The thing I love most about my generation is we are such passionate beings. We do everything with that extra oomph. We research hard, we have strong opinions, we are very intelligent and we want to make a grand difference in the world. It is good that we want to live and make positive changes and I encourage it strongly BUT the thing that brings down our generation is we are inconstant because of the many options we are blessed with. One day we want chicken and we swear we cannot do without it and the next day we want vegetables and we swear we cannot live without them.
My aunt and I had a tea date to examine my “complicated” being and ideas, and as I rant over, she sat there in silence with amusement in her eyes. When I had fully used up all the words in the dictionary, she motioned to the waiter to fill my tea cup (a move to defer me from further talk). She narrated a “parable” to me. “A man desired to build a house, he got all the paper work done necessary for the loan to be approved, bought land in the most lucrative area. He was so proud of himself and he was determined to see this house complete so he could earn profit. When he was just about to put a roof over it, he received news that there was land in a newer and much more lucrative area and that he would be a fool not to invest in that area. So he went through the whole process of acquiring loans (AGAIN) determined to buy land and see his newest house complete with tenants. To start the new house, he had to leave the old house without a roof and direct all finances to the most current project. The old house suffered the effects of rain, termites and became a garden for weeds. Unfortunately, he was not able to complete his new house due to the lack of funds as he had not invested in anything. He lost everything and he had a loan to repay with a sky high interest. That is your generation”(
say what? clearly she wasn’t born in 1990. she has absolutely no idea what she is talking about!SHE IS AN ADULT!!!)
For a while I could not conceive the meaning of that “parable” because it did not resonate with my life. (I thought to myself, ‘Is she kidding me? I have my priorities all figured out. I would never be like that man. He was simply foolish. I do not do foolish things.’) How we like to think so high of ourselves!
It did finally sink in when I found myself in that illusive man’s situation. She was right, we do want to take part in ALL things. I will start with something we can all relate to. How quickly do we forget the “IT spots” in Kampala? How fast do people become popular and unpopular in less than a month? How many people actually know what they want? It is not bad to be involved in everything but as you start on that new house, the unroofed house is susceptible to ruin. One must be smart. Why do you do what you do? Why have you chosen a particular cause, path, course, meal?
I work with out of this world amazing women, the kind that are forced to flee their countries due to wars and conflicts and they find themselves in the poorest state of life in their new “homes”. (I really do think that they are amazing because I am incapable of enduring their daily struggles) Of course the first thing that came to my mind was ‘Yesss, this is where it all goes down and I am going to bring “christmas” to this group, all I need to do is to tell them what they deserve, how to claim back their rights and humanity and ALAS “rich” they will magically become.’
I went home with a skip in my walk and added refugee women on my list of to do things.
The magical list
1.Find a cure for HIV/AIDS
2.Adopt ALL the orphans
3.Go to the United Nations and give them a piece
(peace) of my mind
4.STOP all wars, conflicts
5.STOP Gender based Violence
6.Educate Refugees and asylum seekers on their specific Human rights under the 1951 convention and 1967 protocol relating to the status of refugees.
🙂 (yes, I did add a smiley face at the end of my list)
Denial had been my inseparable friend along these visits but one can only fight for too long. After many visits to the women groups, I allowed myself to feel and recognise what I was amidst. It hit me like a wave that I could not and cannot save everyone, I cannot blame society or the government for the state people are in, the blame game simply wastes our time and that is what our generation does. Oh do we do it so well, it is like we all have natural 1st class degrees in ‘blame it on the government, blame it on the alcohol, blame it on my parents, blame it on my not being cool, blame it on my coolness, blame it on my education’. It is such an exhausting vast list.
Humility set in as I realised that I came to these women with this attitude “I shall save thee from it all because I am smart” yet all I needed to do was to relate. I had failed miserably in that “be relatable” department. I used to get really agitated when I saw foreigners come down to earth and literally live the lives of the people they work with. I would mutter “what do they understand, they aren’t African” but I now get it. You get people to trust you when you make the effort to relate with them, when you sit down on the broken chairs and not stand tall because you don’t want to mess your good outfit (I know there’s nothing as annoying as wasting a good outfit especially if no one has seen it) but we have got to make that effort to reach in. At the end of it all, we want the same exact thing…water, food, poverty eradication.etc. The “house” I am building should be an investment that will lead to the eradication of other things on my list of to do things.
We can have as many dreams as we desire and we can achieve them all but we have to do it one at a time because we are not super humans. We like to think we can multi task and for some time you might, but that will not last for long. You want to learn football? Learn football, master it well and then learn tennis and then go on to teach both. You cannot learn football, leave it unfinished and immediately desire tennis skills and the next month you want to school others in those fields. It is a waste of “unrefined” good skills.
We should get to know whatever we desire to pursue in and out and see it through to the finish line because we are not clowns to juggle all opportunity at once. I truly believe we all have the ability to succeed at whatever we set our solid mind to. If you want to get something done, stick with it and DO IT! The world demands scrupulous people. I am going to stick to one thing on my list and complete it before I take on something else. It does not necessarily mean that I cannot be involved in other causes. It just means that I am prioritising, starting with the most pressing issue in MY eyes before I am corrupted by other lucrative causes.