When time is all you have

Time is one resource I have grown to appreciate as I grew older. I grew up in those homes where a holiday was travelling to my grandma’s and my uncle’s and cousins would bring their kids along. Over time it became a norm and I would always say to myself, “When I’m done with school and get my own job, I’m done with this!” Those were honest thoughts from a child and I would openly let my mother know how I felt.

A few years into university, I would find myself asking my relatives when we’d be going home. One thing I have come to appreciate in adulthood is growth. I have progressed both in age and maturity and with different interactions; I realize I’ve had it good. Do you know how many people would have wanted to know their relatives, let alone spend time with them? I always make a point of meeting with my relatives at least once a week and we’ve grown to look at each other as one.

Why did I choose to write this today? Well, a very good friend of mine suffered a loss this week. This is a guy I trusted with my money in high school and even to date we still keep in contact and he’s a brother to me. He lost his father and I can’t put into words what he felt because I know he adored his father and so did those of us who got a chance to meet him. I last saw him in December at Pete’s graduation party and you could tell this was a man proud of his son.

I’ll share with you what a very wise man once shared with me, “Emotion has no logic.” You can never rationalize what anyone feels and how they react to loss. This is probably the hardest time for anyone when you know you have to say goodbye and it’s the final time. Society has made us believe that men shouldn’t cry. I suffer from this misconception and that is what pushed me to writing. I found solace in pouring my soul on a pad at first and now my blog is my napkin, soaking in all my emotions.

There’s no logical way to dealing with a loss. If crying gets the pain off your chest, cry. There’s no weakness in emotion. It only shows you’re capable of love, which makes you a human. I don’t know how my brother is dealing with his pain but I know he’ll get through it. I’m not going to be religious and say he’s in a better place.

The best place to be is with the people that love you and that is at home. I’ve experienced my losses before and I’ve always found a way to deal with the pain depending on the intensity of the loss. No two people will ever experience the same emotions even if they share a loss. It is all relative to the relationship and affinity you had towards the person you’ve lost.

All I can say is time is what you have. You have time to grieve. Let out the emotions of losing a man that meant the world to you. Let nobody tell you to be strong. Take your time and come to terms with the situation. Take time to remember everything you learnt from him and appreciate every minute you spent with him supporting different London clubs.

Remember every moment he would come to Moi Forces Academy to visit you and support you when Chemistry and Math had us for breakfast, break, lunch and dinner. Remember how proud he was when he delivered a speech during your graduation and the look in his eyes when his little boy became a man academically. Take your time to fetch all the good memories because there are more of the good memories than the sad ones.

Take time to plan ahead and know you have to make your own shoes and not try to fit in to his shoes. This is the time to apply every life lesson the old man taught you. Time is all you have now to make your dad more proud than you already have. This is the time we come in as friends and let you know your loss is our loss.

You only have time Pete. This is the time to do deal with what is happening in your life right now; time to do emulate Mr. Romanus and be the man we’ve always known you to be. I can never fully comprehend what you feel but I know what you’re capable of and you can only come back ready to conquer the world.

I’m sorry for the loss of your old man and pass my heartfelt condolences to you, Bella, your elder sisters, mother and family.

 

Being politically correct isn’t necessarily correct

I have plenty of arguments with myself at times and most of the time it’s usually about things that I observe. I’m a big proponent of the theory of relativism and I like judging everything exclusively because every reaction is as a result of a specific action which is independent in relation to the time and environment. Today I have jumbled thoughts and I’d just like to put them out there regardless of whether they’re related or not.

As time goes by everybody is trying to be politically correct. You say something you feel will not put you in a position to defend yourself and stand by your opinion. I’ve been on the wrong end of people’s opinions for voicing my opinions but as I always say, everyone is entitled to their opinion and you don’t necessarily have to like someone to respect their opinion even if you think it’s dumb.

Last night I was heading home from work and I saw a girl people referred to as a slut because she’d slept with many guys. Personally, I give my own definitions to some terms and the term slut is very broad depending on how you look at it. Who’s a slut? A person who sleeps with multiple individuals? Who determines when another human being is to be referred to as a slut? Also, it’s good to know a slut can either be a guy or lady in my books.

To me, a slut is someone who uses emotion to get sex. If you make someone fall for you knowing very well it’s not leading to anything, you’re a slut. Don’t get me wrong, hooking up with a person you’ve just met isn’t leading on anyone. Telling the person you love or have feelings for them with no good intention is wrong. That makes you a slut. If a girl sleeps with 10 guys but had no emotional attachment to any of them, she may have ruined her reputation but she definitely hasn’t ruined anyone’s life.

However, when you as a guy nail a girl and make her think she’s the only one only to leave her, you’re messing her life because she’ll find it hard to trust another guy or look for love in all the wrong ways. So as the girl approached me, I was thinking, if she tries to hook up, I’m definitely hitting that. It didn’t happen but I just looked at her as I would look at any of my friends, who do the same.

When I was close to getting home, a passenger boarded the vehicle I was in and sat right in front of me. I hadn’t paid much attention to them because I only stare at girls I can or think should be having sexual relations with. This was a guy. Or so I thought. She had a tracksuit on, a cap and had the Jeremih shave. You couldn’t see her breast probably because she had a sports bra on or maybe they were just shy and hid.

That’s when it hit me. I had seen the individual before. She was a dyke and I’ll be honest, put against each other, she looked more hood than I did. But that’s probably because I like my look clean and simple. I don’t want to be mistaken for a thug or a fuckboy. I looked at her for a minute, probably even stared and thoughts were running through my mind.

We live in a liberal world and that is something we can’t deny. We live in a time where saying you’re not ok with anything people agree with is put on the same pedestal as treason. But have you stopped for a minute to think there are people who grew before liberalism? Because every time I looked at her, my mum’s voice played in my head. “When are you bringing me a grandchild?” I am my mother’s only son and coming from a paternal community, my children are not any more important than my sister’s but it’s a cultural thing for her.

I started thinking, what if her mother is like my mother and just wants a grandchild of her own? Would she be wrong to feel her daughter’s path is wrong? And don’t get me wrong, personally, I don’t care about anyone’s sexual preferences as long as it’s not with a minor and is consensual (Also leave pets out of your fantasies). But that’s me, not my parents who were born before Kenya became independent and were brought up on different principles.

I have shared classes with gay people both in high school and university. Throughout this time, I’ve seen different reactions to them. Some are cool, others on the fence depending on the setting and others are out rightly against it. Do I feel any of these parties is any more right than the other? Certainly not. Opinions are personal but they shouldn’t infringe on anyone’s rights. If you don’t like gay people, good for you, just make sure to keep it to yourself. If you feel same sex relationships are cool, well and good, but don’t make people feel bad about it for not sharing your sentiments.

If So every time I see someone posting something negative about gay people, I think to myself, “What happens when you get a gay child?” Equally, when I see someone posting or castigating someone for not being pro-gay, I wonder, “What happened to letting people be themselves?” Just like opinions, there’s no right or wrong sexual contact between two consenting adults. To each his own, right?

I told you I had a lot to share today. During the day, I saw a friend post something on Twitter. He shunned someone for taking sides only to take a side a few minutes later. Who said it’s wrong to take a side? There is no absolute objectiveness in life. We all have biases that affect the way we perceive life and how we react to situations.

I’ve asked this question before, if there’s beauty, doesn’t that definitely show there’s another thing on the other end of the spectrum? So when I say one of your friends is beautiful and another one is ugly, why I’m I mean because I’ve seen two completely opposite ends? I’m I supposed to tell you something you want to hear just to be cool with you? I’m I not worse off for having no concrete opinion than always being politically correct?

Have you seen how many times brands have dropped people because of public opinion in recent times? Manny Pacquiao and Maria Sharapova are the latest victims. I have nothing against big brands, major reason being I can’t afford them; but when you use kids to manufacture your brands, charge top dollar and can barely pay your labour enough money to raise their families, where’s the moral in that? You can’t stand on a moral ground as a brand when your existence is not founded on morality.

I feel the same way about celebrities that endorse these brands and are quick to talk about inequalities and oppression. Why talk about oppression when the source of your glamour is oppression? You endorse a brand that exploits its employees yet you claim your people aren’t treated fairly? What nonsense is this? Did you suddenly realize there are suffering people in the world in your Nikes?

Who bears the moral authority in the country? Is it the police? Is it the government? Or is it the role of religious institutions and parents? Online fliers have been doing rounds of an adult-themed party dubbed ‘Project X’. I’m not in the least bit interested because one thing I’m counting on is the number of male patrons to outnumber the female patrons. The issue at hand however, is the idea that the police feel this party is wrong and are hell-bent on stopping it.

I’m not going to go into whether the party is right or wrong. I’ve been to all kinds of parties and I’ve seen things on printable on a script. My question is what do the police think they will achieve in cancelling the party? Instill morals in people who were already too willing to lose them for anything? I’d support the police action if they made the parents of the adults that attend the party teach them on morals. But that’s not possible, is it? We’ve got to a point where the people setting standards have no clue of the standards they’re setting.

Same thing with the church. When you stand in front of your congregation as a religious leader; a person charged with the duty to show the way. How do you sleep at night knowing very well you’re living in opulence while your congregation is wallowing elsewhere in poverty?  Do you ever think about the heavenly riches most of you preach about?

Is it only the sheep that will inherit the earth or will they take their shepherd with them? What moral ground do you stand on to speak against corruption when church members are fighting over land and tithes? When pastors are flying in G5s and driving state of the art vehicles while the congregation walks? Maybe the congregation is to blame for being gullible. But what happens when the people entrusted with spreading the word toy with your weaknesses for personal gain? The meek shall inherit the kingdom of God while the shepherd inherits their wealth on earth,

That is what I feel we lack as human beings. You want to please people at the expense of sharing what you honestly feel. When you believe in something, stand by it until the moment you’re convinced by another thing; if that will ever happen. You’re a unique human being and should treat yourself as such. Having an opinion doesn’t mean shoving it down people’s throats or throwing a tantrum every time someone doesn’t agree.

It means being mature about it and knowing you can learn more from listening and taking the positive points. Don’t be too quick to pass judgment. Always remember we’re exposed to different environments and these play a key role in molding our thoughts and world view. Listening doesn’t cost you anything except for motivational talks and artists.

Being politically correct isn’t necessarily correct.

Convenience is all about perspective

“I take you, to be my lawfully wedded wife. In sickness and in health, in riches and in poverty, till death do us part.” I’m not sure that’s how the vows go but it’s along that line. I’ve not been to many weddings in my life. Partly because the people I know barely get married and the ones that do, share their wedding invitations when I have other commitments, like learning how to swim or have a dance-off with my god daughter.

I’m not big on Western weddings for a number of reasons, the major one being the cost implication against posterity. However, that’s not an issue I want to discuss because I may end up ruining my chances of being invited for future weddings. My issue is with the vows and understanding your roles. Do you understand the implication of the words you utter or is it just a phase to you?

The divorce rate in Kenya isn’t as high as Western countries because of the mere fact that court processes drag on for years and most people don’t have the finances to see their cases through; so they end up separating amicably. The number of separated homes in Kenya is soaring by the day from generations born in the 60s and earlier to those born in the 80s. The sad thing is that most of these people recited those vows.

This year alone I’ve seen videos of domestic abuse on Facebook more than enough times. One time is enough and I’ve seen those videos more than once. I’ve learnt something from interacting with people older than me and that is called, separation of issues. I’m not a Psychology major and having done one or two units in the said field doesn’t make me an expert in analyzing behaviours and all that Dexter stuff.

I however, know plenty about human interaction from experience. Have you ever wondered what goes through a persons mind when they take up a knife or rod and attack someone they vowed to love through thick and thin? Does it happen overnight? Is there any form of justification? Isn’t there an easier way out of the situation than violence? What led love to this?

I rarely involve myself in marital or intimate relationship discussion. This is because my uncle once told me, “Two people that sleep together know how to sort their issues out. If you get involved, you’ll be the only loser in the end.” At first, I never took his words seriously but as years go by, I can clearly see his words coming to pass. I’m not a violent person and always believe there’s always a multitude of options before violence.

Why are domestic cases a common scenario? What are communities, societies and relevant authorities doing about it? Is it time for stern action to be considered? I’ve seen a number of videos and there’s one thing I cannot fail to mention; double standards. A video of a man being beaten by a group of women using wooden rods was doing rounds on the internet. Going through the comment section made me question humanity.

For decades now, people have been fighting for affirmative action. Different groups have been clamouring for equality among both sexes in various aspects. That is until you see how issues among both sexes are treated. When the video of the man was doing rounds, most of the comments were, “He deserves it for cheating on the girl.” “What kind of man is this?” “These are the type of men we have today!” Nobody stopped for a minute to think these are the type of men society has brought up and continues to bring up.

If the same video was of a group of men hitting a woman for cheating on the husband, the reaction would have been totally different. “Why can’t he just leave?” “What kind of men gang up on a woman?” “Men are animals?” Why the double standards? Are we not fighting for equality? Or does equality only come into play when it’s about education and money? I don’t support violence of any kind unless it’s your profession.

This is the kind of frustration that makes its way into marriage. You look at yourself as the provider and want to run your family like an absolute monarch. You presume you have dominion over whoever has the lower pay. When did it get to this? Is respect all about who brings more to the table? Shouldn’t equity be what is being preached? Equity is giving your daughter who is 3 years older than your son more pocket money because her needs tend to be more demanding. Equality is giving them the same amount because they are both your children.

You see where I’m going with this? Marriage as an institution is losing its value because it’s no longer about equity but equality. My wife is close with her male boss so I’ll cheat on her with her friend. What gives? It’s not always about give and take. Sometimes you give expecting nothing in return. When you say till death do us part, does it mean you go through suffering, abuse and torment to your death? Or are you just saying it because it’s a norm?

How many times will you take a cheating partner back for the sake of your kids? How many times will you wear make-up to conceal the black eye you always have on Monday mornings? How many times will you avoid going for swimming with your friends because your back looks like a skid mark? These are the type of questions marriage vows never tackle. A donkey breaks its back at one point and what good is a donkey if it can’t work?

The sad truth is that conformity has blinded us to what is really true in our lives. We want to do because that’s the way it’s always been done. That doesn’t necessarily make it right. I cannot say today’s men are weak compared to their fathers because that is what society has taught them. I can also not say today’s women are not humble like their mothers because they’ve been exposed to different standards and world views. When you say you’re independent, do you understand the gravity of the word you’re using?

I have no children yet and do not foresee any in the near future. However, if and when I have my own, I will teach them about equity. I want them to know they are not and will never be equal. I want to teach them about justice and make them understand that they should not conform for the sake of fitting in. I want to teach them about diversity and make them understand we all have different roles to play and none should be looked down upon.

You’re not any less of a woman because you are able to balance your career and family. You’re not any less of a man either because your wife earns more than you do or you pull your weight behind her in the household. Society has fought so hard to get rid of stereotypes only to impute others. Just like every relationship is different, so is marriage. Find a partner that improves you and make vows you know you can keep. Marriage is a partnership that only works when both parties put in collective effort.

You may find yourself floating against the tide when you stand up for what you believe in but if you’re the same person that says, “I’m not doing this for anyone,” you won’t mind being different but comfortable in your truth. People will ask you to be unique but expect you to do what has always been done. Approach your relationships and marriage like an essay. No two essays can be the same even if they have the same ending or beginning. Be the difference in your life. Say no to discrimination and gender based violence. Pain knows no sex.