It’s been said that character is ‘who you are when no-one’s looking’. If that’s the case, what do the conversations we’ve had these last couple of weeks about the crisis our country is in with people who are ‘like us’ reveal about us?
It’s easy in times of crisis to revert to our most basic, self-protective self. When Kenyans are abroad, they cling their identity as Kenyans. At home surrounded by other Kenyans though, our ‘safe zone’ narrows down to our tribal identity. As a result, we live in virtual ghettos, filtering out other perspectives, and listening to ‘news’ that only serves to validate our perspective.
It’s sad that media houses seem to have taken positions on the issues so that ‘truth’ has become relative. It’s sadder to hear of offices and neighborhoods where a once easy camaraderie has been replaced by unspoken tension. It’s saddest to hear of churches & pastors that have supported one particular political or ethnic position and thus alienated others who are of a different background or persuasion. What a missed opportunity to model true Christianity!
It’s time we began to practice what we preach. As a Christian, I am first of all Christian, then Kenyan and then as a distant third, I gladly embrace the positive aspects of my ethnic identity (and enjoy/appreciate those of other ethnic communities as well!).