The words of Joseph Addison: “When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tombs of parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow: when I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider the rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs of some that died yesterday, and some that died six hundred years ago, I consider the great day when we shall all be contemporaries, and make our appearance together”
Several things have happened that have incessantly called us to listen to Fear and yet we keep sliding away the fear just to find comfort in the very places where our greatest fear(s) is.Every time we shut down the alarm to this call, we are deliberately saying, “we hear but let’s pause briefly and see what happens”. Really? Has that ever been a solution when the call is so loud? That, I do not remember. If you don’t listen to Fear; toHistory; it comes back to haunt you. There is a feel-good statement we often tell ourselves, “let bygones be bygones” but: at times ,we ought to come face to face with what history is telling us in the background or else we are bound to crippling the last ounce of hope to the very bare teething issues in our midst.
I recently read that Andrew Mwenda at long last vowed to fight the FDC to the end but if that’s the case, it’s just going to be one of the toughest vows he has ever made, the teething issues are not just faced by this party. Since by virtue of the fact that I am party to the FDC(a whole political party with many subscribers), I am personally going to throw away the kid gloves this time and we shall have a mature conversation at the adults table—between Mwenda and I. Exhibits A,B,C&D show how this is yet the most interesting journey of my role play in the swaggerific revolution-each day I share my opinion on anything that unites this country and the world in general, at the back of my mind I always have the phenomenal Edith Wharton’s words: “an air worth breathing is the air of ideas”. Whether we disagree or not, please let’s keep interacting.
I have attempted to think that we would get this finished by a round-table-talk but I have had futile attempts—no one should say I didn’t try. A while ago, I asked my friend Andrew whether we would meet again after a long time, he screamed yes. Unfortunately, I was out of town and we scheduled to meet when I was back. He had the chance to fool me (I at times think he did, since it was April 1st, he told me we could meet up at his office but he flown off to Boston—as per the intel he later gave me in a message)—I do not share this story out of rage, I share it because I would respect Mwenda for us to weigh in on the third alternative, synergy: that’s the worth of all that effort, read on.
As a university student, in my negotiation class and also the debates I had with the law class (the Positivists and Naturalists debate), we were encouraged to read Roger Fisher and William Ury’sbook, GETTING TO YES, I have since been in the know of two things—the ‘principled approach’ versus the ‘positioned’ approach. Part of the aforementioned effort to have a one-one with Andrew was brought into play by this book. I have unfortunately been made inactive, may not meet soon since the ‘fight’ is on(much as I am hanging by the thread, I am only interested in one fight with Andrew, the battlefield of ideas), that leaves me with nothing but a choice of telling Andrew how I look at him today and which may worsen tomorrow-read on.
‘I HAVE THEREFORE I AM Vs. I AM BECAUSE WE ALL ARE’
Andrew Mwenda is a mere political intermediary: He is a man whose besetting vices are self-righteousness and reductionism; he under-estimates the force of political passions—I have continually told him but he never listens but he wants to be listened to: evidential proof herein.
He wishes to enjoy the fruits of politics without paying the price or noticing the pain(Dear Mwenda,does it ever come to your mind that being in prison in a totalitarian regime is an occupational hazard for those who challenge it?). He likes the fruit and not the tree; he wishes to pluck each fruit: liberty, honesty in government, good Medicare, economic prosperity, employment for the populace…. Etc. Thus by definition outside politics or he may think that politics is simply the acts of political parties and politicians—thus narrowing the scope of politics drastically and unrealistically. But steeply though he draws such lines, he always leaves some place for politics. He merely tries to scrub it down, clean it up and tether it firmly until the terrier becomes a fairly lifeless, if respectable, lap-dog. Honestly, he is the guy whose last act of betrayal reads: money is better business.
We are here on earth to help each other, W.H.Audenironically remarked, but what others are here for, only God knows. Let me shock you. I knew Andrew because he was an outspoken journalist against the Museveni government in the day. I am not sure Museveni answered his hurts, since all he complained about have worsened today, but I can make some guesses. He visited and still visits state house and Rwakitura—if you are unaware, this is a brown-envelope insinuation I am making herein. The words of Dag Hammarskjold: “You cannot play the animal in you without wholly becoming the animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensibility of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy doesn’t reserve plot for weeds”. Simply put, there is something strange that must have gone on with Andrew—just like junk food and lack of exercise can ruin an athlete’s condition, so does the brown envelopes. If he still reads the bible, I will leave the word of scripture in Phil 2:4: “Do not merely look for your personal interests but also the interests of others”, thus sayeth the LORD.
I have tried all possible ways to paint the picture for my friend Andrew but failed - I thought of something that will possibly make it up to me, a fable from the renowned educator R.H.REEVES, THE ANIMAL SCHOOL.PS: Read with your heart, soul and mind, here we go:
“Once upon a time, the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “New World”, so they organized a school. They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer, and all animals took all the subjects.
The duck was excellent in swimming, better in fact than his instructor, and made excellent grades in swimming, but he was very poor in running. Since he was low in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming to practice running. This was kept until his web feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that except the dark.
The rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustrations in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the tree from top-down. He also developed charley horses from over-exertion and he got a C n climbing and a D in running.
The eagle was a problem child and had to be disciplined severely. In climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but he insisted on using his own way of getting there.
At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well and could also run; climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.
The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add up digging and burrowing to the curricullum.They apprenticed their children to the badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school”. THE END. My friend Andrew and that disagree should be a very smart enough to interpret this fable. I will leave it at that therefore.
Edwin Markham on the golden rule once said: “we have committed to the golden rule by memory, let us now commit it to life”. Basically, our country can’t get any better if our leaders and the agents do not stop for a little while and pause to question themselves into the other person’s shoe: Life’s urgent and most persistent question, what are you doing for others?,Dr.King once noted. Between now and the next time you read from me, Andrew, I am going to believe that maybe you will be present to attune to beating down the single story-syndrome as I earlier noted. And for that one reason, if you have read that,ChimandaNgoziAdichiestays on the list for people I can bank on. In the AMERICANAH, she says: “If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you are uncomfortable asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It is easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen more. Sometimes people just want to be heard”. PS: the worst form of ignorance is a closed mind.
If I have over-stated the truth, please bear with me and forgive me and where I lack the grain of truth, may the LORD find a way of putting it right. Sincerely: GraceAbaho Sr, INDEPENDENT BLOGGER.