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Let me ask you a question. How much do you value whatever it is you are doing to bring a difference in this world? How much are you willing to lose, or gain by doing this? How do you feel doing whatever you do, when you gain or lose? How much is the fire that burns deep within you, is it enough to consume you? Is what you are doing for fame, for gain, making a statement or is it because it helps put bread on your table and a roof on top of your weary head?

What you have a passion for, in life, will consume you. It will make your friends, family and peers doubt whether (or not) you have a screw loose somewhere in the confines of your sturbborn skull (whoops, I wanted to say brain). I just want to say this, if what you have been doing isn't big enough to make you feel you are inadequate then I suggest you change direction. Maybe, just maybe, it is time you reverted to the kind of things that your peers, family and spouse has been pushing you to do. If you don't feel what you are doing is too big, for you to accomplish, then you have been biting into tiny pieces of the big pie that working towards the advancement of human beings is.

You have got to have the single mindedness of a shark zoning in for a kill in the churning waters of the ocean. I haven't watched the movie JAWS. But judging for what I think I know about sharks (based on what I have seen on TV) then I bet no one would want to be in the path of a raging shark. A shark has one thing on its single-minded mind. A shark seeks to kill, to maul and devour (I know, these are words I don't use in my everyday speech pattern. But then again transforming our world doesn't call for everyday measures be it through deeds of speech).

Where were we by the way?

Yes, I have got it....

A shark seeks to kill, to maul and devour. A shark has its single-mindedness on its goal. It goes all out to achieve its goal. It doesn't matter whether (or not) the shark gets bruised, injured or maybe gets killed, mauled or devoured in return. All it knows is that, once a target is sighted, all has to be done for a killing, a mauling and a devouring to happen. As you set out to do whatever you have decided to do to advance mankind, you must have the mind of a shark. You must not allow yourself to wallow in self pity (is your work doesn't achieve tangible fruits) if no one seems to take notice of what you are trying to do. Don't give up if no one seems to understand your intentions.

I remember when I started working with people (the youth) a long while back (not so many years ago). I would wake up at 6 am, attend a church service at a local church, go to the centre where I worked as a volunteer. At the centre I would open earlier (two hours before the official opening time) so I could mope the floor, clean the windows, clean the furniture and prepare strong tea. That used to take like half an hour (and yes sir, I did a good job, I assure you of that!) Thirsty minutes later I would put on my favourite music and start typing my stuff. I would just type, type, type and type anything that came to my mind. That is how I became a better (oh I know the only mammals allowed to blow their own trumpets are elephants. But I just want to blow my own trumpet seeing that no one is willing to do so on my behalf) writer.

Then when the office was officially opened, together with other volunteers, we would start the day on a fresh note, the others would coem to find the office clean and a cup of hot tea ready for them to (just allow me to be adventorous, will ya?) sip, drink and devour the buns and doughnuts on offer. I ate too many doughnuts and buns they don't appear in my house anymore during breakfast. We would then spend the whole day going out to the filed trying to convince the youths of Eastlands in Nairobi about the importance of education, initiative, and hard work. Children were giving birth in their hundreds as they dropped out of school.

At times we even started teaching (tuitioning) school children for free. But no parent wanted their children to come to the centre. Each and everyday I woke up feeling I was biting into something I wasn't ready, not only to chew but to swallow and digest. I felt like I was having my back against the wall. I felt like giving up everyday. No one was understanding me, no one wanted to know that I was seeking to change things. Furthermore, I wasn't as educated like the same people I was trying to help. I kept pushing, sometimes surviving on the songs I loved listening to on radio. One of my favourite songs was Luciano's ITS ME AGAIN JAH.

Now many years later, I am still moving on. I have learnt a lot. I am using the same experience in my daily duties at the TV station where I am working. I am yet to go to college to attain a degree in TV production. But you know what, what keeps me going on isn't what I believe I have and can do for this world. I am working with workmates who have all kinds of degrees. I am the only one who doesn't have such things and my focus (everytime I am sent on an assignment isn't on what I lack but on what I know is going to be my contribution) is on what I want to do.

Which leads me back to what I wanted to say today. Be like the shark who seeks to kill, to maul and devour. A shark has its single-mindedness on its goal. Start, just anywhere, by doing something, and after you have begun doing this, the kind of help, resources, people, network that you so crave, will come along the way. It won't just come knocking at your door, it will join you along the way. Be like Marlin (in the movie FINDING NEMO) whose single goal was to reunite with his lost son. It was a movie, yes, but then again I believe there are such fathers (I am soon going to write something about fatherhood and single mothers). As I decide to bring this to an end I suggest you look for this movie and know where you fall as an advocate for children, women and the vulnerable in the society. And while you are at it rest assured that YOU ALONE will bring about the results you want to see. You will get help, you will meet people who will promise heaven and leave you on high ground. Such people are there to help you become a better person. So don't ignore them. Let them laugh at you, saying you a daydreamer. But remember there was once a snail who moved towards the lemon tree. The hare came and after knowing his intentions began laughing saying there were no lemons at that tiem of the year. And you know what the snail said.
"I know, but when I reach there they will be there!"
That is the spirit, so go on tiger (oh I meant you, tiger and tigress)


Marlin (a clown fish) is a widower who only has his son Nemo left of his family after a predator attack. Years later, on Nemo's first day of school, he's captured by a scuba diver and taken to live in a dentist office's fish tank. Marlin and his new absent-minded friend Dory set off across the ocean to find Nemo, while Nemo and his tank mates scheme on how to get out of the tank before he becomes the dentist's niece's new pet.



lifesong's picture


One thing I love about movies (I don't know whether you know this) is that movies are a representation of our lives. WE get to live through the charcters onscreen. They portray our lives. Not all, but most do so. Some movies (like THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS) inspire.


James Ouma,

Life's a Song
Sing it, dance it, live it!

Y's picture

Well, James, you certainly

Well, James, you certainly have a fine sense of humor.


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