Part 2 Hakuna Matata?
Still living in Dreamland?
Nightmares are made of this
Interestingly, the fallout from the smell of desperation is a set of different themes.
Firstly, there is the Thank God! Thanking their makers, people have said Pole Sana to us. As our 6 year old said, no more people saying sorry if they do not mean it. Pole sana is sorry and takes on wider connotations showing empathy with the person you are saying it to in Swahili cultures
The second element fits here since on a number of occasions it is neither empathy, nor even sympathy when people are giving praise to divine powers. What they really have inside their heads is thank goodness it was them and not us. Two days after the attack on our house, another house was attacked just up the road. This time the house owners called in neighbouring police who guard a senior person from Kenya’s Central Bank. Guns mean shooting and an exchange of fire took place. Just 3 shots echoed around but the reverberations were enough to have those who were giving thanks to their maker to realise what goes around comes around.
I had deliberately left our daughter out of the first piece (Hakuna Matata? The Smell of Crime when carrying a Killer Rungu — ). Conversations have continued and, despite the best intentions to protect a young person from the majority of the subject matter, the subject of crime and desperation is so pervasive it percolates through to her ears. It was she who noted the sincerity and otherwise of people who came and said Pole Sana. Interesting how many of us lose the capability to read sincerity in people as we grow older, in their body, attitude and then, and only then, their words and the manner of saying the words. Perhaps we should stop people voting at 18 rather than start us off. We all think we listen and do not succumb to the marketing of politicians; but the sentiments of this young person served to make me think again.
The gentleman who has beefed up our security gave us a ‘cooling off’ period. The classic reaction is over engineering. He has seen it time and again and does not take advantage just to turn a buck. Rather he came, listened, advised; showed us his gunshot wound where an AK47 round entered neatly enough and then ripped his rib cage apart when leaving taking part of his respiratory and digestive systems with it. He has been to the edge and came back to be stronger and very much mindful of assisting others at times of trouble or, even better, forestalling trouble. And then, yesterday, a few days later asked if we still want to go ahead with extra strengthening of metal work on the windows and a bit more locking capability on a door. Yes is my categorical answer as I want the belt and braces approach — just in case.
This has me thinking as well since I now feel safe in terms of having all the alarms working and the response teams able to be with us in 5 minutes. 5 minutes is a whole lot better than majority of places in the UK now where a burglary without any aggravated incidents will have you booking an appointment for police to come check up — sometime. Who says crime cannot prosper if not pay? Where are the punitive measures and the social ethic where doing something is wrong? This returns to the points of sincerity, selfishness and, it seems, no longer being able to feel a sense of collective responsibility?
I am all for self-reliance and will tell one last anecdote to show strength of 8 self reliant people working together is far better than a single person who thinks they are good. Rugby Union, many years ago my teacher, an ex-paratrooper Sargent of great stature physically and mentally, told us wannabe tough boys of how a young man thought he was tough and beat up on another young man in a rugby scrum. The young man was bigger and more powerful than anyone else on the field. What he did not allow for was collective action. And so, the next scrum, he did not get up when the referee blew the whistle. Left the field of play on a stretcher and realised he had learned a valuable lesson from the play:
Together we are stronger no matter the purported power of the individual
How did this gentleman know so much about the incident? He was the young man and because he was confident in his abilities and his learning, as with our now friend who has done security work for us. My teacher told us straight so we would learn. And we did learn.
Somehow, the intervening years have seen the dulling of the senses, an insidious slide from comfort to complacency. Then comes the wake up call, the words, and the vocabulary of insecurity, of a young person. Surely, if we as the law abiding vast, vast, majority of people should act together then we would rid our homes, our communities, our lives, of nefarious people preying on the individual because we are just this — individuals always hoping the worst will befall others — not us. What is the age-old adage? Together we stand, divided we fall. Words have meaning and this meaning must translate to actions by us as individuals to join together our actions. The theme resonates through so much as the powerful continue to exploit the short termism we exhibit as individuals, the fears we have as individuals. The last thing those with power want are to remove the fear the majority of feel. Politicians around this spinning Globe weave their words to cause us to feel the inequality and inequity is because of ourselves; or, more likely, some external force they blame and draw us into their clutches. With this comes xenophobia and the inequity perpetuated.
From the mouths of babes, young people, comes the truth, let us be sincere and deliver together questioning those who wish to twist and turn. I will be taking lessons from the young person in my life in how to measure sincerity and integrity for sure.
Pamoja, tutafaulu — together, we succeed.