Njiri mara umuanyi ndi eji eje mba: a re-intineration of the authentic self actualized African youth

The Igbo adage goes that “you don’t identify a reasonable Igbo child by a big cloth” we are talking of the criteria with which anybody can identify a balanced and well brought up Igbo child who really sucked the mother’s breast as Igbos will say. This is found amongst those people whom most of us consider to be outstanding examples of human life.  Personally, I see them as fulfilled persons.  Some people refer to them as models. They are what igbo people describes as we know our children who will go to another land to eat food and remain some. i.e. ‘anyi ma umuanyi Ndi ga aga mba rifo nri’. For our journey, it will be towards their characteristics.  What type of behavior do they exhibit.
A self-actualized person exhibits self acceptance and a lack of defensiveness, is not burdened by crippling shame or overriding guilt and is simple and spontaneous.  In fact he has high self esteem, he lacks cheap popularity. A healthy self-actualized person is focused outside of him and has a sense of mission.  He enjoys privacy and solitude to a greater degree than the average person yet he is others oriented what martin Heidegger will describe as a being with others; he is not as dependent upon the culture in which he finds himself for his own identity.  He enjoys a greater degree of freedom from the environment and is motivated interiorly.   
According to Abraham Maslow, a humanistic psychologist, the person has a feeling for mankind.  He used the word coined by Adler Gemeinschaftsgefitil, a sense of community in the interpersonal life of self-actualized people.  They tend to have deeper sense of relationship than in the lives of many other adults.  According to Terlhanddehedin, he is united while remaining oneself.The self-actualized person is more capable of fusion and love, demonstrates a democratic character and learns from everyone who has something to teach. This person exhibits a sense of humor, but one different from the average.  It is neither hostile humor nor sensual humor.  His humor is exhibited more often in smiling than in laughing.  Creativity is a general characteristic for these people according to Maslow. As a result of their firm value system they are frequently able to resolve what are dictionaries for many people; the dictionary between intelligence and emotions, between self centered and other oriented behavior, between the sensual and the spiritual.  Amongst all these, the self actualized person possesses imperfections.
He does not only know that he is a finite and limited being but also he accepts and incorporates his weaknesses.According to Abraham Maslow, the need for self actualization is the highest, after psychological and safety needs, affection and competence comes striving towards fulfilling our human potential. A self-actualized person is a person of balanced sexuality.  Genital abstinence is not harmful for him/her.  He or she is able to accept genital deprivation and still be at ease with himself and his sexual life.  Deprivation from genital act for him is pathogenic meaning that is not out of rejection by the opposite sex, as inferiority, as lack of worth or as isolation.   His attitude towards it and experience is meaningful.  The absence of genital experience is more easily tolerated.
Although these people are able to live comfortably with genital deprivation, they do enjoy sexual pleasure intensely. When they enjoy genital sex they enjoy it wholeheartedly.  But this is less important within his total frame of reference as a single youth.He is less driven to love affairs yet free to admit of and talk about his or her sexual attractions for other people.  Another aspect of this person is that he or she makes no sharp differentiation between the roles and the personalities of the two sexes.  He or she is genuinely certain of his maleness or her femaleness and in that sense does not mind having some of the aspects of the opposite sex role.  This person is not uncomfortable with the opposite sex.  He finds it easy to enjoy friendships with the opposite sex without fear because friendship or even sexual attraction does not necessarily imply the need for genital intercourse because it is not necessary for fulfillment.   For the self-actualized youth, genital intercourse is not the initial step in forming a relationship rather it is the deepening of intimacy and culmination of one’s striving after it.The goal of this youth is not to strive after pleasure or tension reduction, but to become fully human and actualize one’s human potentials.
The person is in deep communion with God.  He thirst for God, he hungers and pant after His word and meditates upon it day and night.  He is immersed in God and that is his focal point.  According to the psalmist “one thing he asks of the Lord is to gaze on his beauty and contemplate in His temple” (psalm 27:4) is his prayer.  This is evident in his or her life of self-actualization because it is in prayer and pondering on God’s word were transformed to full person beauty. Like Jesus himself, he or she is drawn irresistibly to long frequent solitudes with the father.
Summarily the self-actualized African youth lives according to what the mystics wrote about ‘A breathlessly beautiful love affair with God, a prayerful enthrallment in him, a being lost in love and immersed in it’. The person accepts himself as a pilgrim, stranger and normal on this earth (Hebrew 11:13-16). He is content with bare necessities of life, free and detached. He sets out his heart on the kingdom, our destination (matt 6:33) as a result they live a sparing sharing life.  


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 Goergen, Donald. The Sexual Celibate.  New York: Seabury press ,1974

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CSN:69805-2008-10-5 0
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