What it means to be a first born

A few years ago, I came across a news item on United Kingdom’s Mail online that said firstborn children are susceptible to depression in later life “because of the weight of their parents’ expectations.” 
The story, based on  the results of a survey, wasn’t one any firstborn would read with a smile. For years, it stuck in my mind. Although I am no firstborn, the mantle had fallen on me by virtue of the fact that my elder  brother was dead years before I was born. So by default, I had to play that role.
So when I received a copy of Emmanuel Bright Wilson’s book which talked about no other subject but firstborns, I read it from cover to cover, making mental notes of the intriguing way he handled the subject.
A firstborn himself, Wilson opens the book with a rather sad but gripping tale of what he had to go through when his father got sick,  hospitalised for years, and eventually died in his arms.
However, instead of allowing the situation to weigh him down, he became the bedrock of the family and could even afford to tease himself.
Hear him, “My mum was devastated, so I had to be strong for her and the entire family. I had to bind the family together because my father, strong and unifying as he had been, was incapacitated. I was more like a husband without the conjugal rights.”
The book offers a rich perspective on lessons the author learnt from losing somebody as important and dear as his father. 
In the second chapter, the book walks the reader through what the firstborn means to every marriage. The author weaves a yarn around the trials of a fruitless marriage, the arrival of the newborn and some Bible-based advice for the firstborn.
In chapter three, the book explores the DNA of the firstborn. It gives readers an antidote to the sometimes unexplained personality traits of the firstborn.
The book does not leave you thinking about only the firstborn; the author ropes in the birth order and analyses the traits of the middle child, the last born and even an only child.
One of the most telling examples used in the book that explains the behaviour of firstborns is the various temperaments—Sanguine, Melancholy, Choleric and Phlegmatic. It explains why one firstborn may be calm and unemotional while another may be hyperactive.
There is always a tendency for  firstborns to view their siblings with envy but in one of my favourite chapters of the book, titled “For the fun of it,” Wilson compares the firstborn to a gymnast who needs strength, rhythm, balance, flexibility and agility to survive to deal with the intricacies of everyday life. 
There are two chapters that kept me awake on two straight nights—Chapter Five on ‘Leadership Edge’ and Chapter Six on ‘Breaking barriers’.  You just need to read these two chapters to appreciate the deep insight the author shares on firstborns and  leadership and how they need to break down obstacles that could stand in their way. 
The only glitch I found in this interesting page turner is the inability of the author to give examples of high-profile world leaders and achievers who are firstborns, given that he persuasively argues that firstborns are natural leaders. 
That notwithstanding, the author makes up for it by collecting the perspective of some selected firstborns from all walks of life.  
The book contains  a rich mix and priceless collection of proven tips, tools and simple advice not just to first borns but also anyone whose shoulder is heavy with responsibility, and is highly recommended for all, especially firstborns,
A few years ago, I came across a news item on United Kingdom’s Mail online that said firstborn children are susceptible to depression in later life “because of the weight of their parents’ expectations.”
The story, based on  the results of a survey, wasn’t one any firstborn would read with a smile. For years, it stuck in my mind. Although I am no firstborn, the mantle had fallen on me by virtue of the fact that my elder  brother was dead years before I was born. So by default, I had to play that role.
So when I received a copy of Emmanuel Bright Wilson’s book which talked about no other subject but firstborns, I read it from cover to cover, making mental notes of the intriguing way he handled the subject.
A firstborn himself, Wilson opens the book with a rather sad but gripping tale of what he had to go through when his father got sick,  hospitalised for years, and eventually died in his arms.
However, instead of allowing the situation to weigh him down, he became the bedrock of the family and could even afford to tease himself.
Hear him, “My mum was devastated, so I had to be strong for her and the entire family. I had to bind the family together because my father, strong and unifying as he had been, was incapacitated. I was more like a husband without the conjugal rights.”
The book offers a rich perspective on lessons the author learnt from losing somebody as important and dear as his father.
In the second chapter, the book walks the reader through what the firstborn means to every marriage. The author weaves a yarn around the trials of a fruitless marriage, the arrival of the newborn and some Bible-based advice for the firstborn.
In chapter three, the book explores the DNA of the firstborn. It gives readers an antidote to the sometimes unexplained personality traits of the firstborn.
The book does not leave you thinking about only the firstborn; the author ropes in the birth order and analyses the traits of the middle child, the last born and even an only child.
One of the most telling examples used in the book that explains the behaviour of firstborns is the various temperaments—Sanguine, Melancholy, Choleric and Phlegmatic. It explains why one firstborn may be calm and unemotional while another may be hyperactive.
There is always a tendency for  firstborns to view their siblings with envy but in one of my favourite chapters of the book, titled “For the fun of it,” Wilson compares the firstborn to a gymnast who needs strength, rhythm, balance, flexibility and agility to survive to deal with the intricacies of everyday life.
There are two chapters that kept me awake on two straight nights—Chapter Five on ‘Leadership Edge’ and Chapter Six on ‘Breaking barriers’.  You just need to read these two chapters to appreciate the deep insight the author shares on firstborns and  leadership and how they need to break down obstacles that could stand in their way.
The only glitch I found in this interesting page turner is the inability of the author to give examples of high-profile world leaders and achievers who are firstborns, given that he persuasively argues that firstborns are natural leaders.
That notwithstanding, the author makes up for it by collecting the perspective of some selected firstborns from all walks of life.
The book contains  a rich mix and priceless collection of proven tips, tools and simple advice not just to first borns but also anyone whose shoulder is heavy with responsibility, and is highly recommended for all, especially firstborns, counsellors, motivational speakers and pastors.
- See more at: http://graphic.com.gh/features/features/38469-what-it-means-to-be-a-first-born.html#sthash.G2XFV1q3.dpuf

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