Things that matter

It’s All About The Money

Today my creative juices are not flowing right. I have been staring at my computer for four hours trying to figure exactly how am writing today’s blog. Don’t get me wrong, I have the theme, I know what I want to talk about, but sometime it’s just difficult to arrange my thoughts in writing and in a way that someone else can understand. It’s a struggle, a brain paralysis; you know you are there, but you can’t prove that you are there. You are blank. Is it relatable? Am I making sense?

My brain is having a mood today, and to think that a colleague suggested that I blog daily, how can I possibly do that? I think that women who blog daily are super heroes. How do they do it? Don’t tell me about a schedule. You can always have an idea, as you see I have one, but executing this is just a supernatural thing.

If you have been following me since, you know for a fact that it’s a struggle. I find it miraculous that so far I have been able to jot something every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I think am making sense.

Am not sure.

Am I?  

Am still struggling with the ‘cool girls’. These women are difficult to catch up with, they are busy, I think they are what we call the proverbs 31 kind. They play their roles all rounded and want very little credit for it. Even with that in mind, you won’t believe who had a sit down with me this week. I will soon tell you all about her.

I may be getting destructed, lets go back to my brain. I should probably see a psychologist or some sort of special doctor to tell me why sometime my brain has a mood. A mood so strong that I have to destruct it, sometimes with a book, a movie or even ice cream, before it decides to cooperate.

But these doctors are also a moody lot. Their moods controlled by money. How do I trust them to lure my brain to stillness when they have betrayed their calling for money? It’s not a false accusation, you can bear testament yourself. How many times have you gone to hospital and you are sent to the cashier before the consultation room? It’s worse when you have an insurance cover, you will go in with a fractured arm and end up having a pap smear or getting tested for syphilis in the lab. They may add in some urinalysis and unnecessary drugs just to milk out money from your insurer.

It’s all about the money. We have equated life to money. So much so that people are actually jumping off buildings and committing familicide because they can’t keep up.

What happened to live and let live? We have become selfish, self-centered and any other self-made word for benefit self.

If I am promoted to a senior position, I save all the other positions for my unqualified relatives. If I am privileged to have access to extra resources, everything else must be on sale, I must get the money. Nothing is enough, everything is too little.

So today am thinking about that woman laying on a stroller with her sick child unattended because their relative is still processing her admission.  This is because the hospital’s administration has to weigh their value before taking in the patient.

I am thinking of that patient who would rather stay at home and endure the pain because they have to raise enough money before showing up at a hospital, God forbid their sickness is more than what they have saved for.

I am also thinking of all the hospitals that think of the monetary value that a patient brings before their life. I am thinking of hospitals with financial targets, the ones that have forced their staffers to forsake their humanity and see lives as walk-in money.

 I am thinking of them especially because I know we have lost the value for life, we have forgotten to care for each other, we have become our own worst enemies.

Oh yea, My brain, still surprising me, don’t you think?

Things that matter

Respect is a virtue

When a politician is campaigning for a public Servant’s position, he humbles himself, he listens to people around him, and he strives to understand and practice the cultures and traditions of the people and tries his best to prove that he is the most socially compatible candidate for the position. At this point, the campaign money is used for transportation, security and mobilization of people. Politicians understand well that distributing money to voters is a gamble, but he can bet on his personality and relationships to get his foot in the game. So, a politician is best behaved during campaign season. The truth of his real character only comes to play when he is well settled in his hardly earned position. A politician’s behavior only goes to prove that no wealth, no position and no status quo can earn anyone respect. Without character people tend to reflect to you what you are. A boss who abuses and looks down on his staff because he is more superior does not command any respect despite his heavy salary or authoritative attitude.  Respect is neither bought nor commanded, neither can anyone receive respect just because he is associated with an influential individual. How we treat others and speak to others speaks volumes of who we are. Just as a fool is considered wise in his silence, so is an individual more likely to gain respect by keeping away from situations that can lead to lose talk or exchange of unpleasant or insensible conversations. When children talk back at adults, when colleagues assume each other, when people avoid each other or speak in low tones about each other, then we must ask ourselves the tough questions. ‘Just how do we treat each other? Are we respectful? ‘ The late Maya Angelou once said, ‘People may forget what you said or did, but they will never forget how you made them feel’ This season, remember to be respectful. It is after all a virtue.
Things that matter

Episode 5 – The lesson on contentment

Mama Odhiambo not only taught me consistency, she also taught me contentment. She helped me learn to appreciate myself for where I am, to be proud of my achievements and to keep off unhealthy competition. With the evolving technology and the birth of social media, the world has become a place to show off and keep up with trends. People are slowly forgetting themselves in an effort to keep up with fashion, destination visits and the fine things in life. We have gone to the extent of getting into depts, just so that we can afford that which others are portraying to have. It’s no wonder the rate of depression and crime has increased over the years. The world is a beautiful place, a place with enough resources to all its beings. We do not realize how much the world has to offer because we are busy fighting for things that might be meant for us but at a different time or not meant for us at all. Mama Odhiambo challenged me to survive within my means. She proved to me that it is possible to live a fulfilled happy life within my own budget. We see more pictures of people in exotic destinations than we see of them spending quality time with people that matter. We see as many expensive vehicles and shoes as we see street families and fetuses in the bins. This would all have been avoided if we remembered to live within our means. To appreciate and be proud of where we are even as we work to get to new levels. Mama Odhiambo in conclusion taught me to be encouraged and challenged by my friend’s success but to restrain from envy or jealousness. She reminded me the importance of keeping healthy relationships, relationships of people who can celebrate where I am and that encourage me to get to where I am headed. Relationships that will in no way force their ways or achievements on me. Needless to say, I left mama Odhiambo’s kibanda contented in myself.
Things that matter

Episode 4 – Keep On Keeping On

Mama Odhiambo, my primary school mate has been selling vegetables by the road side since we were young kids. She is a widow and mother of four boys. I like to think we went to a descent primary school, and I know for a fact that Odhiambo went to one of the best secondary schools in this country. He is currently well settled in his career as an accountant, and when you hear money does wonders to a not so appealing face, Odhiambo has turned out to be one dashing young man.

I passed by the road where mama Odiambo sold her vegetables. She was still there, chopping some sukuma as she made small talk with her customers. In amazement, I decided to ask how she did it. How she had managed to raise four responsible and well doing men from a local vegetable kibanda.

‘Consistency’ she answered.

Mama Odhiambo challenged me. She made me understand that I don’t have to be good at something; I just need to be passionate about it, passionate enough to do it again and again. Even when I don’t do it best until when I get it right. After all, experience is the best teacher. With time I am more likely to become better at whatever I am doing. I will build trust and expertise just by being consistent.

Mama Odhiambo taught me consistence beyond my feelings, to push my limits, because if the universe sees your struggle, it will in a way reward you for it.

Today I wish to share consistency. Dare to push yourself to get somewhere. Even when it doesn’t seem to work, keep pushing. You can try from different angles, but you cannot stop. Whatever you decide to do, keep moving, do not give up.

Things that matter

Episode 3 – You Are On Your Own

A day has never gone by without one person asking the other, ‘How are you?’ It’s a common question we all love to ask but which we are neither ready nor have the time to listen to its answer. Where I come from, the typical reply to this question is ‘I am good’. It’s not a serious question, so people escape its weight by simply stating they are good even when really, they aren’t. Imagine if one day you met someone by the roadside and you asked how they are and they went ahead to give you some genuine answers. ‘I am frustrated, no jobs out there’ ‘I am in debt, no clue how I will pay it off’, ‘I am heartbroken, he was cheating on me’ We all escape the weight of the question because we do not want the burden of bearing the truth, the burden of taking the extra mile for another person. It’s a waste of time, a complicated affair we like to call it.  But really, as humans, how are we? Are we really fair to the people who need our help but whom we give little attention? Are we human when we begin to roll our eyes as soon as someone tries to express their frustration or disappointment to us? Are we kind when we go to the extent of avoiding others because ‘we will never hear the end of it’? How are we doing? We are all in a place where we must adapt to self-dependence. To survive and not to be perceived as a bother, it has become safer to answer ‘I am good’ even when we really aren’t. No point in ranting about our problems to people who care little, no need to share your dreams with others who will only laugh or discourage you from exploring your options. Sometimes you must be good; you must stand on your own. But even as you do that, do not forget to ask, and put out an open ear to that person who may not survive on their own. We are not good.  
Things that matter

Episode 2 – Life is for Living

What if you died before you had a chance to live? And what if you live to achieve your desires, but do not have the time to enjoy the life? I am having a battle in my mind, whether to live now or to prepare for living tomorrow. My mother always taught me to save for tomorrow. ‘If you want a better tomorrow, you have to sacrifice today’ she said. To me this meant skip out on the road trips, live in a little rental space and wear cheaper clothes. It meant I save up so that later I may have a bigger house I don’t have to pay for, a vehicle strong enough for my road trips and as many fashionable clothes as I wanted. It meant working to leave behind something for my lineage, to leave a legacy. But what if I don’t see tomorrow? Our expiry date is unknown, there is no telling if tomorrow will come. How then do I sacrifice my today for tomorrow? My take; Life is for living. While we all want a better tomorrow, we must not forget to live fully for today. You know you have a balanced life when you can invest for tomorrow while not compromising on the quality of life today. It’s important that we understand best to teach each other how to live a wholesome life rather than a life full of self set targets and deadlines. We have to know more of love, laughter and of friendships, of giving and of genuine appreciation. We have to invest in people, family and friends more than we do in property and material things. When I am long gone, I want to leave behind a people who know how to live, people who know how to take in the good air and appreciate life. Because when tomorrow doesn’t come, we can only live for today.        
Things that matter

Episode 1 – The Things That Matter

I couldn’t help but notice how fast my niece adapted to the world when she was born. In fact just few hours after her birth, instructions were already being given on how she should be handled so that she grows to become an independent being. Her mother was instructed not to keep holding her in her arms because the baby would become so dependent on her that it won’t be able to survive on its own. My sister from the get go had to learn to let go of her daughter, put her down after feeding or cleaning so that the infant could learn to be on its own. It is the way we are all welcome to the world. It’s the way we have been raised to be. We live in a fast paced world, a world where everyone wants to become somebody, somebody important, respected and honored. Somebody who can afford to command their environment in their favor. The thugs who give us sleepless nights are in their own struggle to become somebody, the beggars in the streets as well as the richest man in the land. We are all chasing for standards we have only but set for ourselves. Because all we know is chasing dreams, and believe that we are on our own, we tend to forget what makes us human. Money has become more valuable than time spent with family or friends. We sacrifice our love for people for our love for wealth and our peace of mind for chaos as we struggle to own property. We have sacrificed our morals and the dignity of others in exchange for the status quo or just a mention among the rich and mighty. We have in fact forgotten the things that matter, the things that make us human. This series is a dedication to the human race, a reminder to all of us to slow down and take in the things that matter. Things that are greater than wealth, positions, status quo, clicks and anything else that we have placed before our unique being. They are the timeless things, things that cannot be valued and things that cannot be grabbed for selfish gains. The things that matter are like when a friend sacrifices and embarks on miles of safari to meet you in a strange land when they had the option of just sending you money. It is when a stranger donates their blood to you even when they have never met you. It is in the little things whose values cannot be placed. This is the journey of discovering ourselves a fresh and creating space for the things that really matter.    
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