I will never forget the day I diverted from the highway and followed a stranger who was driving a head of me up to his house. In fact I remember everything about the day so clearly it seems like only yesterday.
It was a beautiful sun-drenched Sunday afternoon along one of the highways leading into the City of Nairobi. As I was driving I was caught in a traffic jam. If you live in Nairobi you understand what I mean. Some drivers who were both behind and ahead of me went ballistic, honking their horns, screaming and slamming car doors. Nothing seemed to change and remained stuck for an hour. By this time I was getting impatient. Since it was afternoon, the temperature was already high and it was quite hot due to the scorching uncovered Sun. Droplets of perspiration fell from my brow and into my mouth and felt quite uncomfortable inside the car.
Suddenly the driver ahead of me turned his car to a diversion on his left hand side. Immediately a feeling came to me that probably the driver had remembered an alternative route (shortcut) leading to the City. Out of these thoughts I turned my car to follow him. He turned the first corner and I also turned. I followed him for some time until he stopped outside a gate and hooted and I was just behind him. I realized we had reached the end of the road and in fact the gate where he stopped was the gate of his house.
From this episode, it has now emerged to me to face reality and grapple with the internal need to find correct answers about the experience I went through and infer practical application. In fact standing in the heat of the Sun behind a stranger’s car and gate, I was beginning a journey of discovering how better and beneficial it was to follow.
What I went through made me experience the law of “cause and effect” first hand. This law is simple yet very powerful. It says that there is a specific effect for every cause. For every action there is a reaction. Without a reaction there is no motion and without a motion there cannot be a change of position. In other words the law of “cause and effect” says that if you do what other successful countries or people do, you will eventually get the results that other successful countries or people get. If you learn the success secrets of self-fulfilled people and apply them in your life, you will experience results and rewards far beyond anything you have accomplished up until now.
It is a basic science law that, every object remains at rest until a force is applied to it. So also, change of position calls for the application of relevant forces. If Kenya or Africa has to recover economically for example, she has to follow great nations that have become great by following a certain recovery process. History records that the nation of America went through a great time of economic depression, yet today the world’s economy is determined by the value of the American Dollar. China has become a nation to watch today, because it is now gradually taking over economically after a process of recovery. It is taking over not because of its population (it has always been highly populated) but because there is an economic re-awakening following certain great economic and foreign policies. She has diagnosed her economic challenge right.
Kenya and other African countries can borrow a leaf from other great nations to fight poverty. If you learn from successful economies that have successfully fought poverty, you will discover that winning the war against poverty begins with a correct diagnosis of what causes poverty. When you begin at the beginning you are too sure of the end. As long as the diagnosis is wrong, you cannot expect a patient to recover because you will administer the wrong medicine. One African writer wrote, “Poverty is not a native of Africa but a traveller that stays where it is welcome”. In other words, how you welcome poverty for example is what determines how long it settles. To expel it is to follow ways those who have succeeded have used in managing it. In other words let the “law of cause and effect” take effect in this respect.
“If you want to know about water don’t ask a fish”. That is what the brilliant social critic Marshall McLuhan used to say when his views were challenged by an industry “expert”. Experience had taught him that when people get too close to something, they can’t step back and take honest look at it.
The same could be said of us and our Country-Kenya, the land of opportunity to millions of foreigners. The truth is, opportunity surrounds us like water surrounds fish. If we want to exploit such opportunities let us use the “law of cause and effect”. If you want to know opportunity in Kenya and you are a Kenyan, find out how others who were surrounded by opportunities found those opportunities in their respective Countries.
I read some great idea about Sweden on how it manages waste. Sweden has an innovative Waste Management Program where it uses 96% of its garbage to generate electricity. In fact in the year 2012, it faced a crisis because it ran short of garbage. It had to start a process of importing from neighboring Countries. This makes me wonder what potential Counties have across Kenya with the volume of garbage that they generate daily. Instead, we are preoccupied with setting up disposal boards to figure out how to deal with garbage problem and in the process fight for those positions while waste materials are clogging drainage systems all over. Others like Sweden see garbage as a blessing and cannot get enough of it. Can all leaders learn from these great programs of Waste Management!
When you think the same thoughts and do the same things that great men and women do, you will begin to get the same results and benefits they do and by extension society will change. It is simply a matter of cause and effect. One writer wrote, “The wise learn from the mistakes of others but a fool insists on making his own.” Therefore, if we want to become successful let us find out what successful people do and do those same things until we achieve the same results. Remember as I wrote earlier, I drove behind a stranger religiously, where he reached is where I reached too.