“Taking a stand is a way of living and being that draws on a place that is at the very heart of who you are. When you take a stand, you find your place in the universe, and you have the capacity to move the world.” – Lynne Twist
We all believe in something. We all feel aggrieved when an injustice happens in our environs. It’s part of our being. It’s how we are wired to respond inherently by being human. Anything that negatively impacts another in a small way will make us tick in some form. Unfortunately, as a consequence of our experiences and conditioning we chose whether to act or not. It’s the difference between standing for something you believe in or not. Taking a stand calls for your to do something about it and I believe we all get the tinge to act just that we all never go ahead with it. I wish we did. Some don’t because of fear, others because of desperation and other because of an I don’t care attitude provided it doesn’t touch on them directly. Such a sad state of affairs.
Today I had two critical encounters which made me realize there is so much ill that goes on in the name of that’s how the system works. Why do we let it work in a way that we outright know is wrong? I am currently working at a pharmaceutical industry doing my internship and in the course of work being the talkative person that I am I decided to check in with the employees out of courtesy. My realization was dumbfounding and I felt for the people I call my colleagues for the short period I will be with them. According to the Labour Laws there is a provision for casual workers and employees. Having worked consistently for over six (6) months would count for being an employee at the bare minimum I believe. Unfortunately, this isn’t taken account of. Working at a pay of Kshs. 300 per day (approx. 3 dollars) isn’t fair with no extra benefits including health insurance, risk insurance being they deal with chemicals etc. It was so heartbreaking.
In the young men I worked with I saw my younger brothers working six days a week at a bare minimum, living in Nairobi (consider the cost of living around is high), with the hope that at one time they’ll be able to get married and have a family of their own. How does it even happen under such conditions? Trying to probe further, they openly say they don’t have any options at the moment so they’d rather get something than nothing. Desperation can strip a man of their dignity but on my account I believe it’s inhuman to take advantage of another persons’ suffering. It hurts deeply.
Later in the evening I went on a date and narrated my experience on which my date acknowledged the shortfall while at the same time put it on systemic failures. We have a rotten society where everyone is fighting for themselves. I wonder who this society is if not me and you. Considering these were shortfalls in care for employees working in a pharmaceutical plant imagine the magnitude of any probable flaw in the processes: poor quality medicines getting to the market which may end up being taken by your loved ones and at worst there comes their death from drug poisoning. What if we could safeguard their welfare and insure ourselves and the general public by taking a standard?
Then here comes another malady we have for so long gotten accustomed to. Politics taking center stage and being the focus of our attention whether it serves us right or not. I am in a sombre mood coming to terms with the fact that we can lose two young souls and a politician has the audacity to publicly refuse to help with the investigations on account of not having received an official notice. How unwise can we be? Does an official notice bring the dead to life or does that contribute as evidence that they died at a function organized by the very politicians? We have to think differently, look at the bigger picture and as members of the society take a stand for what’s right for all. It’s not a light matter to lose a life and even so in a very unrealistic matter. Listening to the relatives give accounts, it all boils down to poverty and desperation. Young people doing anything and everything that can afford them a meal in the end while there isn’t much we are doing to create a better future for the young ones.
I view our situations at a vantage point and imagine how things will be if in the current state we are projecting unemployment to rise yet there isn’t much value we are creating in our ecosystem. A father earning 300/= a day will not find it easy raising a family and on this account will try every means possible to make ends meet. If lucky, he’ll get a better job otherwise the same cycle trickles down on his generation and generation after that. Assuming little development happens as has been the norm over the past couple of years we’ll be having a generation of desperate youths; the outcome of this is better stated by you. We’ve got to do better and better means looking at the systemic injustices and standing for what’s right.
“An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. Question is whether you are going to let it slide.”