In February this year, Morris Mwenda, a street boy, became famous when his video went viral on social media. The 15-year-old awed many with his competence in the Queen’s language as well as his ability to articulate matters that may seem too complex for his age. Morris has been living in the streets of Nairobi for the past one year due to squabbles in his family and had consequently dropped out of school and into the streets. But now, Morris has found a home thanks to the Homeless of Nairobi, a group that has dedicated itself to rehabilitating willing street children and helping them pursue education.
Needless to say, Morris became a darling of the nation, so to speak, as media houses and personalities rushed to his aid, and aid he did get. It was heartwarming to see Kenyans reaching out to Morris as they have done in other occasions in the past. Hot in the heels of Morris’ story came the news that a hospital in Nairobi would conduct free heart surgery for triplets with congenital heart condition whose parents were unable to raise Ksh 2.5 million needed to correct the defect. The surgery was a success and the toddlers were given a new lease of life.
See, in a society that has been subjected to negative news every day, it is refreshing to hear or experience an iota of positivity. In the same breath, it is heartrending to read stories of negligent doctors, of drunk drivers who endanger the lives of innocent road users, of wanton corruption, domestic violence, infanticide…sigh; the list is endless. Sadly, it is the disenfranchised, the helpless and future generations that bear the biggest brunt in the face of such callousness. That is why we should embrace humanity.
Humanity is synonymous with charity, and as the saying goes, it begins at home. It then spreads to the people we meet, the roads we travel and the places we visit. It is seeing someone else as a human before anything else. Gladly, humanity is still alive in each one of us; all we need to do is to activate it through building bonds in society that transcend religious, racial, gender and tribal boundaries. It is holding people, from all walks of life, in high esteem and it is best captured in the saying: “Do to others what you would like them to do to you.”
Ten to 20 years ago, calls to save the environment fell on deaf ears. The likes of the late Prof Wangari Maathai paid a huge price to secure the environment for generations to come but their efforts were not enough to stop some selfish individuals from mutilating it. Right now, the future has caught up with us and countries are in a mad rush to save the environment just because someone somewhere did not stop to think about the future generation and how their actions would impact it. Humanity thus calls for us to think with both our hearts and minds and envisioning the ripple effect our actions will have on others.
Admittedly, as life gets harder and harder each day, it is very easy to overlook the needs of others in our pursuit of happiness and that which money can buy. In this rush to acquire wealth and what have you, the deprived are forgotten and the outcome is terrible. There is a lot of hue and cry in the world today and more so in our country. People are starving; they are molested for one reason or the other, and are divided along petty issues of tribe, creed and political affiliations.
That humanity has sunk to new lows is in no doubt. The gravity of the matter unfolded on the shores of Europe last year in September when images of a lifeless three-year-old Syrian boy appeared in the media. The toddler was among 12 refugees who had drowned while escaping fierce fighting in Syria. He is part of the statistics of the millions of people who needn’t have died and for what? Power? Religion? Wealth? Is it worth it?
No, it isn’t. By respecting people, we respect life; we respect the Creator. Hatred leads to nowhere, love and caring goes a long way and humanity will make the world a better place to live in. The choice is solely ours.
Published April 2016