So who’s the real enemy?

Who’s the perpetrator and who’s the victim? Is it the Kikuyus, the Luos, the Kalenjins, the rest of the country, PNU, ODM? You can almost predict the answer depending on who’s talking or blogging. As I’ve listened to stories from all over the country though, I’ve come to see how biased we (including myself) all are, and how we tend to gravitate towards news that confirms our biases and to shut out news that confronts them.

Unfortunately, the longer we take to start building bridges towards one another, the harder it will be to ever heal and become one nation. I believe it was Mahatma Ghandhi who said ‘if we all practice an eye for an eye, the whole world will soon be blind’. At some point, someone is going to have to decide to stop the vicious cycle.

It’s only when we come to realize how biased we really are that we can develop the humility to listen empathetically to the other side. To recognize they too are human and have a valid opinion. And to realize that as Kenyans, we’re like a married couple; if you win, we both lose. How can we come to the place where we learn to strengthen those areas where we agree, to dialogue over those we don’t, and to respectfully agree to disagree over the things we’ll never see eye to eye on? If we’re wait for the politicians to lead us, we might as well begin to prepare for Kenya’s funeral.

Polarization exists right now in our offices, neighborhoods and even in cyberspace. You can choose to remain part of the problem, or you can decide to be part of the solution.

In the words of a famous prayer, ‘Lord grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change, the courage to change those things I must change, and the wisdom to know the difference

The real enemy is within!

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2 responses to “So who’s the real enemy?

  1. Confessions of a blogger,

    I’ve had to confront my own biases time and again this past month. It’s very uncomfortable.

    But, it is exhausting to put on the shoes of the Other and walk even ten metres.

    One of the things that has really helped me is to do something akin to what you asked us to do last year when you asked us to pray in earnest for the presidential candidate who was not our choice.

    I’m taking time, in conversation, to oppose the motion that says what I actually believe and think I know and to do so with an aim to win the debate. It makes one really think about the arguments in favour of the ‘Other side’ and sort of helps bring one to the middle.

  2. I am so glad I found your blog! I’ve been searching for Kenyan pastors online and thank you for this post. I agree with your comment using the marriage analogy, when one wins both lose. Tribal tension is now an unfortunate development among some Kenyans including Christians here in the US. I still believe God holds us to a higher standard as believers. We are to be healing agents – sometimes it might be through serving others who are suspicious of us. Actions always speak louder than words. I personally feel frustrated that the devil has planted the seeds of suspicion among Kenyan believers. Thank you for your insight about bias – I’m searching my own heart as well.

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