Friday, February 13, 2015

The Poor Valentine - An [unstructured] #EndPovertyInKenya entry

Look up, dear Valentina. That means you too, Valentino.

Those nails have seen enough polish. Get them to work. That screen, with the Persies and Drogbas and Toures inn’ going nowhere. You bought that recording gizmo that DSTV offers, did you not? Use it. 

Go to church. Pray for a miracle. Thank God for that new car.

Consume. Thank the creator for allowing it.

Poverty begins in the mind. It springs forth, off my father’s lack of forethought. It comes from his disregard of his duty to build upon my forefather’s simple ways, his subsistence from farm production.

Poverty is in the ‘mine’; in your own mine. I want. I must have. I should do’s and don’ts, because they asked it of me. But it does not end there.

It seeks pigeonholes. It wants company, assertion, reiteration…noise.

It does not want silence. It is afraid it will see right through itself. It worries that it will wonder why it spends a small company’s annual budget – nay, its entire 5 year plan – on a palatial room in a well-marketed castle for a dead saint.

What else could 2.4 million Kenya shillings produce?

And there’s a million voices…

Poverty is in the experience, in the lack; in the lack of experience, the wastage of luck… It is not original.

I want to be original; to be creative and be part of the solution. Don’t you? Of course you do. You have been asked, time and again, to be that guy; that girl.

But how…?

How do you create original solutions to a self-perpetuating problem? How do you, when that self-recycling problem raised you? Molded your every thought, every experience and word…your very voice? Molded you in its own mould, molded you against that mould?

How do you tell others not to be poor, when your perception of poverty varies so often? When their happiness and your own misconceive each other, do not converge to build better for each other?

The answer is so simple, to me, right now. Mind matters. Darkness matters, as much as the light guiding us out does. The journey, all with one accord, must matter. Divergent thought, critical, matters.

Can we not teach our children to know themselves, accept others, and tolerate only that which they must, to get where they need to be? Can we not show them that access to resources, to information, to people, matters more than that vision board with the flashing wedding lights?

I believe that we have no option but to do just that. We have no option but to walk, we who can and believe we know how to. We will amuse some. Others will ignore us. We will face challenges.

Above all, we will remember that challenges are opportunities waiting to be reached for. We will constantly eat new experiences, meet new meats, and grow our reach.

We will grab the opportunities by their throat, choke our poverty into oblivion.

Only then, shall one ably willing generation: #EndPovertyInKenya.

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