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Unity of Kenyans is paramount

Thursday May 28 2020
By GICHU KIHORO

Our mind is one of the most fascinating phenomena discernible in nature. While it is the base for all of our perceptions, we know very little of how it works exactly. 

 There are several ways for us to tackle this matter, including from a neuroscience or philosophical perspective. Yet, one of the most interesting ways was developed by Sigmund Freud, more than a hundred years ago.

PSYCHOANALYSIS

 He called his technique psychoanalysis, and he analysed the most inner desires of the mind through its subconscious and implicit exclamations.

As such, he used dreams and slips of the tongue to understand what his patients really desired, deep down. These gave him straight, unfiltered insights into their minds.

 Language is a very important part of this, and every word we use has a distinct meaning.

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Sometimes, while we are not consciously aware of it, our mind knows much better. It is aware of the nuances, history and context of every word we use, even if on the surface of it we pay little attention to the words we are choosing.

 It is interesting to take a closer look at which words we, our family, our elders and our national leaders use, and how we use them.

Especially in difficult times like these, well-chosen words can make all the difference. After all, there are many famous examples in history where a speech, or even a sentence, could lift a whole nation to unknown heights. 

Yet, words can also have the opposite effect. Lately, I have heard much talk about “revenge”.

Politicians, factions, parties, even governments want to take “revenge” on their rivals. Apart from the distinctly violent tone, which reminds of a past that should stay buried for ever, the word itself points to the past.

Etymologically, revenge stems from “to claim or avenge again”, indicating a never-ending circle of violence.

 PEACE AND UNITY

 This is something we believed and hoped to be a thing of the past. After decades of strife, we elected leaders who understood that peace and unity are, above all else, what Kenya needs, and what its leaders need to strive for.

President Uhuru Kenyatta especially made it his mission to embrace former foes, and political rivals for a better and more prosperous future for Kenya.

This is the spirit we need, the spirit responsible for all the strides we have taken towards becoming a medium-income economy by 2030. This is the spirit we need to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

 The coronavirus provides the world with challenges which it has not seen in at least a century.

Around the world, many countries have taken extraordinary steps to keep their citizens safe and healthy.

The health of Kenyans in the government’s top priority. To defeat the deadly virus, we need to remain united.

 INFIGHTING

All of these attributes contribute to a nation which is optimistic and hopeful about its prospects in the long term. We can’t afford infighting, division and strife to distract us while the world is facing the Covid-19 crisis.

We need to focus on important issues, not ridiculous topics such as appointments to meaningless titles of unimportant outfits.

Rahm Emanuel, one of US President Barack Obama’s top advisors, is known for his statement to “never let a good crisis go to waste”. Us Kenyans should also use this crisis to take a second, better look at our leaders, political and elsewhere. Which ones are the leaders trying to position themselves better for the future, and which ones are the leaders trying to position Kenya better for the future?

The dividing line runs between those pursuing unity and peace, and those stifling and dividing the country.

 These trying times should be used by all of us to sift through and choose the leaders who have our, and not theirs, best interests in mind. Leaders who first and foremost care about peace and unity in Kenya. Leaders which will live up to our national motto and be committed to “Harambee”sprit!

Mr Kihoro is a Research and Data expert. [email protected]

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