Thursday, 30th June 2016…I decide to go take a mat at Ronald Ngala Street and as I near one of the matatus,conductors are all over me,now this was literally ‘survival for the fittest’ the one who overpowers the other gets to have a passenger…I am in the middle of conductors who cannot let me go to whichever vehicle I want to board.I resign to all that commotion and I tell myself, ‘whatever happens,happens’…after a few minutes a man appears and commands, “Acha aende!” (translated as ‘let her go’).The relief I felt!!! I cannot explain its like I finally got to see the light after being locked in a small dark room…I wasn’t able to thank the guy but I am forever grateful not only for the fact that he rescued me from those men but also because he chose to step out of the crowd.
“So,the passengers in that matatu just got a chance to watch one of the many films, free!!!” I thought to myself.I was very disappointed and it clicked that,we are naturally selfish. That day I went home engrossed in thought.
Israel Ayivor once said, “Step out of the crowd of average people.Enter their game and change the values on the scoreboard”
That guy did exactly what Israel said, he entered the game of the average,went on the scoreboard and changed the mediocre values of spectation and selfishness.He chose not to be a side-liner, instead he was a front-liner.
In one way or the other you have encountered such a situation(s) as a passer-by or a victim. We either take a back-seat,watch, go our way and then talk about it.You and I can make a difference from where we are at and this goes a long way.
In the office, watching a colleague being defrauded and saying nothing to defend him or her yet the truth is known,in any case, “It might jeopardise my work” Your colleague is sacked for what he or she did not have a hand in.
A pedestrian has encountered a ‘hit and run’ accident,he or she is lying helpless on the ground, we watch the guy,the crowd builds up and we do nothing,the ambulance arrives but the victim is pronounced dead on arrival.
A neighbour is out in the cold, his or her house has been locked either as a result of rent arrears or family feuds.You live next door but cannot welcome him/ her in.In any case, “He/she does not belong to my tribe, akae nje!”
So much to say about this,but it is interesting to note that the reasons we give for not helping another are rooted in selfishness.Well,that is what our fallen state dictates,but we have a choice. Do you remember the famous quote by Lao Tzu?
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”
It starts by defending that colleague at work, helping that pedestrian as quickly as you can,opening that door for your neighbour regardless of tribe,race, gender, age,religion… The journey to peace,love and unity begins with just one step…blinding our eyes to status quo,shutting our mouths from spitting hate,stretching out our hands and feet against the ‘normal’
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light and there is nothing in him to make him stumble,but whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness, he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him” (1 John 2:9-11)
Hate for another is equated to walking in the darkness,how tormentuous!
God decided to give His only Son to redeem the human race.To date we celebrate the selflessness exhibited by Christ who yielded to God’s ultimate plan for humanity.There is an artist I love who describes this kind of love so well…she states,
“Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold,like a vow that is tested, like a covenant of old…” How powerful! God’s love is like a gold ring,a tested vow and a covenant of old…very hard to break or change!
Bringing all this home,we want to see a better Kenya,a land of people living in peace,love and unity… A people bonded with cords of love that are not easily broken…love despite age,colour, race, tribe,religion or gender.A land whose magnificence is translated in the way we relate with each other…A Kikuyu reaching out to a Luo and vice versa, a Maasai bonding with a Meru and vice versa,a Mzungu working with an African and vice versa,a Muslim peacefully co-existing with a Christian and vice versa,your Indian neighbour sharing that mouth-watering recipe with you and vice versa…
Can you imagine how Kenya would become as a result of such? Why not leave the ‘status-quo’ path as Ralph Emerson stated,
“Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”
I normally ask,’Why is there too much tension between Kikuyus and Luos?” and the answer I always get is, “I was born and found it that way”… So are we doomed to continue with that trend?…I don’t think we are.Lets leave that path and be a better Kenya.
Peace,love and Unity never comes easy,and the freedom fighters can atest to this fact. Why not blaze the trail?
“What if Jomo Kenyatta, Harry Thuku,Jaramogi Oginga,Dedan Kimathi and the like decided to pay Kenya a visit from their graves and saw the tribal,racist, gender and religious lines we have drawn,would they be proud of what they did for Kenya or would they wish they never put their lives on the line for this Country?”…Think about this…
The moment of truth is fast approaching, we get a chance to decide our leaders soon… Will we turn this beautiful and magnificent country
…or will we demonstrate our undying love and unity for each other to ourselves and to the world at large? Will we make our freedom fighters proud?… Well,the choice of living out our national anthem and keeping the Kenyan flag flying high or trashing that which has been built for years since Independence,is in our hands.May God help us!
I end with a quote from Mark Twain who states,
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than the ones you did. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from safe harbour,catch the trade winds in your sails. Dream.Discover.”
Najivunia kuwa Mkenya,je wewe?
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