Disclaimer: i am neither a professional writer or blogger, see me as a boy next door trying to learn how to drive a stick shift vehicle, these streets are tough and my grammar may not compete, forgive me anyway.
Imagine me to be a professional IT consultant, an avid listener, knowledge seeker and conversationalist.
After the news broke out about a city business man who shot another man, i had a conversation with my co-worker a professional mobile phone repair guy, i tried imagining the situation and telling him about how Kanyamunyu the business man might have mistakenly shot the guy, i even told him he hadn’t shot him anyway, trying to trigger imagination in any possible ways before we arrived to any uninformed conclusion, he simply said, "he killed him, period" he concluded, he did not converse.
One day we discussed the issue of same sex marriages at home on the diner table, we all had different opinions about it, some concluded that it doesn’t have space here, not, and those were the most, but one person stood out, she even detested the idea of discussing such on the diner table, it ruined her diner so much that she did not share a meal with us for the rest of that week.
A friend was visiting from the United states, during the recent campaign season, each evening or specially each weekend, we’d seat on the round table as family to share about the developments in the American campaign trail, about what Hillary did and what Trump said, it was so intense sometime and each time there was a live event like the debates, we’d stay up to watch, this American guest however detested the idea of discussing the race, and because we all supported Trump he did not want to even dine with us, we found unity in something and our guest didn’t.
My first ever girlfriend identified as feminist, she always imagined going through life alone, she imagined her self so powerful that if she had a well paying job, she’d not need a man. But before that, she looked up to me for almost everything, even when she had a job, if i did not buy her something or take responsibility, she’d be so furious, she was a feminist who looked up to a man for her everything.
All those stories have two things in common, differing ideologies and our uncompromising comprehension of others' opinions.
My coworker concluded that that business man shot and killed a man intentionally, because he had a gun and therefore he was a murderer, his only reason was, he had a gun. Guns send only one message, the message of death, my effort to request him to give the shooter a fighting chance, to listen to him too, to assume his statement was true or to assume he shot away in self defense all fell on deaf ears, dude was convinced beyond doubt that when one buys a gun they automatically become killers, even without evidence that the guy had a gun anyway. His disregard for effective conversation builds around him a tiny cocoon that he alone can fit in, this locks his mind and builds a great measure of bigotry that only prayers can dismantle.
My American friend too followed a specific type of media, writing of those that did not report the news like he wanted, he labeled the others as misogynistic, racist and bigots, the other side confirmed his feelings by elevating elevating any race related comment made by the other candidate, there is no doubt some on my readers here still have deeply rooted concerns about the man who will be the Next president of the United states, and yes, its okay to disagree but its not okay to keep silent, or to silence those people we disagree with.
My other sibling offended by same sex Marriage comments misses one thing, the sympathizers people and they live among us, they have blood flowing their veins and worship the same God as i do. If i don’t open my mind to them, i can never know about their feelings, struggles and aspirations, I’ll always live through life thinking am all right and they are wrong.
And my feminist girlfriend, well she quit, found a job and had a life away, but nature has always had its way, and money, oh yes money is always an issue, anyways, let me just call her a submissive feminist, while she was able to find herself a good job and while she has enough money to take good care of herself, she found her self in a relationship with a man twice her age, infact, old enough to be her father’s eldest brother, and shes now living with HIV, she wants to blame all her problems on men, and yet she goes out in the dark to look out for them, each time i see her stand on the podium to share strength with other women who believe in her, i see a life buried in lies and regrets, i don’t know of so many feminists and i know there are many genuine women rights advocates out there but this specific one runs away from conversation about how we can include men in the fight for women’s right with a simple and yet irritating statement “all men are trash”.
Theses people have good ideas, they have deeply held concerns about all the aspects of life, but like president Obama said. “ a lawyer and a soldier may both love their country, but reach different conclusions on how to defend her”
We might have differing opinions about an issue but if we open our minds, if we listens without being judgemental, if we all gave faith a fighting chance, or if we simply approached each challenge with a conversing spirit, giving everyone a chance to speak and the opportunity to listen, maybe just maybe, we can overcome so many differences we have today, we can have a same sex marriage sympathizer seat in the company of African pastors and expect to partake of the same love they’d offer to any other believer, or a feminist embrace the fact that she as a woman can work hard and help finance her children’s education without calling their father trash because he didn’t take up his responsibilities, we can include men in the fight against gender based violence as well as have a Republican and democrat share a shovel while removing snow from their walkways, we can sleep each night knowing that while i may not agree with another’s opinions the fact that they are human and my neighbors is enough for them to earn my love and compassion.
And this is not easy, it is even nearly impossible but Africans always say this “ to eat an elephant, you take one piece at a time”
Founder and Team Leader.
Youth Empowerment Projects.
Maya Youth Hub/ Dialogue Uganda