See, except we’re close buddies or within the same age bracket or you’re way older than I am, that up quoted phrase there isn’t a form of greeting I’ll entertain from you.
Now, this isn’t me being too intoxicated with respect and the like. Rather, it just isn’t cool with me. Period.
Understandably, social media and instant messaging has led to a breakdown of a lot of traditional social structures, including our attitudes and approach to interaction and greetings.
However, that should not mean we totally throw away our traditional values and manners to the dogs, simply because we want to appear hip and trendy.
I personally usually find it awkward and a bit clumsy replying to a younger person’s “how far”, especially when it’s followed with a handshake he initiates. “How far” what?
The other day, social media was awash with an ugly incident between Wizkid’s manager, an older man, and Tekno.
Turns out Tekno, among other infelicities, actually swaggaliciously initiated a handshake with the older gentleman, something he found extremely off-putting.
Now, this is someone who grew up in the west (of Nigeria), in a generation where younger people naturally prostrated to greet their elders, and wait for the elder to initiate a handshake before they follow through.
Now, imagine him having to suffer the indignity of exchanging perfunctory pleasantries with a much younger person, where the younger person bounces around treating him like some homie . No respect.
It’s all about showing a little bit of decorum. If the older party needs a handshake, they will initiate it, and you follow through. If they don’t, shove it in, please.
Same applies to verbal greetings. Even among age grades, there’s a certain level of belittling “how far” usually connotes, especially if said with reckless abandon, and without any mutual affinity between the two parties.
How much more if there’s a significant age difference between both parties, and you, the younger fellow, always makes it a point of duty to greet them with “how far” each time you meet them. Don’t be surprised if the older party looks at you with disdain, or even make it a duty to avoid having to meet you.
Living in an increasingly liberal society doesn’t mean we completely abandon some values that have helped ensure a more sane society.
Simply because you’ve come of age is no licence to view older folks through your pubescence lens, and treat them as equals. Show some respect.
Except we are age mates or you’re older than I am, or we share some close mutual affinity with each other, just don’t “how far” me , or else I’ll have to start reviewing just how far our relationship has gone.