Sunday, November 13, 2011

Walk With Kings But Don't Lose The Common Touch

Hmm, here is a story that last week opened my eyes to how different we are and how we can easily assume that all of us are intrigued by the same stuff. Last Saturday I decided to meet a friend for a drink in town. He had in his company two (beautiful) ladies with whom we chatted with about the various topics that people who have just met for the first time over a drink chat about. Politics, celebrities, weather, music and other stuff.

The conversation however took an interesting turn when, talking about public transport, I mentioned that I once had a conversation with someone who grew up in Nairobi but had never been in public transport until she finished her college education. I was thus surprised when one of the ladies confessed that she had never been in public transport (bus or matatu). I was a bit curious and tried to inquire whether, growing up she had never been curious and had the urge to jump into a matatu or bus and go whenever. No. Yes, I am aware that there are people who have been born into privilege but I assumed that even if your parents had you wrapped under a cocoon of privilege, there will be that "rebellious" streak to stray and see the "other" side of the world? How the rest of the country lived? No, she said, why should she see poverty? She asked. I was lost for word. Whenever I travel to any city or town on business, I usually refuse to be confined to my hotel room and conference facilities and try to go the "masses" side of town, to witness the pulse, the color of that town as I know these are not found on the posh side. No, she said, she is never that curious, not in the least interested.

This is in no away an attempt to judge someone or try to be pious and call others vain, just one of those times that I remind myself that we are different. As for me, "If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;"