Helping Me

I believe that the human mind might have some default settings that tend to have us selfish and lack compassion. That’s why we look at ourselves and the mistakes that we make more favourably than the mistakes of others. If it happens to us, we’re victims but if it happens to another, maybe they deserved it?

If it happens to us, we’re victims but if it happens to another, maybe they deserved it?

We lack that compassion, consider more about what’s happening around us if it directly affects us. A guy on the streets begging is just a bum, “why can’t he just work, he has two feet and two hands, hata kazi ya mjengo ni kazi” you ask yourself or your friends as you walk round him to avoid the out stretched arm and shift your gaze to anything other than his eyes, eyes that betray the pain and hurt he has gone through, how broken he is. If he was someone you knew, probably from school or a relative you’d not only give him change but also care to know how he got this way and try to help him out.

We tend to forget that this life hits us all hard and though we might be lucky to get back up, not everyone is able to do the same. For some people all they need is someone to reach out and to help them up but we’re too busy with our lives to bother. Too focused on what directly affects us.

We tell people how we worked hard to get where we are, how we used to do casual labour, walk 10 kilometres every day from that tin shack you started living in when you got to the city to that factory for that minimum wage job that you state gave you character but really just hated. How you saved up to go to school or did such a good job that they decided to promote you, that you worked really hard to grow yourself, forgetting that in every step of your journey there we’re some critical people who took your hand and helped you to the next step. Now you expect others to lift themselves up while you were lifted to your feet.

We help out only when there’s something in it for us, that’s why we have to post it on social media,

“just bought a beggar lunch. #BlessedToGive #SharingMyBlessings #WhateversTrending”

because we know we just love that attention that we get from that. It’s not about helping others, it’s about helping me.

We steal from the companies we work for, steal their time, steal pens, paper, staplers, flash disk etcetera etcetera but when your house help steals a kilogram of sugar and takes it to her family we get so worked up and even fire her without giving her a chance to say anything. If it we’re us who’d been caught we’d expect to be given a chance to explain ourselves right? Because we’re better than that househelps, our lives matter more, yeah?

That’s why we have politicians who overlap on the streets, pushing you off the road in their four wheel drive cars rushing to the office for another day of looting the public coffers, who only remember the electorate every 5 years when they’re seeking re-election but we’ll still vote them in. Why? Because just before elections they tarmacked our road, or brought electricity in our village, or maybe even gave us 500/= each. Or my personal favourite “he’s our man, comes from our village/tribe/county blah blah blah blah blah” Your tribesman, your village mate, that person who comes from your county is concerned about one thing only, his interests. S/he’s seeking power not to serve you as the electorate, but to serve his/her interests and maybe those of his/her family. It takes so much more than these qualities to vote in a leader.

Just try to find out, are they out for their own interests or the interests of the electorate?


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