Milleniallifecoach

Activism: Do or Don’t

I get so upset when I see injustices, I have since I was young. When I was in high school, my mum took in a young girl from upcountry. She had just finished her KCPE and had good enough grades to get into high school. My mum took her in after she received word that she had escaped an assault while fetching water and she was terrified for her life. The details were sketchy and she also wouldn’t name her assailant. So, we got her to Nairobi, found a school and took her shopping for uniforms and everything she needed. The joy and hope on her face were indescribable. The day before she was to report to the school, she had to go through a medical exam and we found out she was pregnant. She cried for three days straight. She wanted to have an abortion. She begged my mum, all she wanted to do was go to school. Our hearts broke for her. This was a difficult decision to make. And the person who ruined her life probably didn’t care and must have ruined others.

On paper, we have all the right principles but for them to trickle down there is more paperwork to guide the step by step execution in real-life situations.

Because I can be a talkative person, I was always told that I should be a lawyer. I went to law school moved to be a human rights lawyer, to protect these girls or at least bring justice to such monsters. One of the classes that killed my aspirations was constitutional law. At the time, we were also going through the referendum for the new constitution so there was a lot to compare to. My learning from that unit was that the constitution is useless for those that need it the most. On paper, we have all the right principles but for them to trickle down there is more paperwork to guide the step by step execution in real-life situations. The worst part of the constitution and these other legislative frameworks is that they only work if the people who are meant to make them work, well, make them work.

At this point, I felt like there was no point in fighting for people’s rights as I would never win. I know, not a courageous stand but I’m an empath, there is only so much my heart can take. I figured I would settle for working on my little corner of the world. I can’t help everyone but I can help someone. So I got through my education, got into employment, I at least make a living and can help my cleaning lady get her children through school. I use my networks to refer people seeking legal help. I support my local vendor. What I know, someone can benefit from.

Ignorance is not an option any more as we all have access to what’s going on everywhere in the world all the time.

The last week has been a highlight of how many of us are so tired of the injustice and unfairness. The power of the digital world has been in information. Ignorance is not an option any more as we all have access to what’s going on everywhere in the world all the time. As human nature goes, unity in the protests lasted only so long; black lives matter to all lives matter, standing with America to focusing on your own backyard and more distractions from the initial point which was; injustice. There’s no such thing as one bad apple or American problems or our ancestors’ problems. You and I are here now, we can and do have the responsibility to speak up and end it here.

A wise lady once told me goals are useless without creating habits to support them. Yes, have the bigger picture but work from the bottom as well. You have to speak to all injustices, big or small. There are a lot of lives that are being destroyed every day around the world. When the collective anger boils up, don’t quench it just because we have other troubles at home. You can fight for both. That same anger you feel at international news you can feel in your local news. You can lend your voice to international outrage and you can also speak up about discrimination in the workplace. You can condemn Trump and you can also hold yourself to account.

From a marketing perspective, it’s nice. From a personal perspective, if the individual does not practice the same it is meaningless. Our African brands are quiet though, community outreach is not usually that big of a deal and human rights even more of a taboo.

Brands have tried to join in the conversation as well. Some are brands that have already spoken up before and others are accepting to the need to speak up now. What I appreciate about the protests so far is that organisations and individuals are being called to account. It is not enough to empathise especially if you have the means to do more. You have seen actionable steps from pledging donations, support with their services such as legal, medical or media; or using active ways to support through their voice, exposure and networks. From a marketing perspective, it’s nice. From a personal perspective, if the individual does not practice the same it is meaningless. Our African brands are quiet though, community outreach is not usually that big of a deal and human rights even more of a taboo. Probably because the private sector is very private, all we do is sell, consumer relationship beyond the transaction is beyond us. That in itself is another injustice.

“There is a lot more activism happening now that wouldn’t have happened if we were the usual busy. Perhaps now that we have fewer hours in the office, we have more time to look around our communities.”

Someone in a Twitter debate

I still get angry at injustice. I still want to cry at how helpless I feel at times. I saw a post that said something like this: “There is a lot more activism happening now that wouldn’t have happened if we were the usual busy. Perhaps now that we have fewer hours in the office, we have more time to look around our communities.” In closing, you cannot not do anything because you can’t do everything, but you can do something. This is part of what I can do. Add your voice to the cry of justice, sign the petitions, vote better, donate to the credible ones. You do not need to leave your house but you can still make a huge change.

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