Nelly Cheboi: Kindness has its pay day and it comes with a fat cheque

Nelly Cheboi after being named CNN Hero of the Year. [CNN, Photo]

The selflessness of a mother became the generosity of her daughter. When virtue is mothered, it gains a multiplying character. Love begets loyalty; perseverance begets commitment; justice begets honour; charity begets diligence - indeed a coat of many colours!

For Cheboi, kindness precedes money and money is succeeded by generosity. Kindness begets wealth which embellishes generosity. Cheboi's generosity begets hope in the children in Mogotio and other villages.

The children in return internalise and perpetuate the equation of compassion. A nation's wealth therefore should not be expressed only in economic units. Truer measures precede and succeed in this economic aspect.

The dollar measure cannot stand alone and must be weighed against its motive and its purpose. Such is the assessment that would earn a rich country a poor rating, and a very poor country the label of an emerging tiger.

Innovation should not be understood only in terms of technology. Innovation must include new ways of loving and living with each other. The tech lab is busy. The virtue lab is yet to be imagined. Tech without virtue is a tragedy.

Virtue engineering is necessary and inevitable. Many reject moral yardsticks as subjective and conclude they are not good assessors of life. But the physical world in all its amazing precision in metres, kilogrammes, light-years, Fahrenheit, and litres rests on a dimension of subjectivity presented by the yet-to-be-answered question of why the world exists.

Our ignorance, guesswork and assumptions do not stop the reality of the world from functioning. No one knows for sure why the world was made. But the Scriptures help us with a significant fact - the world was made out of Love.

Love's centrality can therefore not be ignored or replaced. The economic measure, however widely propagated, can never eclipse love and its calibrations. Life is best heard through dimensions of love.

Love-based life is the engine that propelled Cheboi to imagine and create TechLit Africa. Her global recognition affirms the irrefutability of compassion as the gravitational force that pivots the quality of human existence.