Hen is a female bird or fowl usually being reared as domestic animal. The opposite gender is cock. She lays eggs and watches over the eggs till they are hatched and the chicks resulting there from are matured. This usually takes some times and processes starting from the laying of eggs, sitting on them to ensure they are properly hatched, and ensuring that the chicks are mentored and guided to independence and maturity. The entire process comes with some useful lessons that families should share to restore sanity and the values they have lost over the years because of the increasing pressures of modernization, urbanization and industrialization. Below are ten of such lessons:
She first lays enough eggs before sitting on them. How many of our families are built on effective planning today? People start families without slightest idea about planning. Children are born outside wedlock. In some cases, men refuse to accept responsibility for the pregnancies. So at the inception, no rounded family structure is there to support the child that is about to be given birth to. The future of the child is subjected to rule of the thumb. The situation is not even better in some families where children born within wedlock are made to suffer avoidable crisis because of lack of plan by either of their parents or both. The prevalence of this culture among families also determines the extent the families can grow and discharge their obligations to the members. So, effective planning at the family level is a bedrock to effective society. We should learn this from the hen.
Focus & Discipline
As the hen starts sitting on her eggs, she reduces aimless movements or loitering around. This is to ensure that the purpose of the seclusion is achieved. Expectedly, family members particularly the parents have lost focus today for various reasons like amount of time spent at work for career parents, infidelity, drunkenness, incompatibility of the parents (husband and wife), undue interferences from extended family and friends, among others. The distractions being created by these and other factors have profound negative impacts on the ability of families to deliver their obligations to the children and the parents.
Sacrifice & Self Denial
While the hen is sitting on her eggs, she naturally loses weight as she eats less during the period. How many of us can make sacrifice for our families and our family members? Can we deny ourselves certain luxuries in order to save some resources for the upkeep of our families? Any good and sustainable result is usually preceded by certain amount of sacrifice. As it is in business so it is at family level. Any family that is desirous of producing great members must be ready to pay the price. Where does your family belongs here?
Indiscrimination & Generosity
She can sit on eggs from another hen. How are you faring in taking care of others around us? In traditional African societies, families were not concerned about their immediate members alone. They also had considerations for children of the neighbouring families. This practice was built on the firm belief that one good child will be a source of blessings to thousands of other children. In other words, any emerging star from a particular family will naturally touch other members of the society in positive ways. This will make the society a better one. Are our families still doing this today? The answer is probably NO!. In fact they dont even have attention for their immediate members let alone members of families outside theirs.
Faith, Hope & Encouragement
As hen is sitting on her eggs for twenty one (21) days, sometimes it appears the days are not coming to finish as expected. But she waits patiently even when they do not hatch, she lays eggs again. She remains faithful and hopeful, and refuses to be discouraged. We should also in the same vein, have faith in God believing that whatever delays we are having in our individual families will soon become a thing of the past. This suggests that we should be remain consistent with our goal pursuit without looking back. Persistence and perseverance are essential ingredients of success in life.
Sensitive & Discerning
Hen has eyes for details as she identifies unfertilised eggs and push them away from the rest. This high sense of sensitivity appears to have been lost in families today. Parents have lost touch with their children. They dont know what is happening to them. In fact some parents are strangers in their own families. This sounds funny but serious. Only very few parents can truly say they know their children. And so they hardly know what to do to help the children out problems that may be facing them. In the same vein, husbands dont know their wives and wives dont know their husbands. Hence, the high rate of instability in marriages. Are we then shocked at the prevalence of broken homes and cases of delinquent children raised therein? All families are therefore encouraged to be close to the happenings within them for their own and overall good of the society.
Wisdom, Consciousness, and Realistic
The hen leaves the bad eggs and starts looking after the hatched chicks, irrespective of the number. When we are in tune with our situation, then we will be able to take realistic decisions that can take our families to the next level. Embedded in the hens lesson is the fact that we should know when certain situations are redeemable and when they are irredeemable. Where we are confronted with irredeemable situations, it is appropriate for us to let go and move on with our lives. There are certain things we can change which we should strive to change to make our dream come to pass. The ones we cannot change we should learn the best way to live with them.
Protection and Love
The hen is protective too as she would not allow anyone to harm her chicks. In similar manner, our families are supposed to build a wall of protection around us to minimize invasion of aggressors and predators, be it man or animals. Any family that is devoid of this principle has lost its essence. These days our children no longer enjoy the protection of their parents. They are left in hands of strangers called different names like nannies, neighbours, house helps, housemaids, and so on.
Unity of Purpose
Hen organizes her chicks together as a team as she is leading them all around. This increases bonding among them. The air of unity created in the process also aids their safety and security. Families have lost this essential value in the face of modernization and industrialization. Families are now in state of disarray, with different members moving in different directions. This has weakened the influence of the institution of family on its members. The family and the entire society suffer from this. We need to go back to pick up this great value.
The chicks are guided by the hen until they are matured and capable of fending for themselves. This is a mentoring process that is lacking in the families today. Children are daily abandoned, abused, molested, forced into incestuous activities, etc. Children are starved and malnourished. These unpalatable experiences have compelled the products of such family backgrounds to have a different definition of what family is all about.