Archive for the ‘General’ Category

live and let live

I have always admired diversity. I like the way in the beginning, God created different versions of the same thing: the way He separated the dry land from the water bodies, day from night, black from white, female from male, and so on. Two extremes, yet of the same thing. He created animals and also created diversity in them. Some wild, others ‘domesticable’ (I know that’s a fake word). Some to fly, walk, crawl, swim. Some fierce, scary, gentle. Some to bite, sting, swallow. Large and small, all colors represented. He did the same with trees and all other living things. Then he created man, and was pleased.

Let’s pause there for a minute.

He created man in his own image, we are told. Hold on: currently, we have 7 billion humans worldwide. None resembling the other. None! We are all unique in our way.

So, what exactly is the image of God?

The human species comes in all versions; white to “colored”, tall to short, thin to thick, liberal to conservative, extroverts to introverts, and so on. No one is exactly like the other, so we have over 7 billion personalities. Yet we are all the same due to one fact: we are human, we are people. We all came from Adam and Eve.

That, dear friends, is called diversity. I think God loves diversity. I think God is not pleased about the way religions fight each other in His name. And to answer the question, I think the “image of God” is not a standard phenomenon. It has to be diverse. We all harbor the image of God in our own ways.

My point, exactly?

Hating each other on the basis of something as little as opinion is stupid!

In particular, all this gender-based hullabaloo happening in our society today makes me sick to the stomach! With all the First World Problems we have in this century, I think perpetrators of gender-based biases should be locked up and the cell keys thrown far away (into the ocean, maybe) for having misplaced priorities. They are also humans though, we live with them, and we have to accept them.

Let’s engage in a little real talk:

Gender is not a good enough reason to not hire anyone for a job that they’re qualified for in every way. Gender is not a good enough reason for society to decide how anyone should dress, speak, act, or communicate. The difference between acting “open minded” and “conservative” is not decided by genitalia. Each personality is completely different and can identify anywhere on the spectrum from 100% feminine to 100% masculine.

I hate gender-based stereotypes. They make it hard for men to find or feel comfortable with working as nurses, teachers, secretaries, or in bars and restaurants. No all women are bad drivers, mismanage finances, or get overwhelmed at the slightest bit of pressure. It is also unfortunate that women who are victims of sexism are called “bitchy”, or that men are encouraged to sow their wild oats, but women are shamed for any demonstrations of sexuality. The right to equality and respect isn’t dependent on gender, just as it shouldn’t be with any other characteristic.

My Body, My Space.

First of all, let’s agree that every body (yes, kila mwili) is unique. Each has its quirks, weak points, strong points, and finer points. Some bodies have experienced life: medical procedures, accidents, scrapes and bruises, piercings, tattoos, weird haircuts and fashion statements, and so on. Only the owner of a body really understands its journey. So why should anyone be telling anyone what they can or cannot do with their body? Unless you are obligated to nurture one’s moral and general development; say a parent, a religious leader or just someone who really cares, I think it is only fair to focus on your own and let everyone else deal with theirs. Live and Let Live.

However, I do not entirely blame the haters. I think as humans we are inclined to want to ‘accept’ and associate with those who are like us and detest those who are not. I’m not sure why, (I’m not an authority in these matters)but I think we are naturally inclined to ‘not like’ those who do not believe in whatever we believe in. maybe it is a sort of a survival tactic that the body assumes to shield itself from the ‘enemy’? I’m not sure.

I’m sure of one thing, though; we need to develop an orientation toward life that makes existence bearable and maybe allow even the most tenuous social relationships to remain intact. We need to Live and Let Live.

The question about why men cheat is one of the most talked about topics now within most Kenyan circles, thanks to one Njoki Chege. Her wife-bashing article that appeared in her weekly column City Girl on The Nation newspaper has gotten all of us on “attack mode”. Now everyone with an access to the internet, T.V, radio or a newspaper seems to have an opinion on the same. Needless to say, the poor lass has received quite a generous share of venom mostly from the country’s womenfolk following her tell-it-as-it-is-without-sugar-coating sentiments. Whereas I agree that her article was, by all means, insensitive and lacked helpful addition to the family values, I also think that thanks to her piece, with us now is a mostly-ignored issue that is now getting the much needed attention. So let’s reduce our focus from The Ratchetness of Njoki, and divert more attention to the real reasons behind this controversial habit.

The most ironic thing I’ve discovered within the last few days is that it is mostly the women who come up with all the opinions as to why men actually cheat. Shouldn’t this come from the men, given that they are the accused? So many ideas going round now: the logical ones and the outright imaginary ones. So, as a note-so-busy internet-lover who goes from site to site for fun and hustle purposes, I ended up digging deeper on the same.

First of all, let’s agree that cheating by men is not a 1st World Problem. It is not a condition for the privileged nor is it a by-product of civilization and technological innovations. These only facilitate: by making it easier for men (and women) to spot and pursue new preys and also making it harder for the “culprits” to get caught.

Thing is, the universe has known cheating since inception.

Methinks that when the serpent in the Garden of Eden tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit in order to instantly gain ‘knowledge’, and she obliged, cheating was born. She basically broke the rules so as to gain an unfair advantage.

Here’s why

Going by definition, “Cheating is the getting of reward for ability by dishonest means or finding an easy way out of an unpleasant situation. It is generally used for the breaking of rules to gain unfair advantage in a competitive situation”.

Now, I don’t know what you get from that definition, but here’s what I get: first there is a “reward” that needs to be satisfied. In our context, that reward may be sex or any other emotional or psychological need that can only be obtained from the opposite sex. In order for the satisfaction of this reward to amount to cheating, it must have been driven by dishonesty. In other words, cheating happens whenever you act without honesty. Which happens often. Quite a lot.

We are not always so honest about many things.

The fact is, people cheat. Regardless of how you care to perceive it, the act of cheating is in all of us and most, if not all of us have cheated in some way or another. Remember the schooling-days’ habits of landing your eyes upon a classmate’s paper when faced with a question you couldn’t answer, kissing a boy other than your boyfriend, or the working-day habits of faking sickness so as not to report to work or claiming to be “Stupidly drunk and I thought your twin-sister was you”? If you don’t, GOOD.  I personally believe these are the build-up to the big and contentious one, cheating in marriage. Thing is, people from all shades of this life’s dark and treacherous shadows have indulged in the subtle art of cheating. If you say you have never cheated, you probably just cheated on the answers to the statements above.

So Why Do Men Cheat?

Back to men cheating in marriage. Counselor M. Gary Neuman, a licensed family counselor and rabbi from New York surveyed 200 cheating and non-cheating husbands to get at the real reasons behind men’s infidelity. Whereas some may argue that the western conditions are different from those in Kenya and that Neuman’s research is relevant to his environment, the fact is cheating is a universal phenomenon and all cheaters are driven by common factors. His findings reveal factors that I think are worth pondering about:

  1. It’s not all about sex

“48% of men rated emotional dissatisfaction as the primary reason they cheated.”

So much for the myth that for men, cheating is all about sex. In fact, only 8 percent of men said that sexual dissatisfaction was the main factor in their infidelity. Thing is, our culture (especially the African culture) tells us that all a man needs to be happy is sex. However, men are emotionally driven beings too. They want their partners to show them that they’re appreciated, and they want women to understand how hard they’re trying to get things right. The problem is that men are less likely than women to express these feelings, so you won’t always know when your guy is in need of a little affirmation.

  1. Contrary to popular belief, the cheating men actually care!

“66% of the cheating men reported feeling guilty during the affair.”

Therefore, it isn’t just uncaring jerks that cheat. Turns out most cheaters are people who actually never dreamt that they’d be unfaithful. The research also pointed out that almost all of them wished they hadn’t done it. The unfortunate thing, however, is that guilt isn’t enough to stop a man from cheating.  Even if your husband swears he would never cheat, don’t assume it can’t happen. This’s because “Men are good at compartmentalizing feelings and can hold on to their emotions and deal with them later.”

  1. Finally, the FRIENDS factor

“77% of cheating men have a good friend who cheated.”

Hanging around friends who stray only makes cheating seem normal and eventually legitimizes it. The message he’s subconsciously telling himself: My friend is a good guy who happens to be cheating on his wife. I guess even the best of us do it. It even gets tougher because as a wife, you can’t simply ban your Kenyan husband from hanging out with Mr. Wandering Eyes. Well, I am not married, but I don’t think I would stop hanging out with my bros just because my wife said so.

So now, what to do?

Being a bachelor, I totally have no authority on this. All I can suggest is pray and have faith that God makes all things right. However, thanks to Google, I also found a statement that makes sense to me: Build your social circle around happily married couples that share your values — it’ll create an environment that supports marriage.

BRAZIL 2014 MOMENTS

Posted: July 14, 2014 in General

Brazil 2014 has undoubtedly been a World Cup to remember. Probably the best in living memory, depending on how old you are. Unfortunately it all ended some hours ago, and all the football faithfulls around the world have religiously kept the faith: sacrificing sleep, regrouping (yes), spending on their favorite teams in form of placing bets, purchasing new jerseys, and stuff. Others saved money for years just to collect enough to take them to Brazil and support their teams first-hand. That’s called loyalty.Fans of England hold up a signThough we never made it to the main tournament, as Kenyans, we have our very own Florian Keller, a guy that I feel is a hero to a degree. Keller took up the challenge of travelling from Nairobi to Rio – not in the cozy spaces of airplanes but on road through different countries. He drove from Nairobi to North Africa, through the rough terrains of Mongolia to the beaches of Mexico and Central America, before landing in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup opening. You don’t believe me? How about you engage some Google.

Personally, I won’t even begin to explain how much I love football, but I have to admit that the last one month has been nothing short of pure bliss for me. Now, I understand that not everybody loves football. However, there are some World Cup moments that transcend the sport. Some of these moments were beautiful, emotional and heroic tales of triumph against adversity. But others are just really, really entertaining. Allow me, at this point, to record about my personal favourites.

The Broken Records and Memorable Moments

Let’s begin with the fact that the first goal of the 2014 World Cup was an own goal. Brazil got off to the worst possible start at their World Cup after a Marcelo own gave Croatia the momentary lead in Sao Paulo. It was the first auto goal Brazil has ever conceded in a World Cup. It was also the only auto goal to open scoring in a tournament – both are records the defender won’t particularly relish holding.

World Cup hosts also suffered record defeat. The 7-1 scoreline was the worst defeat in the soccer-crazed nation’s history, dashing hopes of overcoming the national tragedy of losing the final game of the 1950 World Cup at home. This also saw a very lucky gambler who had made a bet that Germany would score seven goals against Brazil’s measly one walk away with a cool £2,505. Wow, who could have made such an unlikely prediction with money at stake?

Germany defeats Brazil 7-1

New stars were born, such as the 23 year old Colombian forward James Rodriguez who won the Golden Boot for finishing as the top scorer. Who remembers the giant insect that landed on James Rodriguez’s arm when he scored against Brazil? Only the eagle-eyed viewers spotted something on his arm as he celebrated.

Oh, Spain got the unlikely early kick-out barely days after the kick-off. Being the former world champions, that must have been hard to come to terms with. The pain in Spain was simply plain after the defeat.

Many more, and probably more notable, historic moments were made, but am not a football analyst. Am just a fan.

THE MEMES

If you love Twitter like I do, or maybe Facebook, then we both know that some of the funny tweets and memes doing rounds within the internet circles deserve an award. A ‘Meme Grammys’ or something. Here are some of my favorites courtesy of Twitter.

The Super Costa Rica: The world had already written off Costa Rica’s chances of making it past the group stage after being drawn into the same group as three previous World Cup winners – Uruguay, Italy and England. However, they managed to pull off the biggest upset of the tournament by finishing the group stage undefeated and in first place.

8. Giant-slayer Costa Rica â¿

The Suarez Incident: Without a doubt, the most circulated memes of the tournament comes from Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, who had bitten a player for the third time in his career. Suarez memes were so many I would probably require a mini-world-wide-web to exhaust them. However, this was probably my favorite: The Louis Suarez bottle opener!!

Luis Suarez bottle opener

The Super Goalies: This has got to be that one World Cup that exhibited the goalies’ brilliance. The “Tim” factor. U.S.A’s Tim Howard did great alongside the other Tim, Holland’s reserve goalie. Howard received lots of love though. Some even thought he could have saved The Titanic from sinking!

However, regardless of the fact that Neuer won the goalie’s award, my goalie of the tournament has got to be The Great Ochoa

 

The flying Dutch: Let’s agree on one thing thing: Van Persie’s flying goal was one of the highlights of skill at its best.

Meanwhile In Brazil World Cup

Robben may have some excellent skills as well, but he was also busy flying..to the ground. Too much diving methinks. Generally, Netherlands was a flying nation.

The Flying Dutchmen

Brazil’s Unfortunes: I have never seen people more creative than when ridiculing.

Germany - Brazil 7-1

Still on Brazil, one thing evident is the fact that the citizens were not so happy about hosting the tournament, even before it kicked off. Being a 3rd world country, they felt like their government was spending too much on the tournament at the expense of basic social needs. The image and graffiti artists ensured that they passed the people’s message to the respective authorities. I have to admit, I like. No. Love the creativity in the art.

Protests Against The World Cup

If you are sensitive about humanity, you got to take a moment of silence and ponder about the image below.

Yay For Brazilian Tax Spending Plans

As a proud African, I have to share an opinion or two concerning our representatives. Actually one: Their (our) display was simply poor. Very poor. It makes one wonder if the match-fixing allegations are true. I really wonder. Considering most football fans around the world were supporting at least two teams, I think I speak for at least 85% of Africans when I say that we also supported two teams, the African Team and “the significant others”. I hope we perform better in 2018.

All said, the bottom-line is that I am quite sad that the World Cup is over. I can now hope for two things, that the 2014/2015 EPL football season begins asap, and that four years will roll up fast and welcome the next month of Awesomeness, The World Cup 2018 in Russia. I also think that I’ll be married by then so I hope that my significant other will give me a favorable, if not a pleasant environment for the same.