August 21, 2023 - Kenya
As I look out the window of the 787 leaving Nairobi, I’m beholding the sunset I’ve been gifted, I’m remembering the sights and sounds and emotions we have experienced this last week. Most of all though it’s the people we have encountered. Men and women who have given up what we westerners would call success for the greater good, for the Sacred Dance.
We also met men and women who are engaged in the first stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Survival. But the remarkable thing is the inner peace and joy that they all seem to have in common.
The Kenyan government seems to go out of its way to make life increasingly difficult for the residents. Higher taxes, ever changing rules, rampant and unabashed corruption all seem aimed at keeping people from efficiently pursuing better lives. You don’t have to be much of a conspiracy nut to believe once you are in office it’s to your advantage to keep piling on the people to keep them down so you can loot the country of it’s resources.
We can not fix that but we can help the people there that we know and meet there and make that small part better. I believe in the fundamental good of people. Gandhi said he was a practical idealist. That resonates with me in that while I want to see the good in people come to fruition, our circumstances or the things we’ve experienced many times thwarts that good. Our call is to not first respond to someone whose circumstances has caused them to live in an oppressed situation or for them to say or do a crappy thing out of anger or offense or defense, our call is to rather simply love. Recognize "there but for the grace of God go I".
There is a popular tattoo that I have seen on several people:
It means the story is not over; if life throws you some curve balls (which it’s wont to do), when circumstances aren’t what you imagined, when things didn’t go your way, you pick yourself up square your shoulders and write a new story from there.
That’s how I feel leaving Kenya now, we will be back, we will continue our small part of the story