Our country transitioned to a new Constitution on Friday ending the historic journey that began over 20 years ago. As a nation, we welcome the new the new dawn with hope and optimism.
Given the overwhelming majority of Kenyans who voted for the new Constitution, we all feel that the new document will turn our lives around for the better.
I want to remind you that, the foundation of our national success is pegged in our hearts and minds, despite the new Constitution. Even the leaders who shall be elected to rule under the new Constitution shall operate following the thought pattern of their minds and the willingness of their hearts.
The great books we read about human wisdom and moral uprightness may not change us if we\’re not ready to observe and learn to think wisely and make wise decisions or become morally upright. Our Country will only succeed when we take a collective responsibility through changing our characters, habits and behaviours.
Ralph Emerson, a famous US philosopher once said these words which have been used by theological scholars in many years: "you sow a thought and reap an action; sow an act and reap a habit; sow a habit and reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny."
This is a clear demonstration that Kenya\’s success lies on the good character of every citizen- rich or poor, male or female. With good character, we shall reap good fruits and hence, a great destiny for Kenya.
If we plant hate, tribalism, greed, envy and strife, we reap the same. When we plant peace, harmony, love and treat others with fraternity and brotherhood, this will automatically trickle catalyse positive change in Kenya.
Accusing top leaders for practicing corruption when we knowingly do things that perpetuate the vice is a big betrayal to ourselves. Corruption is corruption even if it involves giving or receiving a bribe to extend or receive favours.
We need to change by exhibiting the basic rules of honesty and integrity. When you find someone\’s wallet, don\’t take it or ransack its contents, try to find the owner. Do to others what you expect them to do you. You can\’t expect your MP or President who are all human to do things right when you knowingly do it wrong.
One day when I forgot my phone in a US restaurant and on coming back the following day, my phone was handed to me. A customer seated next to me handed it to the manager who kept it safe. Is this too hard to nurture as a value of honest? We can do more to make our Country better as we usher in a new constitution.
So, offering a job position to a relative or friend without qualification will be a sure way to destroy Kenya. And when we do this, we become the first to start whine and blame the leaders.
For matatu owners, ensure your vehicles comply with traffic rules to minimize request for bribes from the police. When you are convinced your vehicle is roadworthy, and a police demands a bribe, don\’t bribe. It\’s better to go to court and get justice that you cannot get on a highway. Short-cuts will deny us justice and delay the success of our nation.
In an election, vote for someone who has values and a passion to serve not because you grew up together. Ensure that anybody aspiring to become governor, senator, MP or Presidents his value driven and puts the interests of the nation above his.
Desist from being brainwashed by tribal kingpins who preach ethnic disharmony through deceit to catalyse their political ambitions.
From this Friday, we shall wear a new wrist watch and please, let us nurture a new culture of conducting our public and private lives in order to build a better nation for future generations.
(The writer lives in New Jersey, USA)