Be thankful and learn the right lessons of 2022

The festive season brings reminders to be thankful. We should be thankful for the gifts of life, good health and family. We should also be thankful for the fortune of having reliable sources of income.

And while doing so, we should not forget the many Kenyans who did not make it to the end of the year and their loved ones. May they find peace and may the memories of their departed be a blessing.

As a country, 2022 was a year of tremendous political education. It is the year in which a good share of the country internalised the idea that incumbents who fail to deliver should be punished, regardless of their ethnicity.

As a corollary, we also learned that enough of our people are willing to vote across ethnic lines, even if it means going against self-appointed ethnic chiefs.

These are important milestones in our political development.

This year we also emerged from the economic and public health ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We should be thankful for our collective resilience in weathering the public health emergency occasioned by the pandemic, and the sacrifices most of us made to protect the lives of the vulnerable among us.

While the pandemic also revealed the worst among us (especially those in government who saw it as an opportunity to steal public funds) it also demonstrated our collective humanity.

Countless unsung heroes sacrificed their time and incomes to protect the immunocompromised or those needing economic assistance. We applaud them all.

Working Kenyans all over the country deserve the honour of Best People of the Year.

Throughout the year they have propped up the economy under the most difficult circumstances.

They ensured that hospitals were in operation during the closures.

Many of them did so under the most dehumanising wages imaginable. One hopes that their rewards will be investments that promote mass job creation and contribute to the general wellbeing of the economy.

In the New Year, we should collectively endeavour to be better people. This means being better family members, better workers, better congregants and better citizens.

The journey will not always be easy, but we collectively stand to benefit immensely from always learning to be kind to one another.

Happy Holidays!

The writer is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University