A well known story in the bible tells how the wisest man in the world, King Solomon, presided over a child abduction trial. It was tough to call who really owned the baby in question. So he asked for it to be cut into two and a half of the corpse given to each woman. The imposter jumped up and down with glee because she had been ‘proved right’ while the true mother tearfully accepted to give up her baby in order to save its life.
Having survived a very abrasive elections period, I suggest we are in a similar place. Many Kenyans were excited about the results, but an almost similar number were not. I sense the temptation for those whose candidate won is to look down on and rub it into the noses of those who were opposed. But for many on the other side, I sense a deep desire to rubbish not just the elections but all of Kenya’s institutions, and to show how nothing has changed since independence.
Both responses are wrong! The first cares very little about the unity of this country going forward. The matra here is let’s accept, move on and forget the past – until the next elections. It’s almost as if nothing else matters so long as my candidate won! The second cares very little about the future of this country. The mantra here is that nothing in Kenya is worth celebrating, and focusing on moving forward and building this nation is betraying justice. It’s almost as if nothing matters as long as my candidate lost. In other words, I’d rather sabotage this country’s progress than allow it to be led by someone I don’t agree with!
It’s time for all of us to give up our ‘right to be right’ and to meet in the middle for the sake of the greater good. Let’s all join together on the things we agree on for the sake of this great land and nation. Let’s fight together to keep our parliamentarians living within their means. Let’s keep the government accountable to implement the TJRC report. Let’s ensure the freedoms we have fought for in the past are not eroded.
But let’s also realize that the fate of this country lies in our attitude towards it. Let’s refuse to be cynical and sarcastic. Let’s celebrate what is beautiful and what is working about our nation. Let’s realize we have common enemies who do not want this nation to succeed, apart from on their own terms. Let’s pray for our leaders to govern this nation well, because if they succeed in this, we all succeed.
This nation is ours – all of us! Let’s not destroy the baby, just so that our side can be seen to be right.