THE KENYA WE WANT BEGINS WITH YOU AND I
Article by: Fr. Victor Mbuthia
Daniel of the Old Testament praises God as the one who changes the times and seasons; removes kings and establishes them, and gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning (Daniel 2:21). I am convinced, in faith, that a providential God guides the fate of the world and its people, however, it is also a fact of history even of Sacred Scripture that world rulers have a big role to play on the well-being of the masses and the direction to which the world is moving. Not just rulers of the theistic peoples but those of all other nations as well and especially of the powers that be at any time in the history of the world.
God has changed the fate of His people, of those who trusted in him, often times with all odds stacked up against them! St. Paul’s writing in the New Testament states that God works all things together for the good of those who love him (Rom 8:28). In such light, therefore, leaders; malevolent or benevolent, believer, atheistic, agnostic or indifferent, in dignifying to their subjects or otherwise are instruments of providence. This is not in any way to downgrade the experience of evil, strife, injustices, and cruelties that the world has known under tyrannical regimes.
What is the role of the people of faith? What is the role of the Youth in this scheme of history?
People of faith have to be actively involved in political affairs and the determination of their democratic rights or otherwise elected leaders. They also should engage in the support of just systems and the placement of checks and balances of their governments or rulers. Mao Zedong, a Chinese revolutionary and one of the most controversial leaders of the 20th Century in a quote that probably indicates the importance of politics is quoted as saying “Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.” Politics is warfare in some significant sense and in our country it has unfortunately more often than not even led to actual bloodshed. This and the many empty promises, manifestos, and grave disappointments with every regime.
I would have to blame the voter apathy and indifference of the Kenyan youth in politics. Probably the biggest questions in their minds are; why would I vote? What change will it bring? What change did it bring last time? We voted but things keep getting worse!
However, as Plato states “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Many who know better and can make a difference, end up with the wrong choice of leadership and instead of making better choices in the future, they decide not to vote. They then end up being governed subsequently by others lesser than themselves.
As Keith, a former Attorney General Of the state of Minnesota stated, “not voting is not a protest rather it is a surrender to whoever is chosen by those who vote”. Those who vote are guided by whatever consideration they have in their choice of leader or lack thereof. Indeed, the importance of participation in politics and the political processes and arena of a country cannot be understated or downplayed.
In a country like ours where the number of the youth is approximated to be as much as 75% of the population, the voice of the young people should be significant enough to bring about the appropriate change. If the young people are well guided, they may actually be the instrument that our providential God uses to tip the fortunes of our beloved country.
Mother Teresa viewed herself as only a little pencil. In a sense, if every single person would allow themselves to be a little pencil in the hands and the design of Our Lord, to allow him to do the sharpening, writing, and thinking to allow him to use us as docile instruments. As candidates, running mates, voters, agents, returning officers, security personnel, members of the fourth and fifth estates, party leaders, supporters, former presidents, ministers, PSs, their husbands, wives and children, their kin, supporters, and advisers, etc. each one in their own little way allowing God to use them, animated by the values and virtues of solidarity, dignity, and rights of every human person (from birth to natural death), common good, justice, integrity, honesty, rule of law, charity, humility, preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, the dignity of human work and rights of workers, subsidiarity, etc. then the positive change that we need will soon come to be a reality. Let us all in our own little way be the instruments of change by our participation and most of all by our votes.