women to have sex. This is because they think that they are very rich and that they can do whatever they want to do. On the other hand individuals also cheat their partners if they lack the financial support from their partners. Those involved, generally women, think that they have no other options to get money to support their family so they have to offer sex in exchange for money. Both situations however are nothing but pure cheating on marriage partners. In most cases like this the marriages end up in divorce. To some extent affected partners commit suicide for this. Cheating can be inferred therefore that it is a serious problem and should not be an excuse for poverty or wealth.

Jealousy too is another cause for cheating. Jealousy is a normal thing among couples but in extreme cases it does not assist in the well being of any marriage life. Jealousy can be destructive to the marriage life in two ways. Firstly it comes about when one of the couple is always suspicious of his or her partner having affairs that he or she eventually cheats as well. Such individuals think that it would be fair for him or her to do that. Secondly it can cause cheating when one of the couple is tired of the other partner being jealous of him or her and sooner or later he will indulge in such activities. In doing so the individual involved assume that the other partner would stop bothering her. Yet again neither of these solve the problem it just breaks people’s heart and most of all it affects the children very badly. Children will be ignored in such times. They will not be properly taken care of and disciplined. This could result in their vulnerability to activities like stealing, fighting and lack of morality.
“………Potential long-term effects of parental absence, support, and conflict during childhood are a cause for antisocial tendency among children when they grow up.” (Danica Kalling Knight, D. Dwayne Simpson et al. 1999)
These could have been avoided if the parents had not been preoccupied with jealousy and stop cheating on each other.

The illicit nature of cheating in marriages brings with it an adrenaline rush. Add to that, the excitement of sex with someone new and the romantic trimmings of a fresh relationship always seem irresistible. Topping this excitement with lack of morality, cheating can be done without hesitation. With Lack of morality individuals can be very vulnerable to pressures from their peers. An example could be if a husband who is not serious about his marriage goes out with his friends and sees a beautiful girl he can go out with her when her friends encourage him to do so. The result of this fun and excitement could be unwanted pregnancy. Furthermore the impregnated woman if not married by the individual involved will have to be a single parent most of her life, and even the chances for her to get married is lower compared to when she was single. This is a serious problem, yet could have been prevented if individuals maintain moral values that could avoid cheating to take place in the first place.

Finally, married couples cheat on each other when they are having distant relationship and they are unfaithful to each other. An example could be when one of the married couple goes overseas for a long period of time to either work or study. The chance of each individual cheating on each other is very high. The simple absence of each other’s presence could be a factor for the partners to cheat on each other. There was a case where a married man got a scholarship to study away from his country only to go back and find that his wife gone with another man. His wife’s response when enquired as to why she cheated on him was that he was not there and that she also heard rumours that he was going out with other women in the school he went to. When this happens it is disloyalty to the partner and disgrace to the whole family. Most especially if it is an arranged marriage. The parents of those individuals will be humiliated, and wished that their children had not cheated to bring such shame on them.

The causes for cheating in marriage are bountiful except that they come with more negative effects than positive ones. Cheating in marriage affects the individuals involved and their families, emotionally, socially and psychologically. Hence, individuals should think twice before engaging in such activities. They should wonder if it is really worth it in the end.

Nuclear family

Most families today are gradually changing from extended family to nuclear family. Nuclear family can be seen as a man and a woman, living together with their children, co-operating economically and maintaining a sexual relationship. This essay aims to discuss the disadvantages and advantages of nuclear family.

First of all, the support of other members is always guaranteed in an extended family. The number of members in an extended family always provides an extra lending hand. Thus whenever any family member needs assistance there is always someone to rely on. An instance of this could be in the village where everyone lives together and help each other. That is, if one member of the family needs school fees for his child, there are members in the family who will help out cut copra in order to get him the money needed for the school fees.

Secondly, it could be said that children in an extended family are most times taken of. This is because most extended families consist of three generations: grandparents, parents, and children. This would mean, in theory that four adults instead of two, help raise the children. It would mean more sharing, more communication, and less privacy. During the daytime when parents go out to work, children are always taken care of by grandparents or aunties. This gives a higher chance for children to learn other things apart from those things that are usually taught to them by their parents. And most times the children also stay with their cousin, which gives them a higher possibility to be able to socialize with others when they grow up.

All these are made possible because in an extended family everyone is expected to assist each other, everyone is expected to cooperate as well as share whatever is gathered. An instance would be the sharing of food. Whenever a person goes out fishing or hunting the food taken back home is cooked and shared to everyone. This applies in everything even sharing financial burdens, and they are expected to do so.

The last advantage of an extended family is that there are many exciting activities to indulge in. In the evenings the elders always play cards or tell jokes while the kids have fun playing games or listening to grannies telling custom stories. On weekends and other free days all kids and parents spend time together playing games or even just swimming in the rivers or sea. This creates a strong mutual bond between the family members and this is possible because they live together and had to find a way of living together in a peaceful environment.

However though there may be many advantages in an extended family, the ease of management, availability of privacy and effortlessness of problem solving and decision-making is pre-eminent in a nuclear family. In this century these qualities are what a typical family looks for.

The ease in the management of the family is the foremost advantage of a nuclear family. This can be found in most nuclear families because there are not many members in the family to manage or discipline. It is because of this that children are easily disciplined in a nuclear family. This again is made possible because the children are intended to listen to their parents and it is their duty to respect and obey them. Financially too, parents can easily support their family. If parents get income they would only worry about their children and not have to consider other relatives. Parents can therefore simply make plans on how they should run the family and actually follow what they plan.

Privacy too, which is the most important thing an individual family looks for, is abundant in a nuclear family. This includes quietness and peace in the home thus family members can do what they want and not get disturbed. This helps in the preservation of the family’s values and norms, as family members only practice what they know is right. For instance children may not be exposed to other unwanted cultures that may not be accepted by the parents. And this is most times achievable in a nuclear family.

Furthermore, there is a tendency to have fewer conflicts in a nuclear family. There are only few people and understanding of all is easily achieved. Whenever there is conflict, the tendency to solve them is quite easy. The problems that may occur would be easily solved within the family and does not have to have the intervention of others.

These are all possible because only two people make decisions. The decision making in the family is often made by the farther and mother rather than having to consult other people’s opinions. Thus decisions are quickly made and carried out in no time. For instance, if the father decides that they would buy a new car he would only consult his wife and kids and buys it the next day. He does not have to consult his other relatives. If he does he might get other ideas that may get in the way of his plan. It is said; in order for plans to be carried out successfully there should not be many obstacles. And in a nuclear family decisions are always easily made and plans almost immediately carried out.

It could therefore be concluded that though the advantages of an extended family may consist of the full support from family members, children mostly taken care of, cooperation and the availability of exciting activities for family members, the advantages of the nuclear family which include the ease of family management, privacy, less conflict and effortlessness of decision-making seem to outweigh them. Thus it could be inferred that the nuclear family is the best type of family in this century.

Corporal punishment

Corporal punishment is the deliberate infliction of pain intended as behavioral correction or punishment on children. It is one of the various ways of implementing disciplinary measures in the society particularly in the primary schools in Fiji. Corporal punishment however is a practice that is insensitive to many and there are reasonable concerns about the dangers and abuses of this form of punishment. The accomplishment of such punishment is potentially harmful and could have lasting physical, psychological and social negative effects on primary school children in Fiji.

Corporal punishment, first of all causes nothing else but bodily harm or injury to the children. This is because children attending primary schools are very young and tender. The physical contact like spanking is one of the most common types of punishment children get from either misbehaving in class or making mistakes in their school work. The incomparable strength of an adult to a child being spanked would no doubt physically hurt the child. Children bear pain and suffering from this form of punishment. Though most of the pain and suffering may be for short term, some teachers practice this form of punishment with emotions. As a result they end up injuring the child for life time. For instance some teachers just bash up their students hitting their sensitive organs like the eyes, ears or the head. In some cases where the child is very aggressive he could retaliate to the teacher causing more problems and body harm. Some parents too when they see their children being physically hurt tend to get aggressive and may take some measure to hurt the teacher concerned. All of which could have been prevented if corporal punishment is abolished.

Psychologically, corporal punishment poses some adverse effects on children mentally. Studies shows, spanking in childhood is associated with higher levels of alcoholism, depression, masochistic fantasy and suicidal ideation in life. (Christopher D. Dugan, "Beating the Devil out of them: Corporal Punishment in American Families and Its Effect on Children.). He further stated in his book and I quote; " the longer run, spanking has no measurable beneficial effects at all, and is associated with a variety of long term negative effects. The more children are spanked, the more they assault siblings and other children. The more children are spanked, the more their rates of age-adjusted antisocial behavior increase over time. Spanking in childhood is associated with higher levels of alcoholism, depression, masochistic fantasy, and suicidal ideation later in life."
In a Reuter’s article "Punished for life: Canadian study links spanking to addiction and psychiatric disorders, Dr. Harriet McMillan says;
“...there appears to be a linear association between the frequency of slapping and spanking during childhood and a lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorder, alcohol abuse or dependence and externalizing problems. Motivating primary schools’ authorities in Fiji to change from corporal punishment to alternative methods of discipline would therefore make a massive contribution to the mental health of the next generation.
The social implications of corporal punishment too are plenty. Corporal punishment accounts greatly for unpleasant future of our children. The physical and emotional trauma is just one side of the story. The social delusion has its own downside. Firstly, the child begins to dislike school and starts come up with excuses to miss class. This affects the child progress in class and he or she may end up dropping out of school. This violates the child’s right to education. Eventually this will cause social problems like unemployment, poverty and in the worst scenarios some of the children when they grow up, get themselves involved in criminal activities. All which happened because of this so called disciplinary measure.

All in all, corporal punishment causes physical harm, mental breakdown and social problems for our children. In order that these negative effects are prevented corporal punishment should be abolished once and for all in the primary schools in Fiji.

An unforgettable experience

There are certain events in life that trigger behaviour we may later regret. This narrative is about an exciting event in my life that brought me and my friends an unforgettable disaster.

I was about ten and it was my Uncles wedding in a few days time and everyone in the village was looking forward to it with much anticipation. My uncle in particular was very active and I can remember clearly that he was the most excited person in the entire village.

A lot of food had to be prepared as many people from the neighboring communities would be attending. A few men had heroically left the village on a pig hunting trip and the women had proudly begun to gather almost all the local food crops and fruits from their garden. Fishing was left to us boys.

"Go get all the boys, we are going fish diving to night” my uncle commanded and I went to all the houses to call my cousins.

Fish diving at night is the most popular fishing technique among us boys. We frequently get a lot of fish and big ones too from this type of fishing. This is because most of the fish are usually quiet at night and we can shoot them with our metal rod spears that are attached to elastic rubbers without having to chase them under water. The reefs we usually go diving on are about ten to twenty kilometers outside our village and there was a particular long strait of reef we call ‘abohi’ that is bountiful in marine life, particularly reef fish, where we planned to go on diving the night this story is based on.

Everyone got ready when the sun dipped itself on the horizon and by nightfall we were on our way. My uncle provided the batteries for the torches and tobacco for the smokers. My future Aunt volunteered to bake the scorns for us and promised that it would be ready by the time we return. Ten of us were in the small boat, which was run by a new fifteen Suzuki horse powered engine that belonged to my Grand Father. My uncle was the driver and you can see from his face how excited he was.
“Do you have any more tobaccos?” One of my heavy smoking older cousins jokingly asked my uncle, while we were traveling.
“Yeah it’s in my bag” he replied without any hesitation, “John get two for your cousin” he seriously ordered me.
“You can ask for anything in the world right now and he’ll give it to you” I said to my cousin as I obediently fumbled about for my uncle’s bag among the fishing gear in the boat. Those who could hear me from the deafening sound of the engine all laughed. My uncle also smiled, not even knowing what we were laughing at.

We arrived at ‘abohi’ an hour later and all the boys jumped in pairs into the water. Each person in the pair is either the torch holder or the shooter. The person with the torch is often called the ‘spy’ and he is usually the one who is able to stay longer in the water. He will dive deep down to the stones about ten to fifteen metres below and search for fish in the caves, coral stones and see weeds. Once he sees a fish he would make flashing signals in the water and the shooter will immediately dive down to shoot whatever his torch is flashed to. My uncle was my partner and he was the spy.

We fished into the night and each time I shot a fish and called for the boys on the boat to come collect the fish, I see that the boat is getting full and there were lots of splashing and banging noise from the large half dead fish in the boat.

My uncle’s torch flashed about in the water as a signal and I quickly dived down to see what he saw. There was a large school of fish swimming calmly around in a cloud like form that his flash light revealed. The size of the fish and the school itself startled me, but my uncle ushered me on. I slowly swam up close enough to one of the fish which was more than half of my size in length and aimed carefully on its head as per my uncle’s instructions. He had pointed his finger to his head before and I knew that he was telling me to shoot at the head for a quick kill.

The movement of the water rocked me about as I tried to steady myself and the spear. With all my strength I pulled the rubber as far as I can go. ‘Swish’ the spear rod jolted forward as I ejected it from my hand holding on to the rubber. The spear pierced all the way through the fish but unfortunately it was not a quick kill. My spear has been driven through its gills. The fish struggled viciously and I bravely pushed the other end of the spear against the seabed so that the fish is between me and the seabed. My uncle swam up to me and grabbed both ends of the spear with the struggling fish in the middle and swam upwards. By now I was almost choked with the water myself and I quickly waded upwards for air. We swam to the boat and boarded it to fix our spear which was by now totally crooked from the fish’s struggle.
“Hey come over hear, a big school is down here,” my uncle called the others who were scattered in pairs all over the reef. Everyone started swimming towards us wanting to be the first one to come see the school.

On the boat my two cousins who were the boat paddlers sat on each opposite side of the boat to have the boat balanced. My uncle and I also did the same until he started to become so excited when he saw all those in the water struggling with their own speared fish. He ran over to my side and jumped back into the sea. I wasn’t aware but the boat was slowly tilted over to my side and in a second I was under the boat with my two cousins and all the contents of the boat. The boat has capsized.

I was terribly shocked and groped around for anything I could save or hold on to. All the fish that were half dead swam freely away and those that were dead were either sunk into the bottom of the sea or carried away by the current.

The divers came up to the surface only to see the rail of the boat and the engine’s propeller pointing up in the air.
“What the hell!” uttered my uncle realizing what he had done.
Everyone panicked for a while until one of my older cousins took charge and we eventually turn the boat over. In less than an hour we had all the water baled out off the boat. We then all boarded the boat quietly and decided we should go home. My uncle’s attempt to start the engine was hopeless and we started paddling for the ten kilometers distance back home.

To make things worse, there were only two paddles in the boat and since it was way past midnight the current was by now getting stronger. We took turns with the paddle and it was very labourious and tiring paddling against the current.

The sun has risen up again on horizon behind us when we eventually make it to our village without a single fish.
“What happened?” my Aunt asked me on our arrival.
“It was a disaster and you don’t want to know” I replied trying to hide my bitter feelings for her future husband.

This event is significant to me because it taught me not to be over excited in any event in life and to be careful in whatever I do or I might later regret it. In this story my uncle was very excited about his wedding and given another exciting situation in the fishing ground where he saw a lot of fish he could not control his excitement that he forgot about the simple rules of balancing a boat. As a result he made the boat sink and we ended up paddling it against the current on a ten kilometer distance back home and worst still without any fish for his wedding party.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

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