Leo Tolstoy once said that if it is true that there are as many minds as they are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts. I agree with what Tolstoy was saying. In simple terms, this great philosopher was talking about diversity. He was trying to show that in our differences, lies our strength, kindness, and love.
Kenya is a unique country. Kenya has 44 tribes, with the latest tribe in town being that of the Kenyan Asians. From the known Kenyan tribes such as the Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luhya, Maasai, Turkana, Kamba to the little known of the Ogiek, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged. Kenyans are peaceful people but politicians make us look like we are enemies who should gag and butcher each other.
For many years, Kenyans have been made to think that diversity is a weakness, a division and something sinister that should always make us see others and those who do not agree with us as rivals and lesser beings. It is high time that we taught each other that in diversity, there is beauty and there is the strength.
When asked about his views on diversity, Sun Tzu, in the Art of War, gave one of the wisest answers ever. He said, “There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination, they produce more hues than ever seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.”
Kenyans should know that they only have one country. They should be themselves. One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself and Kenyans should embrace this silent rule. Calling for peace, however, does not mean that we overlook justice and the fundamentals that are the keyframes on which peace is built on.
There are three major stakeholders of peace in this country: Politicians, Religious leaders, and the wananchi. The third stakeholder, mwananchi, somehow depend on the first two stakeholders, politicians and religious leaders to make certain decisions. It is, therefore, upon the first two stakeholders to exhibit qualitative leadership that will act as the main guiding tool for the country as a whole. Unfortunately, most politicians are letting this country down. Majority of them are spewing hate and making Kenyans turn against each other.
Elections will come and go but Kenya will always remain. We have only one country called Kenya. Do we have a spare country? No. Let us exercise tolerance while respecting the diversity of other people.