Archive for February, 2013
“One act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world”
We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have – for their usefulness.
Sometimes people wonder why I act like a jerk; why I look at everyone the same way…. from the most beautiful of girls to the most homely; from the most well-heeled of men to the most impecunious: I treat them with either much respect, sheer indifference, or utter contempt; and I make no apologies for it.
Here’s why: The world has taught me that people only care or respect or love you for what you can do for them, not for your niceness or your beauty. If a girl needs a drink then you will be her friend if you have the money for one, at that point it won’t matter that you are the funniest guy in the world. If an employer is looking for an accountant then you have to have accounting skills, your bleeding kind heart will not count for shit if you can’t balance books. If a man is looking for a one night stand then it won’t matter that you’re the most beautiful girl from your village, if it’s not going to happen he won’t be staying around for longer on account of your face alone.
Like David Wong of Cracked puts it: “If you want to know why society seems to shun you, or why you seem to get no respect, it’s because society is full of people who need things. They need houses built, they need food to eat, they need entertainment, they need fulfilling sexual relationships. The moment you came into the world, you became part of a system designed purely to see to people’s needs.
Either you will go about the task of seeing to those needs by learning a unique set of skills, or the world will reject you, no matter how kind, giving and polite you are. You will be poor, you will be alone, you will be left out in the cold.”
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Bishop Desmond Tutu
The joke is on us:
So Kibunja (Mzalendo indeed!) has cautioned politicians against discussing historical injustices as the campaigns heat up; saying “Such statements are tantamount to incitement”
Is that so? Should all those people who fought against past injustices and triumphed have followed your narrow thinking where would we be? Should Moses not have questioned the servitude of Israelites to Pharaoh? Should Abraham Lincoln have closed his eyes to the brutal history of slavery? Should Martin Luther King not have brought up the injustice of institutionalized racism? Should Mandela have never endured those three decades behind bars because his statements prior to his sentencing were “tantamount to incitement”?
Would you, Mzalendo, have this job had not courageous men and women such as Maathai, Muite, Leakey, Raila, Imanyara, Murungi, Orengo, Matiba, Rubia, Shikuku, Muliro, Karua, etc, not questioned the past injustices of the KANU one party system under Moi?
PS. For the record, anyone who thinks they have a share in one wealthy individual’s property because he happens to be from the same ethnic stock as them should slap themselves in the face.
When I question how Raila acquired the molasses plant, I’m not questioning all Luos.
When I well up with anger at Moi continuing to process tea at Kaptagich in the middle of the Mau forest, I don’t hold all Kalenjins responsible for this destruction of our ecosystem, I do not for a minute believe profits from this factory have been enjoyed beyond the immediate family of the owner.
When I am baffled at how the Kenyattas came to, allegedy, own so much land, I’m not counting the half an acre my friend Mborogonyo toiled to buy in Molo as being part of the Kenyatta’s holdings, I do not think Mama Ngina has listed Mborogonyo in her will just because he was born in Gatundu.
For how long will poor people fight each other over things they don’t own? Why do you allow yourself to be provoked by questions that have been asked of an individual who, by dint of accident, just so happens to share a language with you and nothing more? Do you see the folly that you would even make enemies of lifelong friends for the sake of a wealthy ruling class? One that doesn’t know you personally and wouldn’t lose any sleep if you and your family were swallowed by a hole in the ground.
Open your eyes.