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JUMPING OFF WITHOUT PARACHUTES

 BY CCM SECRETARY GENERAL

Dick Kamau.

Fellow wananchi, I have a feeling all is not well and we clearly need help to make our lives worth living in this dear country. Just like the poor in the rest of the world we too in Kenya have dreams, don’t we?  We all want to believe that we are special, that somehow in our lives we can make a difference, that we can touch our family, our friends, or other people in some special way. 

At one time in our lives, we all had an idea of what we really wanted and what we really deserved. For some that might have been decades ago and to some of us it might have been yesterday we dreamt of a good life. It’s a fact that we try to do all we think should be enough to enable us have good governance. But then, mostly it all ends in trying but not doing.

As most of you know the road to justice and freedom is the one less traveled. We in  Kenya  are  somewhere  we can’t  tell  what  will  happen  to  us next.  We  may  die  of  a  police  bullet,  thugs,  political  scandals  that  take  away  money  for  medicine  or  hunger. We  feel  insecure day  or  night.  This  is  no  fun.  

It is not my aim to lay blames on any of you Kenyans, but too many people, though, forget their dreams when they face life’s challenges and that includes the struggle for one’s justice and rights. I might be wrong but I think we Kenyans deserve a medal for the expertise we exhibit when it comes to doing what we vow to do to end all forms of political injustices that keep bedeviling the entire nation time and again. 

We do nothing lasting to liberate our selves from all the surrounding wolves and then expect lasting positive results.  We elect tribes instead of leaders and then cry tribalism.Because of failure due to our own misuse of voting rights to elect credible leaders, we set our aspirations aside, forget that although poor we have the power to shape the future, we then loose our confidence and hope.  It is hard for many of you out there to start even thinking of rethinking where we always go wrong.

As the Secretary General of Chama Cha Mwananchi- CCM,  it has been my life’s goal to remind Kenyans – the Wananchi like you and me – that the power to change anything lies sleeping within us.  We can wake up this power and bring our dreams back to life, starting today. Its frustrating, we mostly and sadly behave just like  the sleeping giant instead  of  waking up  and  becoming  an  active  political  volcano. 

I know you have read so many times about positive thinking but you by now know positive thinking. But allow me to give you some simple truths that can truly assist you in making the dream to freedom happen. Of course, positive thinking is a great start.

Certainly you want to focus on how to turn things around – on solutions – rather than on how things are so “wrong”.  But positive thinking alone is not enough to turn your life around. 

We in CCM have strategies. You must have some strategies, some step-by-step plans for changing how you think, how you feel, and what you do every single day you are alive. This is CCM’s gigantic mission that will in the end make the poor of this country stand up and be counted with those who never give up in the struggle for justice for themselves and for others in need of it.

Our party manifesto speaks for us when it comes to what the party is prepared to do. Isn’t it true that all of us want to change or improve something in our lives? 

CCM is promising the poor of Kenya that together we can, absolutely, take control and begin to change the quality of our lives. I have met many poor people from my home village and elsewhere in slums and the country side and what I see is truly depressing.

It is not so impossible to make Kenya a better country for the majority of this land who feel let down by politicians who just want power to further enrich themselves.  The only thing that is necessary to make this mission of change work for us right now is to begin to believe that it is possible to change. 

Many bad things have and continue to happen  to many people in Kenya. Still it is not the end of the world yet. Sometimes, in order to move ahead with doing our selves the justice we have always cried for, the past failures in our struggle to end poverty and political injustices does not matter it is a stepping stone to remind us of what we didn’t do for ourselves. 

Fellow wananchi, whatever has not worked in the past has nothing to do with what you will do today.  What we can do right now is what will shape our destiny. 

 Right now, we must be a friend to ourselves.   We cannot “beat ourselves up” about what has happened; high heaven stinking scandals, political betrayal by people we thought come rain come sun would stand for us as a nation, only to find out later they never meant what they said and never said what they meant as they begged us to vote for them or sell our votes to them. 

My question here is: Are you willing to begin the journey?  Then let us get started within our party for the poor- CCM.  Let us begin to change our lives by understanding what to do when we are FEELING OVERWHELMED.  

When we try a new approach, try our best, yet we still fail to reach our goal, often we fear trying again.  Why?  Because we all want to avoid pain!  And nobody wants to fail again.  Nobody wants to give his or her all, only to be disappointed.  Often, after many of these experiences of disappointment, we stop trying! We get to the point where we believe that nothing will work. We let unpatriotic politicians continue to disorganize our lives for many endless years. We can do it. 

When we miss our target all we find ourselves saying is: but what can we do: even if we elect a poor person politicians are all the same. This is where we jump our plane without a parachute! 

Fellow Mwananchi, if you find yourself at the point where you are not even willing to try, you have put yourself in a place called “learned helplessness”.  You have literally learned – or taught yourself – that you are “helpless”. 

The good news from CCM is that you are wrong. You can make things happen!  You can change anything in your life today by changing your perceptions and changing your actions. You too can say as did one great soul – Tomas Edison “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”. 

The first step to turning our political lives around is getting rid of this negative belief that since we are poor we can’t do anything or that we are helpless.   Often the reason that people say they cant do something is that they have tried things in the past that have not worked. 

 But remember – and many patriots have used this phrase again and again throughout their lives – YOUR PAST DOES NOT EQUAL YOUR FUTURE. We shall overcome, they say. 

We the poor of Kenya have lost many political battles in the past. But what matters is not yesterday but what we decide to do right now.  When you elect a bad person into a position of power you do yourself injustice and cause problems for the few who voted for the right person. I have heard people say persistence pays.

But when I talk to wananchi about turning around our political lives they seem resigned and withdrawn. Individually, many people tell me, “I have tried millions of ways to succeed, and nothing works!”  Or, “I’ve tried thousands of ways!” Think about it.  They probably have not even tried hundreds of ways to change things, or even dozens.

  Most people have tried eight, nine, ten ways to make a change, and when it has not worked out, they have given up. We must not give up on our dear lives and country. 

The key to our political success is to decide what is most important to us and then make massive action each day to make it come true, even when it does not look as if it is working.

In CCM, we know  what  we  want. United in our cause we shall win. But we all need committed souls that will give us courage to walk an extra mile when our legs refuse to move an inch due to political and economical frustrations.

I like telling a small story to those who have lost or are about to lose hope in their goals. The story is an eye opener for many of us out there feeling let down and betrayed by our politicians.  Have you ever heard of a guy named Colonel Sanders?  Of course you have.  How did colonel Sanders become such an unbelievable success? 

 Was it because he was born wealthy?  Was his family rich?  Did they send him to a top university like Harvard?  May be he was successful because he started his business when he was really young.  Are any of these true? The answer is no.  Colonel Sanders did not begin to fulfill his dream until he was 65 years old! 

What drove him to finally take action?  He was broke and alone.  He got his first social security check for $105, and he got mad.  But instead of blaming society or just writing Congress a nasty note, he started asking himself, “What could I do that would be valuable for other people? 

What could I give back?”  He started thinking about what he had that was valuable to others. His first answer was, “Well, I have this chicken recipe everyone seems to love!  What if I sold my chicken recipe to restaurants?  Could I make money doing that?” 

Then he immediately thought, “That is ridiculous.  Selling my recipe won’t even pay the rent”. And he got a new idea:  “What if I not only sold them my recipe but also showed them how to cook the chicken properly?  What if the chicken was so good that it increased their business?  If more people came to see them and they made more chicken sales, may be they would give me a percentage of those additional sales.”

Many people have great ideas. But Colonel Sanders was different.  He was a man who did not just think of great things to do.  He put them into action.  He went and started knocking on doors telling each restaurant owner his story:  I have got a great chicken recipe, and I think if you use it, it will increase your sales.  And I would like to get a percentage of that increase.” Well, many people laughed in his face.  They said, “Look, old man, get out of here.  What are you wearing that stupid white suit for? 

Did colonel Sanders give up?  Absolutely not.  He had the number 1 key to success; being persistent in taking action:  Every time you do something, you learn from it, and you find a way to do it better next time.  Instead of feeling bad about the last restaurant that had rejected his idea, he immediately started focusing on how to tell his story more effectively and get better results from the next restaurant. 

How many times do you think Colonel Sanders heard no before getting the answer he wanted?  He was refused 1,009 times before he heard his first yes.  He spent two years driving across America in his old, beat-up car, sleeping in the back seat in his rumpled white suit, getting up each day eager to share his idea with someone new. 

Often, the only food he had was a quick bite of the samples he was preparing for prospective buyers.  How many people do you think would have gone for 1,009 noes – two years of noes!  – and kept on going?  Very few.  That is why there is only one colonel Sanders.  

I think most people would not get past twenty noes, much less a hundred or a thousand!  Yet this is sometimes what it takes to succeed. We the poor of Kenya have not yet even tried to vote for the poor among us and instead re-vote back to parliament and local government people who if justice is done, belong to prison. 

If you look at any of the most successful peoples and nations in history, you will find this common thread:  they would not be denied.  They would not accept no.  They would not allow anything to stop them from making their vision, their goal, a reality no matter what it was.

CCM intends to form a government led by the poor for the poor. It has been our dream for years. This is why some of were thrown in Nyayo House while others went to political exile. We wanted justice for the downtrodden to be done and be seen being done.  

Those days even some poor fellows used to call us: crazy people who didn’t even realize they were out there committing political suicide by trying to rock KANU government. We didn’t listen to them. We won’t listen to you now saying poor wananchi can’t run a government. 

When we lived in crummy dirty little prisons and sometimes cold and un friendly exile, we had to keep reminding ourselves that: THIS TOO SHALL PASS IF WE CONTINUED TO TAKE MASIVE, POSITIVE, CONSTRUCTIVE ACTIONS.  We kept thinking, “Even though LIFE seemed TERRIBLE, there were many things to be thankful for, like the fact that we had all our senses, or that we could breathe some fresh air.

We constantly reminded ourselves to focus on what we wanted, to focus on solutions instead of problems.  We in CCM are doing just that. So we decided we would no longer believe that our whole life was screwed up simply because we were in prison or exile or had financial difficulties or emotional frustrations. 

 We decided that there was nothing wrong with us, but that we were simply in “lag time”. 

In other words, we knew that if we were to continue nurturing the seeds we had planted – continue doing the right things – we would make it out of this winter of our lives and into spring, when we would reap the rewards of years of seemingly fruitless efforts.

We always kept in mind of one day joining hands with patriotic Kenyans to form a strong pro wananchi political party. We did it and now CCM stands for all those whom we were tortured for.  

The problem has been that the wananchi have been doing same things all the time they got a chance of making their lives better instead of voting as a poor peoples’ block to remove bad leaders from political power.

This failure tread has been going on despite the fact that doing exactly the same things over and over again and expecting a different result is sickening. We have to try something new, and we have to keep on until we found the answers w need: power in our hands.  

My message to you is simple, and in your heart you know its true:  Massive, consistent action with pure persistence and a sense of purpose in pursuing our goals will ultimately give us the political window want, but we must abandon any sense that there is no solution. 

We have known pain and betrayal all our lives. This knowledge has done us nothing good. We must refuse to have same persons in power or their siblings whose aim is to keep us the way we are today. We must focus immediately on the actions we can take today, even if they are small ones.

 Let us use CCM to liberate our politics and ourselves from the rich exploitative ruling class. They are a handful but we are the millions they need to get power from us and use it to keep us down for ages to come.  You and me must believe that even though things may look impossible now, we can turn them around.

You see, we all have problems, disappointments, and frustrations, but its how we deal with our setbacks that will shape out lives more than anything else we do. 

I hope we have learned from the way past regimes and some politicians in the current one have been robbing us our chance to free ourselves from many malaises they create to keep us down forever.  How do we engage it? 

We all know that to get new results we have to take new actions, but we must realize that all our actions are fathered by a decision:  the power of decision is the power of change. Again, it is true that we can’t always control the events of our lives, but we can control what we decide to think, believe, feel, and do about those events.  We have to decide whom to vote for come elections.

We must  remember that every moment we are alive, whether we admit it to ourselves or not, a new set of actions, and a new set of results are merely a decision or two away. 

Most of us forget that we have this power to choose.  How you live today is the result of who you have decided to sped time with, what you have decided to learn or not to learn, what you have decided to believe, your decisions to give up or your decisions to persist,  of – all of these have literally controlled and directed your life. 

If we sincerely want to change our lives, then we have got to make some new decisions about what we stand for and what we are going to do……… and what we a committed to. A real decision is made when you cut off any possibility except what you have committed to do, when you will not look back, when you will not even consider the alternative of giving up.  

You want justice done to you? Your good future will depend on your decision to make the right move. See you there when we celebrate victory for the downtrodden. COME ON BOARD.  

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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