“Success is a mystery yet the most sought after in the whole world.”
As a kid growing up in a remote village was a blessing in disguise. It’s a blessing because the lessons I learnt, the observations I made and the ideals people lived by even though being eroded still hold dear to me. My parents were the elite in the remote village as primary school teachers and as you can already imagine those were the days of “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” My parents never hesitated to use the rod to instill discipline and especially my Dad as you can read about it here. I was among the privileged to be able to wear shoes to school and to add to it I had a small bicycle. I loved the fact, enjoyed the moments but it would at some times feel strange. I remember some days that I could hide my shoes by the fence and go to school barefoot just to be the same as all the other kids. I loved it even though it earned some punishment from “deputy parents” (having elder sisters is one hell of a life especially when you are cheeky but that’s a story for another day.)
I lived, I loved and enjoyed everything a young boy would in that setting. The only difference was when you’d notice it being talked of among the others that you were privileged which I later confirmed to be true. Fortunately or by God’s design my parents are the ones to extend a hand and lift others. I am proud of them for this and it has been a key piece of me recalling the holidays we would be over 15 children (boys) at home and for your information we used to eat well. Mum had to do the heavy lifting which she did diligently and with care.
Then came high school and “Watu wa Nai” are the wave you wonder what’s with Nairobi. The closest to Nairobi I had ever been at this point was receiving loaves of bread from my uncle whenever he came home from the city. I don’t know whether he used to buy them in Nairobi for me or when nearing home but he did either way and being he was from Nairobi I ate “Nariobi Bread” courtesy of him. With high school experience there was a new world I knew nothing about but longed to see what it had to offer. Ticket to the envisioned “small heaven” was university and I landed my chance. Well, this was a scam being I ended up in Kiambu instead of Nairobi being JKUAT loved me more. I don’t regret it.
With campus came new experiences, new possibilities and endless aspirations. It so happens that with every step I take there are even more to get to and it’s thrilling this adventure but at the end of the day I don’t know whether I’m nearing success or running away from it. Maybe I’ll find out or maybe not. In case you have an answer please share on the comments section.
So this is the point, everybody wants to be successful yet not many of us have defined what success looks like for us. Most of the definitions are based on outsider perception and societal constructs of what it should mean to be successful. Having lots of money, driving a big car or rather being driven in a big car, taking vacation etc. but at the end of the day, are you happy? I think we need to define what success is for each of us, I am trying to figure it out as well.
As a by the way, I think this adoption of societal definition of success is partly contributing to the social ills in our society. From Mike Oliver claiming victory for having serially slept with Kenya women to embezzlement of funds by government officials. It’s a curse of, by and for the society. It’s our role to remedy it.
Your definition of success is different from mine but they both make us happy. And chances are that we can all be happy living our best lives. Why not give it a try?