The focus in Nairobi off late has been all about #Westgate and it has been so hard to get through every day. I have been glued to my sources of media and this is a new one for me. If I wasn’t on TV I was on Twitter, or Facebook or email. I have sat in many conversations and heard many things and there has been a distinct sense of loss and desperation in all of us regardless of where the person is or where they come from. Any past divisions I know about were discarded in a split second and replaced by concern, fear, terror, prayer and then patriotism. Yes, patriotism. As a nation we have grown in leaps and bounds since Saturday when it all. This afternoon when it all ended there was an almost palpable sigh of relief. I caught up with the story much later but somehow as the day had progressed I had innately sensed a change in the atmosphere as if the cloud had lifted. Indeed the cloud over the nation had lifted and our beloved nation was free again.
I am introspective and like to think deeply. Off late I have been challenged to learn from every situation so of course I have been reflecting on the things I have heard said and thought. There are indeed lessons I have gleaned from the happenings of the last few days. I have drawn key lessons for myself from discussions around me as follows:
- We choose our attitude. One profound statement I heard recently…”They sowed hate but love has conquered all.” We all had a choice to hate or love each other based on the happenings. In our case, we chose to love, share our blood, give life and money for the good of our beloved nation.
- We must have courage. “Do not faint for fear of what man can do.” This stood out for me. In my humble assessment Courage is the only way out. We cannot move forward or make progress without courage. Courage will give us the ability, interest and desire to move on and make life work for us.
- Faith is our anchor. Faith provides the basis for growth, stability and a strong future. My new reality is that we are nothing without Papa. Yes, I know, there are times when it seems like nothing will work. So I have learnt that even when things are hard and seemingly out of control faith has to be the basis of my strength and ability to walk. “Even in hard times God stands.”
- Keep walking. There’s no retreat, there’s no surrender. We cannot make it to the end by giving up and looking back. We must keep walking tall and with confidence even when the path is not as clear as we would like. We must walk in trust based on our anchor of faith.
- Strategic preparation. We cannot keep our eyes on today and now. We cannot be reactive, we must be proactive. We must look ahead, focus on the future and all the possibilities of the same. Strategic thinking means that we must:
- Work through the issues of the past
- Focus on the future
- Be alert and walk with our eyes open
- Keep to our plans and agendas
- Avoid distractions and confusion
- Seek wisdom and clarity for implementation
- Seek out people who push us to the next level
- Build bridges
- Explore all options
- Never stop looking
Simple things yet today they are as profound to me as if I never heard or thought them before. I have learnt a few things about myself. I learnt that I love my homeland, I love my people, I love the passion and heart of my people but most of all I love my God