As our leaders struggle for the best formulae to distribute power, I wonder if what is needed is not some esoteric political knowledge but simple, homely wisdom. I heard of a book entitled, ‘the most important lessons in life I learnt in Sunday School’. Here are a couple of growing up, Sunday School lessons that may be of help in our national impasse…
1. How to ensure a cake is divided fairly – when we needed to share a piece of cake with a sibling, the easiest way to do it was to get the first child to break it into two pieces, and then to ask the other one to pick first which piece they wanted. It ensured the person dividing was extremely fair!
2. How to ensure you don’t run out of cake –Mom was an equal opportunity parent who taught her children, both sons and daughters, that the best way to deal with cake limitation is to learn to bake cake! That cake is not a fixed resource but a renewable one.
Our support of our politician’s obsession with sharing national positions comes from the mistaken belief that once politicians/technocrats from our tribal group are in charge of certain positions, then our people’s problems will end. In a country of 30 million, this is short-sighted thinking at best. My fear is that this squabbling may obscure our focus from cake baking. Crafting our national vision together and ensuring that it creates new opportunities for the generations to come. Asking what processes we need to put in place that will give us good leadership long after we’re dead and gone.
In the globalized, flat world we live in, our child’s competition is not Nyanza or Central province, but in Egypt and China. We need to learn to bake cake!