I remember when mobile phones were not as common as they are today. As a matter of fact, back then even movies (the only place some of us tracked technology) never had mobile phones. Those days, homes had one phone, a landline.
Today, my nephews know their way around my smart phone than I do. They activate and find certain features that I didn’t even know existed on my phone! For us, the best trick we ever managed to develop was to tap the landline (audience applause). Other than that, the next best trick was to call 999 and hang up as soon as the call was answered. (Yes. Hard to believe but back then, 999 worked perfectly).
Tapping a landline wasn’t as easy as it sounds. It took precision and accuracy. At times it meant joining two naked wires with a foil paper or coin to cause a short circuit. (This was the most advanced tapping technique) The other way was less complicated and involved literally tapping the phone as you counted the taps. Ten taps represented zero and so forth. (I may be a mad man but am sure the president reads this blog so that’s as much as I am willing to reveal about tapping).
On normal occasions when we weren’t tapping the phone, the correct procedure was to only answer the phone when your parents were not around. We were required to find out who was calling, why they were calling and any message they had for my parents. To assist us achieve our objective we had the “while you were away notes”.
So recently when the “Baba While You Were Away” hash tag was trending for a couple of days, it brought back good memories and made me think about a few things that often happen “while we are away”. No need to insist, I am willing to share my thoughts with you.
Let’s start at the top. Not the very top, a little lower. Are you there? Ok. Let’s begin.
Mr. Politician, (read Governor, Senator, MP and County Representative) you forgot (rather fast) why you currently occupy the office that you do. We, the Mwananchi voted for you. We employed you. Unlike an award ceremony, we actually voted for you to work for us. But you must have misunderstood us because all we hear about you is your many travels and increased perks. Have you done anything from all the promises that you made? Well, while you were away, we decided not to vote for you next time. You can enjoy the hotels for now.
Dad, everybody talks about how successful you are. But your kids never thought they would have to compete with your job for your attention. You say all that you do is for them but they would rather have a father than Santa to bring them gifts every month. So while you were away, your son, seeking your affirmation from alternative sources, was recently readmitted into rehab. This is the third time. Thanks for settling the bill though.
Mum, your kids really love you. If only you had more time to spend with them. There is nothing wrong with serving in church and being in a few women groups but when it becomes an everyday thing, something else suffers. So while you were away mum, your daughter begun her periods. She was not ready at all. Nobody ever talked to her about the changes she was going through. Last week, she was so ashamed when the boys laughed at her. She doesn’t talk as much anymore, her concentration in class dropped and sometimes she even goes to the toilet to cry. Next time you go to church mum please pray for her. Pray for parents who have misplaced priorities too.
Boss, wow the company has really grown. We have so many orders that we have to outsource some of our work to meet deadlines. The last two years have been really good. Heard you bought another house and another car! So while you were away playing golf on Friday (great sport by the way), your associate, (the one who has been brought all these clients) opened his own company. Good for him? Yes. Especially since he not only took all your clients (make that his) but your staff too.
Unlike you, your associate took time to know his team. He helped some pay fees for their kids when they couldn’t, visited your secretary a single mother, in hospital when she was delivering and even bought the subordinate staff shopping vouchers to take home over the holidays. So when they heard he was leaving, everyone jumped ships. The office keys are under the door mat. You can add them to your other collection.
Now lets talk about You, yes you.
Remember the dreams you had a while ago? You wanted to change the world. You were full of passion. You were on track and doing so well even though you faced enormous challenges. You took risks; you believed in yourself so much that not even the negative things that your friends said would stop you. Initially everything seemed to go well. But now the low season is here and you are ready to close shop.
You refused to be comfortable like everyone else. You pushed yourself. You inspired others to do the same. Soon you got a promotion and then another and another. Now you are the envy of many, your colleagues have started alienating themselves and you have started feeling bad about your success.
You were known to be a person of your word. You stood for what you believed. You never compromised. It was either the right way or nothing else. Now you are done with campus and you need a job, badly. Your parents are depending on you to support your siblings. You recently got your dream job but it came with one condition; one night.
So while you were away, giving up on your dreams, blending in to please your colleagues and compromising your standards and values, you forgot your own value. You started betraying yourself, selling yourself short, putting limitations on yourself, seconded guessing every decision and pleasing other people at the expense of being true to yourself.
While you away living other people’s dreams, fighting other people’s battles and having sleepless nights about other people’s issues, your own dreams wait to be validated and your battles to be activated.
While you were away. YOU waited for YOUR own great return and so did the rest of the world. It’s time to #BringBackYourself