I AM NOT A MORALIST BUT AN EDUCATOR!
Any blog is meant to share ideas, opinions and thoughts on the current situations of life. Sharing these feelings with a colleague at breakfast, it appeared that most of the youth in Kenya today are interested more in wealth than in values. For instance, a young undergraduate student will always ask if a particular study will change his social class and economic status. This question is not misplaced. The general tendency today is on materialism. Allow me to say this, there is Neo-Marxist ideology overwhelming the youth today. Good life is equal to amount of wealth you have. In some African traditions, a wealthy man was related to the number of wives he had. Today, wealth is considered in terms of how much money one has in the bank accounts or in cash and how many assets he has in possession. This is what is called capital. It is the capital that makes one be somebody in the modern society.
In Kenya, the wealthy today are nicknamed “Masonkos” – a term coined from Hon. Mike Mbuvi Sonko, a Nairobi County Senator. He is known for his blings and fancy clothes and expensive life. But, most importantly, he is known for his generosity and support for the poor. He dishes out money like papers to the needy. He avails ambulances and funeral vans in charity to help the needy in his constituency. In Kenya, every young person will dream of becoming Sonko or Masonkos. Many youth in Nairobi will tell you, if Sonko expresses his wish to become the next Governor, he will definitely receive our blessings.
I am not opposed to the idea of material wealth or becoming rich. I am not opposed to good life in terms of accessing basic needs. If anything, this is the aspiration of any ordinary normal human being. Remember I am not denying that someone may have the gift to live as Mother Teresa of Calcutta and die as a noble monarch.
This blog story is interested rather in the question of an ideal society. Do we young people have a dream of an ideal society? Is there such a thing as becoming a virtuous person? If the answer is no, then we need to go back to the drawing board. Is there a person in your life experience that you can count as a virtuous good person a part from the wealthiest?
The question my friend raised was, little do we bother to ask, where does the money of Masonkos come from? We are more bothered by having the money but not how we can get it. It is here that we get wrong. Is in the failure of critical thinking of wealth that we end up being corrupt or promoting corruption. I thank my learned friend Prof. Kamanga who reiterated that we should know where we come from, where we are in order to know where we are going to. As much as we are concerned about the now, we should be concerned as well of the Yesterday and Tomorrow. Life does not begin and end with us.
In Kenya we can tame corruption by reminding the young people of the question, where does the money come from? Does the wealth come only through unethical means? Does dirty money make us happier? Why not to toil for what you gain in a clean way? What is happiness by the way? Sorry for asking you such philosophical hard questions. It is not a mistake to tell a young person not to take bribe. Remember what President Obama told Kenyans at Karani, “Whoever takes money in corruption is denying hundreds and thousands of young people job opportunities”…Wealth plus values will yield happiness. Good plus good is equal to good and not evil.
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Wealth, values or both!
I AM NOT A MORALIST BUT AN EDUCATOR!