WHEN THE MOMENT ARISES.

According to Newton’s first law of motion, a body persists its state of rest or uniform motion unless it is acted upon by an external force. This external force, depending on its magnitude and direction, may bring the moving body to rest, accelerate its speed, slow it down or change its direction. If the body was initially at rest, the external force will cause it to move. In short, there has to be some force applied to change the initial state of a body in terms of motion. Applying the same law in every day life, nothing changes until you do something. In other words, if change is desired something has to be done! The question then becomes; what has to be done?

During the post election violence, people picked up their weapons because they felt they had to do something. They felt they’d been violated and they had to do something back. And some of us watched and said yes! Somebody has to make them pay. Someone needs to make them know that it’s not all that good. What else was there to do? Sit back and watch the news? Grumble inside your house? It was an emotional moment. But killing is not accepted, surely not even on self defense. God is not fallible and neither are his laws. God said do not kill and it stopped there, there were no exceptions. Those who know me know I wonder, does there have to be war before there is peace? Is it okay to do evil just so good may prevail? Does someone have to lie so that the truth may come out?

So again what is it that should be done when such moments arise? Young men and women are out protesting, you are safe inside your house. You support them but you are not out there with them. Your people end up dying, you know they died for you. But they are laughed at and you can’t help but think, why didn’t they just stay at home? Nobody asked them to go out there but somebody had to go. Mau Mau people are considered heroes, they fought and died for freedom. We like to think they died for us. Someone has to let them know that it’s not all that good down here. But how can that be done without risking lives? Even the Mau Mau couldn’t do that. Ostensibly, only the poor get so concerned.

Something still has to be done but we are still here seated watching them play us like it’s a movie. Watching the news, getting our moods swung and probably write about it but we are still static. Hopefully there won’t be a too big a price to pay for freedom/democracy this time, less than the loss of any life or bloodshed. But if there is any volunteer willing to die for the cause, let him show himself. God bless us all.

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THE RECYCLE

Is this a curse or a blessing? The fact that wherever you turn here in Kenya you see the same people in their respective lines of work, pick a profession, any profession.. we can begin with the obvious- politics. We all know how it goes, the same people getting recycled back to office and we wonder how. Well, I have news. If anyone thought that Kenya was a democracy then he was broadly mistaken, we have in place an oligarchy as a form of government. According to wikipedia an oligarchy is a form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royal, wealth, intellectual, family, military or religious hegemony. Now if this does not describe Kenya then I do not know. Ours is an elected oligarchy.

Turn on the your TV, a new station came up and guess who you see? You got it, the same faces you are used to still reading you the news. A new radio station, the same players reshuffling every now and then changing stations. I bet there are certain media personalities who have not a single media house they haven’t worked for. That show can you dance? the Kenyan version, it came and went, right? Now we have Tusker Project Fame III, guess again whom I saw, the same choreographer that was on can you dance? still a choreographer on this show- Edu!

Take big businesses in Nairobi, if you don’t see the same person you see another him. Born in Kenya, educated abroad, worked abroad for a while then decided to come back because they love Kenya. Started their own thing and now they run a successful business. Overly educated too, intelligent, tend to think you are stupid until you prove yourself otherwise.

I appreciate it when someone is good at what they do. If opportunities keep landing on their laps because of their skills, that is a good thing, isn’t it? But is that why they get the opportunities or is it that there is not tough competition. If the latter is true, that means that there is a shortage of professionals in Kenya. There is a shortage of people with technical know-how in any field so the same people get the opportunities. In plane words, most of the population is stupid. It bothers me when I see the same people because it sends a message, it won’t be easy to get in because they won’t let you. That ‘same’ person is already there, so unless you become him, forget it. And even if you become him you have to wait until he finishes his turn. But when you make it in, you’re IN. That’s the message.

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBLITY

Until we as a people understand the ills of corruption, we are never going to be disentangled from it. Until we learn and permeate the culture of owning up our individual responsibility to the next generation or even the next person standing by us, we won’t stagnate economically but we will fall far back. Now this is not news it has already happened and the past can act as an empirical proof. What is most saddening is that we keep repeating the same mistakes and nobody cares because nobody wants to take responsibility. It is always somebody else’s fault.

Enough analysis have already been made by experts, clearly outlining our problems and mistakes in an articulate way. Comparisons have been made between our economy and other economies which were of the same level as ours some thirty to forty years ago. Sometimes one can’t help but get ‘wowed’ by our failures. Well, this article is not about what we are doing wrong, it’s about a fresh start. It’s about getting the hell up, dusting our shoulders off and getting our walk on! It’s a process, a realistically executable one. The views expressed here may not be in synchrony with the laws of political science but here they follow in no particular order, nonetheless;

1. In The Head

This is where it all begins, in our heads. Every individual has a role to play. Even if we had angels in the government (where most of us erratically think it’s where it starts, understandably though), they wouldn’t do much good if the people didn’t want to be led by them or were simply not corporative. We need to support and respect those whom we chose to lead us, after all God put them there. The condemnation and the negative talk won’t help, let’s accept what we have in our hands and work with it! Let us all foresee prosperity and success before it is here. Let us not say ‘Kenya will never develop’ because every time someone else utters those words the realer it becomes. Let us think positive and see the good.

Don’t you know, that it’s not always that we are doing something wrong? Sometimes we fail not only because we don’t have faith but because we spray too much negative criticism on a good thing even before it is put in place such that it doesn’t do us the good it was intended by the few men and women of faith and goodwill, or didn’t you think they exist?

If you are not proud to be Kenyan, at least don’t be ashamed of being Kenyan. A man said of Kenyan products; I will not buy Kenyan products just to prove I’m proudly Kenyan, give me quality and I will buy. I believe that is how true pride is achieved.

2. Call Upon God, Not The Government!

Those who watch the news are all too familiar with the rather sickening phrase ‘serikali iingilie kati’ which is now a cliché. That has to stop because if it brought us any solution it was short-term and we were stretching out our arms again, begging. Just like they (gov.) do to donors when they run out of funds in their budget.

It is not necessarily evil or detrimental to our progress if we called upon the government, but much more of our needs would be met if we called upon God just as much. Why call upon the ‘legion of thugs’ anyway when you can go straight to the source?

This point kind of inclines to religion, and not so long ago when priests and pastors were tossing themselves into politics every major TV station asked people to send their opinions whether or not religion and politics can mix. It’s hard to tell about the ‘can’ part, but what is for sure is that it should. I sure as hell want to know that my president prays. If we put God first, we wouldn’t have anywhere to go but up.

3. Hard Work/ Giving Back

There is no doubt that Kenya is a working nation, but why then is our hard work not reflected on our national growth? I may not know much but I think it’s the lack of a common goal. Most of us are at the point where we’d do anything for money, just to get by. So other people work to survive. Some people do what they do over other things because of the huge amount of returns.. (have nothing against that as long as it is legal).

Whatever the reason for working, we tend to miss the bigger picture- our contribution to the wider community through our work. Does our work change lives, does it make life easier or bearable to someone else? (Selling drugs to an addict doesn’t count). It doesn’t have to be something big. The point is, we may be working hard but some of us are working hard in the wrong direction because we always put ourselves first. The target should be a better future for the unborn children, our grandchildren. Our ancestors might have failed to prepare a good present for us but it doesn’t mean that we too should fail the generation that is going to come after us.

Yes, we should think of our immediate families first but in the end we should think of everyone. For this reason I suggest we do more volunteer work when we get the time off our busy schedule in addition to just dishing out money. Visit children’s homes or help clean the environment. Do physical work that will benefit the community, that is giving back.

4. Education

Our education system should change. This is a tough one because this system is all we know. Our teachers went through the same system, its all they know. That we read, we pass, we get a job- period. We don’t even need to think. Alternatively, we don’t read, we don’t pass, joblessness.

Poverty is by no means an excuse for poor quality of education. With a pencil, a paper and a good trainer one can still get quality education. Other things like computers, desks, a classroom etc just facilitate the process. Its like money and love. Love feels better if you have money but you can still have love without money. You tell me where Newton and Socrates got their education. (I understand though, that times have changed and that even Newton and Socrates would find it hard to cope in today’s world but you get my point)

This means we need an educated lot. We need men and women of integrity. Since education is one of government’s responsibility, they can do much to improve on the quality.

5. Family/ Morals

The basic unit of a community, that is what a family is. The family plays a very crucial role in developing us as responsible human beings as we grow up. Not enough attention is given to our young ones when they grow up so they get confused. They grow up thinking one thing is right until they find out its not when its too late.

We need to pay attention to what our children are thinking when they are still young and correct their misconceptions while its still possible. Children listen to what we say and emulate, when you watch the news and haul insults at a politician you don’t like, he’ll grow up thinking MP’s are stupid, a certain tribe are to be avoided and so on. We don’t want that.

We need to protect the innocent minds of our offspring from the cruel world we live in until they are ready for it. They need constant checking up, find out what they’ve learned, how they spent the day. The future might just depend on these minds. It’s a hard job, parenting. And it was meant to be done by parents, not by schools or the media.