We Are Not An Angry Nation

I believe that each one of us has the capacity to be happy and most times we suppress it whether consciously or subconsciously, because life. That the anger that dwells in us or that we display is just us expressing our frustration with life and it’s events but not because we’re intrinsically angry as a nation. If anything, I believe we’re one hell of a happy nation. When you ask a foreigner why they love Kenya, their first answer is almost always, the people. They’re warm, they’re welcoming and they’re fun to be around.

This weekend we were having a discussion around it with my mother, she had visited us. And she was surprised that while running her errands in the city center she was encountering so many angry people. From the matatu conductors and youth at the stage when she was boarding a matatu being condescending towards the passengers as they board or when they inquire about the destination or when she was walking on the streets and a pedestrian bumped into her and instead of simply saying sorry, he furiously attacks her with a “you should watch where you’re walking” remark. Then she brushed it off with, “maybe it’s because I have been away from the city for a long time that I had forgotten how these people operate.”

But is it really how we operate? Have you gone somewhere and people ask you why you’re always so happy? I have and sometimes I wonder whether it’s a wrong thing or if it’s out of the ordinary. I am generally a lively person and I enjoy going somewhere and finding people who are equally as lively. It doesn’t cost anything to smile at someone and say hello to them and when you want to be a little extra, ask them how their day is coming along. You’d be surprised how much that can impact a person with a sore attitude.

Hopeful, Kawi Snippets
Photo taken by Tafari Photography.

I find that a sore attitude is directly linked to a feeling of despair (hopelessness). When you’re hopeful, you have so much life in you, you’re pumped and when you’ve lost hope, you feel defeated and deflated. So how do you ensure that you keep your hopes high even when life is telling you otherwise? Because sometimes, we associate hope with when things are going great – when you’re blessed – you know when you have all your ducks in a row. Your career is flourishing, your grades are great, your finances are in order, your love life is promising, and your health is tip-top. But what happens when things are not working out and your ducks are falling off one by one? I am sure many of us have been there at one time or another, because life is not always as we want it to be. Where we want to be can be a long winding journey with lots of drawbacks. Here’s how you can go about it:

Have an attitude of gratitude

Everyday take a moment, look within and around you and teach yourself to say “thank you” even for the smallest of things. That you have a family, friends, a job, shelter, food, access to utilities, good health, access to education, you’re in a secure place and that there are all these possibilities. When you learn to appreciate the small things, then you’re able to see your blessings in ways you didn’t see before and it gives you some hope.

Believe that you’re here for a purpose

Take note of the word ‘believe’ which is to have faith even in the things unseen. You have to believe in yourself and your capabilities. You have to believe that the reason you’re here is because you’re part and parcel of something that’s way bigger than you. That you’re a puzzle piece that completes the puzzle or a dot that is needed to connect the dots to a bigger picture. And without you, then the puzzle that’s life is incomplete. And with this, you will wake up every day with a raison d’etre, and this will give you more hope than you could ever imagine.

Remember that you’re not on your own

Yes, I said that, “you’re not on your own.” In fact, the way this world is set up, there is always someone who’s there and willing to give you a hand. You just need to reach out and speak your truth and even your frustrations. Someone is listening. Someone is trying to figure how they can be of help and how they can have your back.

I say this with confidence, because I have had people who I didn’t even expect to look out for me, do so. When I was feeling hopeless, they encouraged me and used their influence to see how they can help me out. Just when I was feeling like I had fallen in a pit that I couldn’t pull myself out of, here comes someone giving you a hand to pull you out. It could be someone from your family, a friend, an acquaintance or even a complete stranger.

Speak positivity to your life

Your words have so much power that you have no idea how much influence they have in your life. Teach yourself to speak positive things into your life today, even when things are not going as planned. Believe, believe, believe, that all will be well and speak into your plans. You could be planning to go this way, but life is taking you the other way; but make a resolve to speak into the direction you want to go. You will find that perhaps that’s the longer path to your destination. And because you believed so much, you will do everything you can do to ensure that you get there. You won’t give up, but instead put in your A-Game, the rewards are even sweeter. Talk of delayed gratification. Isn’t that a hope booster?

Seek a higher power

I have found so much comfort in seeking a relationship with a higher power and for me, it’s God. Knowing that I am not on my own in that sense gives me so much hope. That I am his child and because I know and believe in him, his ways are my ways. That at the end of the day, whatever happens to me is according to his will and not mine really. That even when I make plans or hope for a future, that I have to release all that to him and believe that my plans and his are aligned. It’s such satisfying feeling for me, because through him, I know nothing is impossible even when it feels like it is. And even those drawbacks I experience in my journey, I believe are just tests and lessons to make me an all round better person.

And because this verse speaks to this (sounds poetic too),

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. ~ Psalms 30: 4-5

Wishing you a blessed week ahead. One full of hope and one where flashing out your beautiful smile, saying hello and being nice to the people around you is as ordinary as it gets.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*