Grandpa gray hairMy great grandfather loved to draw lines in the sand and he drew several lines in the sand before he joined his ancestors. My grandfather loves to draw lines in the sand especially when the sun goes down. My grandfather enjoys sitting quietly under the mango tree (sometimes with his best friend but mostly alone) and draws several lines in the sand anytime he takes his seat under the mango tree.

My grandfather drew several lines in the sand when I was a baby. My grandfather continues to draw several lines in the sand today and I know he will draw more lines in the sand once the sun sets tomorrow. My grandfather loves to draw lines in the sand (why?) because the sand to my grandfather, isn't just sand but a library of hidden truths.

The sand according to my grandfather, is full of mystery. However, the sand also provides the keys to unlock those mysteries.

The sand according to the grandfather, is full of wisdom if you search deeper. However, you don't need to dig deeper holes into the center of the earth. All you need is a tiny piece of stick or anything at all you can draw lines with. 

Not just my grandfather but most wise elders in Africa love to draw lines in the sand. The few who do not enjoy drawing lines in the sand, enjoy watching the clouds as they move slowly but gently in the sky. Some enjoy looking into the sky (why?) because the sky just like the earth, is full of both mystery and answers.  In other words, to the wise people in my community in Africa, when you encounter a difficult and thought-provoking situation in life, you either look up into the sky or you look down into the earth for answers. 

Unlike in the outside world where gray hair is often frowned upon, the natural gray hair is of great importance in Africa. The natural gray hair is a blessing in my community in Africa. The natural gray hair isn't just a symbol of old age. The natural grey hair is also a symbol of wisdom and peace. Even if you don't like an elder, it is your duty as a child to respect his or her gray hair. It is believed that children who disrespect the gray hair often die long before their natural deaths.

In Africa, the elders (the wise old men and women) are the eyes of the gods. Why? Because what an elder sees while sitting, a child can never see even if he (the child) climbs the tallest mountain in the universe. Elders are full of wisdom and most elders including my grandfather speak in proverbs. In the past, it was a taboo to disrespect an elder and children who disobeyed elders were severely punished.

Unlike in the outside world where old grandparents are often abandoned in private care homes, grandparents are of great importance in Africa. 

When it comes to advice, grandparents are like sacred books full of wisdom and understanding. In my community in Africa, it is a great taboo for a child to disobey or abandon his or her parents and grandparents. In Africa, "blood is thicker than water" and it is the duty of every responsible child to take care of his or her parents and grandparents. 

However, things are changing (especially in the big cities and towns). People have very little and in most cases, no respect at all for gray hair. Even some of the so-called "men of God" do not respect the gray hair. Instead, they accuse the aged with gray hair of being witches and wizards.