Unity in diversity calls for mutual respect, politeness
- Whenever you hurl a string of insolent words at an opponent, it is onto your own self that such words rebound.
We would now be approaching political nirvana if our politicians had always tried to boost our collective pride in this manner.
It is your responsibility to help your local people to embrace other Kenyans into a true singularity within your own lifetime.
As the American writer Robert Frost points out, falsehood almost never succeeds in putting up any strong and lasting political house. That is why, as the celebrated American puts it in poetry, “Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak…” In other words, you only weaken your own case whenever you seek to present it through a string of falsehoods and lies.
To put it differently, only if you know how objectively deep your power is can you, on occasion, rise to defend even your chief opponent as eloquently as President Kenyatta defended Raila Odinga, Kenya’s Opposition Leader, the other day. But it is your own case that you undermine and weaken whenever you consciously try to bear false witness to anybody.
It was thus that, when Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta spoke in defence of Raila Amolo Odinga the other day, the President succeeded in surrounding his own political house with even more powerful material. It all depends, nevertheless, on the mood in which the one side is speaking of the other. The point to keep in mind is that both sides concern one single house.
Partly because it is young, it is a weak house. But it must continue to stand and become strong if the occupants are to feel permanently secure in it no matter on what side of the political line they stand. On this particular occasion, Mr Kenyatta appeared to be in a jovial mood. That should tell all politicians that, in politics, you need never assume a permanently negative or belligerent attitude.
Indeed, politics is called so precisely because it is a game of policies. That is why it requires politeness in order to keep the opponents smoothly engaged all the time. Here I use three words which come from the same root so that the idea in question can sink smoothly into the minds of as many Kenyans as can be.
For, politically, the tendency by our politicians is to raise their voices to the peak of ethnic insolence, a very unfortunate fact. It is totally unprofitable both to themselves and to the society on whose name they purport to be speaking. Linguistically conscious readers will already know that politics and politeness are two etymologically closely related words.
It is for that reason that a socially knowledgeable and self-respecting politician will try every minute of his or her day to speak politely and positively to and about all his or her political counterparts. In other words, rudeness is never really a political asset. It never pays to hurl insults at anybody. Ultimately – as Uhuru Kenyatta clearly knows – name-calling never really yields any profit.
Whenever you hurl a string of insolent words at an opponent, it is onto your own self that such words rebound. In the minds of truly intelligent listeners, all insolent words eventually fall right back onto the image of the very individual who first hurled them. Try words that ethnically and racially caress and you will be surprised at the warmth with which all the people receive your ideas.
We would now be approaching political nirvana if our politicians had always tried to boost our collective pride in this manner. If, as an individual, you are keen on Kenya becoming a single nation soon, it is your responsibility to help your local people to embrace other Kenyans into a true singularity within your own lifetime.
For, at root, tribes are completely objective beings. They exist whether anybody likes it or not. It would thus be futile for me or anybody else to oppose their existence, I also know that their existence stands in opposition to all our attempts to create a single homogeneous nation called Kenya. The question is: Does any true Kenyan stand in opposition to the birth of such a child?