It started off simple, I went to the hair salon, I got my hair done, I looked fabulous. As I prepared to exit there was a crowd of men in suits, I am not quite sure if there were any women, I came to learn later that these folk were county officials. They were hovering around the site of the collapsed building. Since they were in the way; they were like bees swarming at the entrance, I politely asked them to move their meeting to a different position. Some apologized and moved.
I further requested that they move their meeting away from the Salon door. Come on! It is a business! They are blocking customers from entry. And considering how fretful a people we Kenyans are, when people see people in suits and clipboards outside an establishment, what do we do in this country? We run, or walk away because we just don’t want to be caught up in someone else’s drama with the ‘law’. Again some individuals apologized and moved without a fuss except one diminutive figure.
“I am the MCA of this area….” (Cue to roll your eyes) the man continues. “And what you have done is wrong, we are doing very important work here……” At this point I mentally tuned out of this conversation fighting my urge to bark at him and pick my battles. Was he really worth it, he is already unreasonable in his response and clearly is obsessed with exerting his ballot assigned authority?
Then when I checked back in to his ramblings, “what you have done is wrong, I am done!” He said as he flicked his hand at me and walked away. Like an angry irrational parent he barked at me unwarranted and acted like I, his constituent, was his indisciplined child who ‘questioned’ his authority. I took that as simple bullying, I can go on a tirade commencing with, “Who does he think he is…?” But I won’t why? Because he is a reflection of the society we live in.
Because, logic and critical thinking and general debate aka questioning has been beaten out of us. We have been indoctrinated to believe that anyone in power is above questioning. I have chewed out doctors for ‘shoving’ me around and expecting me to ‘obey’ them when they whip out a prescription without telling me what the results of the tests mean and why I was getting that specific prescription. Security guards who act like they are Angel Michael at the gates of Heaven, and the insecure lecturer and High School teacher who I took to task with their general absence of logic.
You even see it in touts. It is such a ‘Uta-do’? attitude. I become untouchable when I perceive I have some form of clout over you, even if it as simple as charging you bloody bus fare? Come on! That MCA reminded me of how much work we need to put in a general re-indoctrination of the crap that we do to each other. Questioning is what makes society and humanity better, because when we question we open room to evaluate ourselves and improve. Sigh!
It is one battle at a time. Just not taking crap from people around you and find a cordial way to logic it out, without bludgeoning each other to death.
First published on http://blog.storymojafestival.com