Christian values are guiding principles in the lives of many, if not most, Kenyans. Being a part of the church community and worshipping God is something that is a part of life here, and something we should all take seriously.
These values must be something that we practice in our quotidian lives, not only preach. The word of the gospel is the highest truth, and the Bible is the most righteous guiding book to live by. Though it is not an easy task to exercise the commandments of God, it makes the rewards in the years to come, as well as in the afterlife, well worth our while.
And while it is sometimes hard to connect with the teachings of ancient biblical figures, there are more modern leaders that can offer us guidance as to how we can be good Christians.
One of those leaders is the famous Albanian-Indian Mother Teresa. After growing up in what was then the Ottoman Empire, Mother Teresa spent most of her adult life in India building an organisation that helped some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
This selflessness was what prompted her to found the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. The religious congregation eventually comprised over 4,500 nuns working in 133 countries. It managed homes for people who were dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis. Even those suffering deserve to die with dignity, and the kind of care that was provided gave them brightness on earth.
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Missionaries of Charity also ran soup kitchens, mobile clinics, children and family counselling programmes, orphanages, and schools all over the world. Upon joining, members made a vow to serve the poorest of the poor.
No matter our religion, race, ethnicity or background, we are all part of one humanity, and it is this humanity that binds us together under the protection and light of God. We owe it not only to ourselves and our families, but to our entire community, to contribute to humanity to the best of our ability.
Mother Teresa explained this in a simple way. She once said, “I can do things you cannot. You can do things I cannot. Together we can do great things.”
There is only so much that an individual can achieve on their own. We are either born with or learn different skills, we have different privileges and different vulnerabilities.
But if we combine our capabilities, together we are bound for greatness. This overcoming of differences is one of the greatest achievements that Kenyans have been working towards since the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as President.
Working together was always something missing from our statehood. Even after Kenya gained independence, our collective action indicated more of a tribal confederation than a unified state. Rather than working towards common goals, such as those highlighted in the Big Four Agenda, we spent too much time fighting each other.
Some were even killed for this. The violence that erupted after elections is no way to act as religious people. It is a shame, and it is detrimental.
Since Uhuru made a pact with Raila Odinga and started incorporating more opposition members into his decision making process, we have been seeing good progress with regards to how the government is shaping into a real democracy.
Everyone’s opinion matters, even those with the quietest voices. We are all equal in the eyes of God. As Mother Theresa explained, when we combine forces, we can achieve more.
Power in numbers is an undeniable fact of humanity. If we spend too much time fighting about who gets who and who does what, we will not go anywhere. We certainly will not achieve the economic development that has been part of governmental policy for the last several years.
All of us, as Kenyans, should be practicing the same compassion that our president has practiced with his historic rivals. We are better off if we work together, if we care about each other, and put our differences aside. As Kenyans, we have more in common than we do differences. And this is the way Jesus intended it.
-Michael Cherambos comments on topical socio-political issues [email protected]