- Children grow up into adults and end up making terrible voting choices that are now leading us on a downward trajectory.
- No political decision is made independently until “a big man” tells us his choice for a leader.
- Like children, we piggy back on that decision, own it and happily endorse the candidate in jubilation and ululation as if we made that decision ourselves.
- No questions asked, no intentions analysed, no consequences projected.
Parents are always flying off the handle when a child dares question their decision. In fact, if a child questions the parent, that alone will get him reprimanded. “Do as I say, don’t ask me questions!”
Curiously, where is the crime? The child is not necessarily disrespecting the parent, they are asking out of curiosity and to get a better understanding of how you came to that decision.
This flawed “moral rule” that children should never question us becomes so ingrained in the child’s subconscious, creeps from the family, slowly seeping into the psyche of the nation. We get so accustomed to being told what to do that we cannot critically analyse a situation and come to our independent conclusion.
The irony is there is an insistence that we seek higher education where we are taught critical thinking, yet we cannot practically apply it in our own lives.
The result, children grow up into adults and end up making terrible voting choices that are now leading us on a downward trajectory. No political decision is made independently until “a big man” tells us his choice for a leader. Like children, we piggy back on that decision, own it and happily endorse the candidate in jubilation and ululation as if we made that decision ourselves. No questions asked, no intentions analysed, no consequences projected.
This overreliance on being told what to do starts as early as the party nominations and the one endorsed by the “Big I am” gets on the ballot by a landslide. We cannot deny that in 2017 most of the electorate voted for candidates endorsed by top Jubilee Party, Orange Democratic Party and Wiper Party honchos.
Can we then blame anyone but ourselves when we suffer an international faux pas and the President has to calmly reassure our neighbours? Do we dare get angry and act disappointed when our MPs grant themselves outrageous perks? The surfacing cases of corruption from counties after the Auditor-General’s reports do not just happen; they are a direct result of our lack of independent decision making.
While President Uhuru Kenyatta keeps trying to steer clear of the 2022 race to State House, politicians keep pulling him back, insisting he should bless his successor. Should the President make an unorthodox decision not to choose a successor, what would the Mount Kenya voters do? There is also an anxiousness that keeps rising every time a politician visits former President Moi’s home. Whispers of “Is that his choice for 2022?” always crop up.
Let us not be too comfortable and trusting to be led like sheep incapable of independent thinking. Not making our own political decisions has been the genesis of our problem. It has far-reaching negative consequences that cut across all sectors of our lives and we are paying the penalties trying to reverse them when it’s too late. The saying, ‘kuuliza sio ujinga’, should no longer be lost on us.
To grow as a country, we must teach our children to have their own independent minds and internally guided sense of judgement.
The writer focuses on children’s issues; firstname.lastname@example.org