Ours is a Kakistocracy: A state run by the bad
Bullish motoristsThe average Kenya motorist is a bully who deems the next car inferior to their own and as such, has no right of way. Such is the Kenyan society. The people who win political party nominations are the ones who can mobilise the most goons, intimidate the most voters and kidnap nomination papers somewhere between the party headquarters and electoral offices to change names. The same persons are also most likely to win an election by lying, cheating, stealing, insulting and generally abusing anyone who stands in their way. In this way, we always ensure that the worst among us are the most powerful. How I wish the kakistocracy ended with matatus and politicians! The fact is that even in Kenyan business circles, the worst are the richest. The people paid the most money pay their workers the least. The people who win the most number of security contracts pay their watchmen the least. The businessperson who cuts the most corners becomes the richest, those who owe more money to the poor are the most successful. The rich are the meanest; the poor are the most generous. The richer a Kenyan is, the less likely they are to take care of their relatives.
Worst equals bestTruth be told, in Kenya only the worst become the best. Look at the churches: The one with the most poor followers most probably has a leader putting up a mansion somewhere. This, while preaching that you do not need material wealth to go to heaven. Kenya is a place where your money will buy the front seat at the church and your donation will get you anointed as the next leader of this or that. If a Kenyan tells you they have integrity, they are also simultaneously telling you that they are broke. Integrity is the best way to lose an election; the best way to be ignored. Integrity has no benefit, wickedness brings prosperity. The bad get all the support they need. How else do they become leaders with such horrible records if they are not helped? The question then remains, what can we do? How do we change our society? The answer is simple: Common sense. We can we start with simple habits. Habits like stopping at red lights. Red means stop for both cars and pedestrians. It is irritating that a pedestrian will simply walk onto the road when the sign clearly indicates that they should stop. Such a person will not stop at a red light when they buy their own car. Keep left unless overtaking. It is only common sense. Why are you on the lane on the right while doing 20 kilometres per hour? And can we learn to build beautiful things and habits? Is beauty such a foreign concept? No it’s not: Greed is, and lack of common sense.
Disorderly livesKakistocracy can only stop if we begin to lead orderly lives. Lives driven by principles and regard for others. We must begin to understand that a better society equals a better life for ourselves and everyone else. If our society is wealthier we will all be wealthy. If our society is happier we will all be happy. To change Kenya we must all do better. Our selfishness needs to die. We need to see our society as a shared resource with a shared destiny. This, or we will keep having head on collisions on the streets and in our lives, all because we were busy looking out for ourselves; busy trying to be the baddest. Mr Bichachi is a communication consultant. [email protected]
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