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The Book and Parchments
by Maina Kabukuru
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"The Books and the Parchments"

Chuck Swindol one of the most prolific writers of our times, in his book, Come before Winter tackles one of the most important issues of human life Ė retirement periods. He fuses the raw apostolic narratives meant to convey a practical exhortation in real time. Swindol touches on preparations for the future and the role of the written word as it were in our sometime seemingly mundane lives.

The need for preparation of the future cannot be gainsaid neither can it be down-played. However, it is interesting to note how as a people we have dealt with it. That our government is capitalistic in form but socialist in application is the essence of this treatise.

That the Ministry of Education despite it's many challenges has maintained the pace in the empowerment of individuals vide its literacy and academic program is something to be proud of.

That we have never been able to fully translate our academic training into creation of self-employment is the challenge that faces our social engineers and more so, our educationists.
With negative reinforcements being the core of our disciplinary machinery there is no positive reason as to why we should become creative and productively self-employed.

The shame of our country is that foreigners come and walk away with our resources in all forms. Our material resources and our human resources have been exploited for a long, long time now. It is time we reverse, the trend by engaging in positive reinforcement.

One of the most tragic self delusion and a relic of colonial agitation, is the belief that those employed by the colonial government or the settlers marked time with the saying - "Masaa ni ya Mzungu" or time belongs to the colonialists. This saying as it were, though meant to bring down the colonial government, unfortunately was never discarded at independence, today it continues to debilitate the working psyche of a nation.

No wonder until recently, the civil service was clogged with ghost workers. Evidence of absentee workers was hanging coats and sweaters in offices meant to serve the public for a long, long time.
No wonder we work wherever we are with a slave mentality. We work in order to please our employer and not because we enjoy our work.

We never realize that we have essentially employed ourselves, and the employer is only a facilitator who exchanges our material, intellectual or physical resources with monetary resources.

Why is it that when our student's graduate from primary, secondary schools have little to do with reading or writing? Probably the question should be why should they be punished to do extra homework? Or do more school work as a way of punishment?

As teachers, whenever our students seem to falter in their academic work, we scold them saying, 'go back to the farm and milk the cattle or till the land. We also punish them, by asking them to wash the toilets, classrooms, or slashing the grass. Is it a wonder when they are employed by the council, for instance in the sanitation department, they rarely wash them, and they slash the grass in the city as if it is a punishment.

There is enough employment for everyone in the country. Currently the country has a bumper harvest of hay rotting in the fields. It is just a few more months before those of us who are taking care of cattle start asking for help and crying foul about the role of 'government' in assisting us during the drought periods. It is this jay lifestyle and negative reinforcement by our social engineers that has taken toll on our people. We donít want to work because during the socialization period by our omnipotent social engineers the teachers; they have been wrongly socialized.

The current advertisement by Omo is an about turn in negative reinforcement advertisements that have for years been shoved to us. It changes the way we think about dirt as it were. For instance we have been told that corruption is when an African steals money and banks it in the European sub-continent, while the money merchants of the stolen loot are seen to be above board scrupulous businessmen who are knighted and honoured in their home country.

The books and the parchments; that Paul insists that they be brought to him before winter and of course without forgetting the coat. Are in real time, the means of true education and positive application of the truth even in times when we enter into the winter period of our lives.

True education is wholistic and serves the total human. The winter period of our lives comes to some of us sooner than later, but whatever happens we will all pass through it. It is therefore incumbent on us to embrace all the seasons of life with readiness that never falters.

It is the words from the Books sacred, and the comforting words from the Divine parchments that will buoy us in those lonely and chilly wintry moments.

True education does not only change the way we look at the world, but it also affects the way we project life.

How comes, that we believe our education is cheap or not meaningful and Universities from abroad rake in about five billion shillings annually from us? The level of education that we have today allow us to become inventors and creators unfortunately, we have become water drawers and wood gatherers for others.

We essentially have become blind corn-grinders like Samson, the he-man who was humbled by his passions. In his winter moments, with eyes gouged out, he could not have time to read the Living Scripts or engage with literary works.

In the winter period of our lives, while we should be warm with the coat of many colours to keep out the cold and wind, we should also be engrossed with the words that are Light in the darkness that follow the winter season.

How long will our government remain socialist in nature, by paying for some of our bills? Such as in social security, education, health and many other services that it is providing?

Should we be complacent, and throw our cares to the wind? Definitely not, it is at this time that we should work towards walking into the winter period of our lives with minimum qualms. It is during this wintry season that His rod and staff should comfort us, no wonder books and parchments become most important. But of course, we should also remember, the winter requires a cloak for warmth.

(Interactive: maichk@yahoo.co.uk)

kabukuru F.M.
Nairobi, Kenya

copyright kabukuru f.m. 2007

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