The BBI Nigeria steering committee organized a virtual talk show for all cohorts and their mentors. There were also other participants from other countries across the African continent.
The presenter of this talk show was Dame Bridget Itsueli, and the moderator was Mrs. Nneka Okekearu.
The presenter focused her teaching the young ones how to build purposeful relationships. She stressed the need for networking among men and women since both genders come from God with their dignity and destiny and are only different in looks.
Leaning on Pope John Paul II’s teaching in his “theology of the body,” the presenter taught that “we are more than biology, we’re also a theology – our humanity speaks and expresses divinity. We don’t have enough time to manifest our infinite capacities. This tells us that we are a unique, unrepeatable gift. We are different, unique, and gifted to influence our environment. That is, if I am a gift, I am gifted to give fragrance and taste; I am an influencer and not a user – I am a restorer, not a depleter; I positively promote the goodness of God.
She enlightened the young ones and charged them not to neglect their humanity in all they do. It is important to know how to love and teach love and be intentional when we love.
She listed Eros, Filia and Agape as the three known types of love. However, both Eros and Filia are being harnessed and ennobled into Agape. As humans, we respond to positive affections in different ways; thus, every human relationship must have a purpose. This cannot be without constant nurturing, or else it dies. She affirmed that Love, networking and relationships take a lot of work, effort and sacrifice.
Despite this undeniable need for relating, relationships demand boundaries. They must have well-defined purposes and expectations, which, when not met, defeat their aim. There is also a natural desire to couple; we are sexual beings. Even when we give it up in celibacy, we do not detest it but offer what is most precious to us and return it to God. Nuptiality in celibacy does not cease to exist because we are sexual beings; thus, a celibate must work daily on his being sexual too.
Even in dating or courtship, you must have a purpose for it; else, it becomes exploitative. In this networking, we find the connectors. There should be mutual benefits, and the focus is not on personal needs.
Every relationship must have the desire to will the good of the other. Not in a transactional way but as a gift to the other. Unless we can serve, our relationships are useless and transactional.
She noted that boys must not see themselves as victims of female seduction but as gifts to women. They must be taught the truth, or they will become addicted to porn and masturbation due to education in this aspect of their life.
The talk also entertained questions about contributions and interactions from the young ones, their mentors and steering committee members. It was finally agreed that this meeting should continue discussing the theme to find proper guidance. The young ones were urged to be open in discussing issues of sexuality and to get guidance from the right source.