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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Of Misconstruction and the Weight of Words

Why nobody wants to be in the opposition

I first read the words that I have reproduced here below when I was a student at Starehe Boys' Centre – Nairobi. During my student years, these words gave me the drive to do my best even when failure looked me in the face.

They got me into a grave problem once, when I started working, – I was fired! I lost a job that was my lifeline at the time. The day before I was fired, I had handwritten them and glued (so crude of me!) the sheet of paper on the Notice Board for my colleagues to read and get inspired.

Little did I know that the Manager would consider the words an insult to the company and his person. He tore the paper and bounded menacingly to his office with the shreds in his hands. He sent someone to call me. Having witnessed the unfolding 'melodrama' I knew I would be in for it. How right my premonition was!

I was summarily dismissed and only a vague explanation warranting the action was forthcoming. I later pieced the pieces of the jigsaw and came to know the why and wherefore of the unwarranted dismissal. He had thought my aim was to kindle the ire of the workers against him – what with poor pay, unconducive working environment and a lack of transparency. But my aim was far from that.
Anyway, situations like these hone and shape us, don't they?
Sample the piece…


STRUGGLE IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE

You want the good things in life. You want more money, power and status in the office. You want to drive around town in a spanking new car. And you want to invite your many friends to your sprawling house to meet your beautiful wife and charming children. Also you want a healthy body, a quicker wit and a more sparkling personality.

Well, you can have all these and many more if you are willing to pay the price. These things are expensive, very expensive. And for most people, too expensive. They demand more than wealth or talent. They demand courage. The courage to work hard even when you feel underpaid and unrecognized. The guts to keep working hard.

Essentially life demands struggle. Everyday has to be a day of struggle. Once one can accept this stark truth as something positive, one can start to get ahead. Struggle allows us to refine our talents. It is the intense heat that burns the dross. It is the alchemy that turns one into pure gold.

There is no magic in the real world. In fantasy, wonderful things happen of their own accord. But this is not the way the real world works. The universal law is simple: YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

If you are tired, it is not due to struggle. Struggle does not tire: it uplifts and rejuvenates: it brings about the best in the human spirit.
If you feel that life is hard, you have not faced your toughest adversity: Your own negative thinking. Struggle means pushing ahead no matter what. It means investing your hopes and energies even in a cause that seems hopeless. Struggle is a mark of heroism, and the difference between winners and losers.

Life is for the living. It is a struggle, challenge, change, disaster and triumph. Forget your multiple fortunes. If you can forge a win of iron by fighting through the thick of misfortune then the world is your oyster. There is no easy way to reap what you think you deserve. You have to fight for it all the way.

At this moment you are where you deserve to be. If you are surrounded by abundance, it is because you have the heart of a lion. If you are surrounded by scarcity, it is because you've not dared to challenge yourself to rise against adversity. Struggle is the meaning of life.

If you want more from your life, ask what you have done to deserve more. Don't sit around lost in daydreams: ONLY ACTION WILL REDEEM YOU.

From now on, think your way into a dynamic and confident state of mind and being. Strive to be that little bit better in everything you do in everyday struggle! Crawl up that mountain! Go for it!

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think this is the gold I have been looking for,it very uplifting I wish all kenyan could read it every morning

Anonymous said...

natulenge juu! 10736 NJ House here.

Anonymous said...

Now Kumekucha is reinventing itself - we need more of this than politics. May we do our in whatever we do - struggle and hardwork pays

Anonymous said...

Now Kumekucha is reinventing itself - we need more of this than politics. May we do our in whatever we do - struggle and hardwork pays

Wanjiku - Mombasa said...

Ritch your pieces are so complete and wholesome the only comment I find within myself is Amen!

Anonymous said...

I think this is the gold I have been looking for,it very uplifting I wish all kenyan could read it every morning

Anonymous said...

There is something noble in industry and also understanding that nothing in this world comes without a price tag. (Had those who killed in Rift Valley to evict and take over what the sweat of poor peasants had sown read your piece, we would have probably been spared a lot of bloodshed.)

The motivational piece waters itself down however by not mentioning the nobler, sublimer goals that we ought to strive and work hard for other than just material wealth...it is okay to drive around in a spanking new car but if you aspire for nothing beyond that then you miss out on the real beauty of life.

Anonymous said...

KENYANS PNU IS BACK AT IT'S USAUL GAMES- MARTHA AND MUTULA BACK IN THE DRIVING CHAIR BEHIND THE SCENES WE HEAR!!
READ THE DAILY NATION BETWEEN THE LINE!!
THE FACT THAT A GLIMPSE OF THE STORY WAS GIVEN TO THE NATION TO RELEASE ODM DEMANDS OF MINISTRIES AND PNU ANSWERS - STILL CONFIRMS THAT THE NATION IS A PNU PAPER !!

KOFFI ANNAN SHOULD JET IN TO WHIP THIS PNU PEOPLE IN LINE AGAIN!! I HOPE KIBAKI DOES NOT LISTEN TO THIS HARDLINERS WHO DO NOT WANT TO HONOR THE AGREEMENT YET AGAIN!!!


DIRECT FROM DAILY NATION: SUNDAY EDITION!!

The PNU argument, the Sunday Nation was informed, is that other high profile ministries—Health, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, and Tourism and Wildlife — are vacant and should be taken up by ODM MPs.

“Those positions are equally heavyweight, and for the President to have left them out, it means that our now good friends from ODM can take them up. We have just signed a deal and we should not allow the just-founded camaraderie to be affected by jostling over Cabinet positions,” said a Cabinet minister, who did not wish to be named.

The rest of the ministries, the PNU members argued, can be reshuffled and shared with their ODM colleagues in the coalition government.

Chrisogonas Odero said...

The Home where we became men - Natulenge Juu!!!

lakini huyo boss wako alikuwa mjinga.. he heee

Taabu said...

Thanks Ricth for the loaded gem. That is the piece to nurture PEACE in each individual's inner mind - the power of inspiration from within.

Anonymous said...

yawn yawn....

Anonymous said...

Kumekucha?? are you here to praise yourself or allow people post their views here:)
i guess Taabu is your family friend he seems to get his threads posted in time:( hey give us a break -weekend is a good time to exchange views- and what you don't like on your blog just delete !!!

Anonymous said...

i agree with your post- but the world around as is not always rosier- one can have abundance but yet very unhappy- like looking at the old man displaced at the nakuru camp he was cleaning his shoes and all he could think of was his small plot and a few cows that he had left behind- and at age 70 how on earth he was going to start all over again- see for him that was all his life and he had worked hard for it- another example is the young mother in kibera who was at the nairobi camp -all she could think of was her single bed being stolen that she shared with a 4 children that was a most expensive possession!! I think most people have indeed forgotten the little things that make us happy and that can change our world!!
"the act of kindness to other human beings around us"
I ALSO TEND O THINK THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE LESS POSSESSIONS SEEM TO APPRECIATE WHAT THEY HAVE MORE! AND ARE EASIER TO SHOW KINDNESS TO THEIR NEIGHBORS....

Anonymous said...

I COME ACROSS THIS VIDEO TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE MUNGIKI PLAYED WITH THE GOVERNMENT DURING THE 2007 ELECTIONS- REMEMBER THEY HAD BEEN HUNTED DOWN LIKE DOGS THEN SUDDENLY LEADING TO THE ELECTIONS ALL WAS QUIET- WELL THIS VIDEO WILL ACTUALLY GIVE YOU THE ANSWERS FROM THE HORSES MOUTH!! VERY SAD -
MUNGIKI STARTED I GUESS AS A RELIGIOUS FAITH GROUP- WHICH WAS PART OF THE TENT OF GOD-
WHAT LED TO ALL THIS THUGGERY AND THIEVING WAS BECAUSE OF LACK OF JOBS AND BEING MARGINALIZED AND FEELING LEFT OUT OF THE NATIONAL CAKE! SO THEY OPTED TO GO THE WRONG ROUTE- EXTORTION AND MURDER!! NO EXCUSE ON THAT- BUT THE SYSTEM AND OUR POLITICIANS USING SUCH GANGS TO JUSTIFY THEIR WINS - ARE ALSO TO BLAME -FROM MOI TO KIBAKI!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ_cuzYoCuw

Cirdan said...

I'll disagree. The glorification of struggle is mildly fascist.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnlySdrHCBY

BALALA STOOD OUT WITH HIS SPEECH IN BERLIN GERMANY FOR THE KENYA TOURISM
INDUSTRY.
WAY TO GO KIJANA!!

Anonymous said...

KENYANS- HAVE YOU NOTICED THE TONE OF THE DAILY NATION I THIS ARTICLE AND OTHERS LATELY IS LIKE IT IS TALKING A TONE COMING FROM PNU??
I THOUGHT THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN ODM AND PNU IS 50/50

PLEASE CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME THE NATIONS ARGUMENT ON PARASTATAL JOBS SHARING OR IS IT THE EVIL BEING THAT LIKES CREATING PROBLEMS AND ALARMING KENYANS!!NATION PAPER SHOULD BE CENSORS IT IS ACTUALLY INCITING KENYANS!!!

PLEASE READ!!


DAILY NATION NEWSPAPER

Plum parastatal jobs up for grabs

Story by DAVID OKWEMBAH
Publication Date: 3/9/2008
Key parastatal jobs across all ministries are up for grabs as President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga move to reshape the government.

Among the most coveted are the commissioner-general of the Kenya Revenue Authority, the managing director of the Kenya Ports Authority, the managing director of Kenya Electricity Generating Company and the chief executive of the Kenya Sugar Board.

Current parastatal chiefs are watching anxiously to see if the government will change its own rules to accommodate the new political arrangement.

Two options are available: Piecemeal changes to accommodate ODM appointees or doing away entirely with the system introduced after the 2002 General Election.

Both options have risks because of legal action that is likely to result unless the situation is handled carefully.

The government can also opt to invite the sitting chief executives to resign in order to ensure an equitable distribution of the positions.

It is no secret that most parastatal jobs have been used to reward political allies as well as creating employment opportunities; the makeup of most parastatal boards remains heavily political, but a certain level of professionalism has been introduced in the hiring of the chief executives.

The introduction of performance contracts for all the chief executives after 2002 has given the CEOs some level of security in addition to their three-year contracts.

Although it is relatively easy to sack board members and chairmen of the organisations, removal of chief executives has been tempered by the new ethos after 2002.

Under the previous regime, chief executives were simply picked by the President without consideration for their qualifications or educational background. They could also be dismissed any time as they served at the pleasure of the President and their respective ministers.

A member of the board of one of the key parastatals told the Sunday Nation that new rules give board members the power to hire chief executives after conducting rigorous interviews. At the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Justice (rtd) Aaron Ringera’s term ends next March.

Anonymous said...

can you pass this to Obama

Anonymous said...

Hey kumekucha?? did you catch this this news from the Daily nation newspaper?? doesn't it sound odd?? I 'm really surprised with the PNU ARGUMENT!! I'm hearing whispers of hardliners Karua and cronies are the ones yet again taking this hardline!! have you heard anything??

This might look simple but this could be the trigger to derail everything!!please check on this- and do a write up on here for us!!



The PNU proposal, the Sunday Nation was informed, is to expand the Cabinet to 36, up from the present 34. Among the highlights is the revival of the Ministry of National Reconstruction which was held by the late Vice President Michael Wamalwa in 2003.

That ministry, they propose, should be given to Mr Odinga, who in his capacity as the PM should play a key role in national reconstruction and reconciliation.

Their reasoning is based on the fact that most of the areas that were affected by the post–election violence were his strongholds—Rift Valley and Nyanza— and his efforts to reconcile and rebuild those areas will be more welcome by the residents.

Anonymous said...

I ve been thinking that kumekucha has ill motives but after this ......I think yes I will make it.....especially coming at a time where i need to make major decisions

Its time I started struggling instead of living The MTV style of life

Thanks alot

McCoy said...

This post has really encouraged me and pushed me to be a better person in life and to pursue my goals instead of just sitting around and blaming others.

Yes I should take myself to the limit and see what will happen.Thank you so much and please do continue with your work,it truly inspires.

Anonymous said...

I had to read that again..........Mungu akubari.....This has to go my favorites ....anytime I get the thoughts I will be coming back to reading this

Anonymous said...

REAP (Fairly) WHAT YOU (genuinely) SOW

This is exactly how it should be in life. You first invest and then you earn profit.

In Kenya many people (politicians, businessmen, police, Headteachers, CEOs, engineers, etc)want to earn profits for what they never invested. Examples.

1) Headteachers force parents to buy uniform, etc from shops they have interest in.

2)Planning engineers (of Power) can only connect your house after giving a bribe. I am a victim. My house in Kisumu has now been at last connected after 4 years of waiting (because I refused to pay bribes). However the Power people are asking for a bribe from me to bring the meter. I'm still waiting. This is Kenya.

3)The police will victimize you any time they get a chance. On the road matatus are forced to pay while passengers are watching.

4)Businessmen form price cartels to increase prices artificially. It reminds me of an Asian who called another Asian to confirm the lower price of cement I told him. When I returned to the Asian with a lower price I was previously at, he refused to give me cement at that lower price and told me the prices have increased (within 10 minutes?). Price cartel is illegal!

There are many more cases which you Kumekuchas could bring up for discussions. I believe that our nation is rotten and very few politician are ready to change the situation. We need an office to air our complaints. The office should react fast to presecute the culprits. Remember: If the president could get away with cheating, what does a small engineer in the Power Dept think?

Anonymous said...

I gree with you: The struggle MUST go on.

A third liberation will be necessary. Laikipia is burning because Kikuyus feel the Maasais are inferior. When will Kikuyus learn that they are not alone in Kenya?

A country where grabbing, corruption, cheating, blackmailing, stealing, killing and raping is not prosecutable is rotten. Fish starts smelling from the head. Presidency is already smelling.

Whoever is not ready to struggle is not responsible for the future generation.

mrembowaodm said...

Thank you Ritchie, incidentally that was my school motto too.

God Bless You

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