I’m concerned about the hard working Kenyans who give up somewhere in the middle of the road.
The ones who loose their track and find it hard to get back on the right track.
I am concerned about the Kenyans who get distracted – the ones who find that the gap between their dreams and reality gets wider as days, weeks and months pass by.
The people of this country Kenya are hard working
We have, as a country, the people who, to us, are so hard working. These people know that we admire them. They know that we appreciate the fact that they are hard working.
They also appreciate the fact that they haven’t exploited their full potential though somehow satisfied when people label their efforts ‘extra-ordinary’.
There is a group that delivers 65% instead of say 85%, a few ever take the time to move from 65% to 85%. Some will muster the courage to stretch a few points past 85%.
We also have the people who are working on things they don’t like – especially the many students in various universities, colleges and polytechnics in Kenya – and not to forget the many employed civil servants (including those in the informal sector like jua kali artisans) working various jobs and taking home paychecks.
So, someone works hard to become a pilot because that is what their family wants…when their true heart wants them to instill knowledge in young minds – become a teacher, tutor, instructor…
Some eventually grab their dreams. But as painful as few would like to admit, some never get out of their trap. They bring in the money but deep inside, they are poor fellows. Their happiness ‘bank account’ reads zero.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
P is a young Kenyan in his twenties. He likes writing and has been writing for some years now.
He has always wanted to make money off what he writes. He has taken a step towards that direction not thrice but ten times.
He knows he can make his dreams a reality. He knows he has taken several steps towards making his dreams a reality. He also knows that he hasn’t taken a bold step towards making his dreams come true.
Days pass and it is as if he’s contented with the level he was in a few months ago – usually takes one step forward and two backwards.
He also likes the word ‘if’. He’s caught himself saying ‘if this’, ‘if that’ several times but he hasn’t stopped.
He’s still wishing that time will come when God will create a perfect arena for him to show the world he can do great things. And so he’s still waiting.
How many people like that do we have in this country?
Mary is a mother of two who became a little bit successful (read: made more money).
She bought a car thinking all successful people must buy a nice car to show how hard they’ve worked (nothing wrong with that in certain circumstances).
She took her children to expensive schools – had to borrow heavily from banks to be able to pay their school fees at times. Bought her kids all the things they wanted to live a ‘worry-less’ life.
Success got into Mary’s brains. She got addicted. She clashed with people everyday. She belittled some… got a new pair of ear muffs whenever anyone attempted to give her good advice.
All factors didn’t stay constant
Her teenage daughter got into drugs – she had too much money on her hands and her mother never hesitated giving her more, let alone question what she did with the money – or teach her how to use it wisely.
Now mother and daughter are ‘enemies’.
Mary’s turned to the people she once hated and belittled for help because she now knows that a parent’s hard work is not only measured by how much money they can make but by the efforts they put towards ensuring their children are, and become, people of integrity.
There are numerous examples…can’t go through all of them here but will be glad to read your own examples.
What I am trying to say is that, we as a country, we are doing some amazing things. We are good people. Each one of us. We work hard, and there is hope for everyone to achieve their dreams and share the good things that come out of it.
What is our problem as Kenyans?
The problem is that we sometimes get distracted by petty things that don’t add much value to our lives. And that’s where we go wrong as Kenyans.
When will we stop waiting for the perfect time to focus and work those dreams we had from childhood?
How are we going to deal with the urge to flaunt our possessions and riches to everyone stirring envy and jealousy?
When will the many educated young men and women, dads and moms stop borrowing to maintain extravagant lifestyles that simply piles on us more stress than we want?
When will parents stop pampering children in the name of making things easier for them – feeding and fattening the little part in us that’s always feeling entitled?
When will parents and guardians, instead of just handing money to children and young adults, first teach them how to use it wisely?
When will we go easy on our need to raise ourselves above others and belittle people just because we think they deserve the bad treatment – because of their class, tribe, race, gender, impairment, social status?
When will we stop copying the crazy things other people do in the developed countries in the name of being a civilized society?
And how are we going to be more receptive to good counsel and constructive criticism?
The questions that will steer the people of Kenya in the right direction
Well, my advice to you and me is this: we can start by answering these questions. We can figure out why we do what we do as Kenyans – both the good and bad.
When that part is covered, it is going to be easier to come up with solid solutions to our own problems.
It is going to be easy figuring out what to do, for us to keep on doing more of the good things we already do on a daily basis.
And after that, it is time to walk the talk.
To say and do, even if others are lazy in changing their ways for the better.
If Kenyans are hard working, what are they doing right (wrong)?
Share your thoughts to this question in the comments section below. And if you know of anyone you think is a good role model in this area, mention them in your comment.