By Gordon Opiyo
How The Mighty Have Fallen!!!!
This was the cry of David when he heard that Saul and Jonathan had died in Battle.
It was a cry signifying the change of guard from the mighty family of Saul to the unknown family of David, son of Jesse, a mere herds boy who was a nobody even in his family.
The whole day yesterday, I was reflecting on this issue…… How mighty families fall… How mighty companies fall… How mighty countries fall…… And how “Nobodies” rise..
I started reflecting on my village and counted how big, well known families in my village are no longer Mighty… And how families of “Nobodies” rose to stardom.
I then reflected on some big names in Secondary school when I joined in the 1980s, and how they have fallen.
I then reflected on mighty companies and names, and how they are no more…
One thing runs through all these :The Successful Generation Failed to Infuse Values That Made Them Succeed Into Their Own Children.
They thought that it is big names that make them great…… They thought that it is big money that make them great… No. It is big values…. values like honesty, hard work, fairness, diligence, compassion, justice, sacrifice etc….
If you fail to infuse the values that made you successful to the generation after you….. Your story will be “How The Mighty Have Fallen”
My Dad was among the first people in Alego to put up a mighty mansion. At that time, people believed that if you put up a huge house in Alego, you will be finished. He completed the house in 1968…..it was an imposing figure of 5 bedrooms. People traveled from far and wide to come see what they called “Od Opanga” Yaani house that shines like the Panga. This inspired my uncle who was based in Uganda to build a house three times bigger….. People actually thought that it was a hospital…. Massive…. The imposing houses in our village made it the talk of the area. In case someone’s daughter got pregnant with a son of the village, the mother would celebrate and say “my daughter chose wisely” it was not like some homes, where the mother would wail for months if she heard that the daughter was headed to.
However, if you reflect, you will see that it was not the imposing and magnificent buildings that made it great…. But the values. Those who followed the values of hard work, diligence, industry, sacrifice etc made it. Those who rode on the name, but did not apply those values did not make it…
It is a story replicated all over my Location of Kaugagi. We had great names in the military, police, KPA, Posta etc, because people in the area embraced education in the 1930s and 40s… In many of the famous homes in the 1970s and 1980s… The story is the same… “How The Mighty Have Fallen” Then homes that had nobodies, children of herds men, children of messengers… Who managed to get education through schools like Maseno, Alliance and Starehe…. Suddenly became the shining stars…. You can see that shift in power…. You see children of nobodies, who put on values like hardwork, honesty, diligence, fairness etc rising…….
The conclusion is that wealth and big names are preserved only if values are maintained. However wealthy you are, if your children become drunkards, womanizers, wasteful, arrogant, dishonest, greedy etc that wealth and big name will disappear…. If you fail to teach your children what made you rich and successful…. They will fail.
Same story applies to schools, companies and even countries.
I remember how a school called St Mary’s School Yala, was a huge huge name in the 80s and 90s… It was the only school West of Nairobi that challenged Maseno School….. But now, it is nowhere… Being beaten by schools like Otieno Oloo Day Secondary…. What happened? After the Principal called Were, left, his successors failed to infuse the values that made St Mary’s School Yala great…. A school that shone all the way from the 1930s and produced great names in the country is now being beaten by schools like Otieno Oloo Harambee Day Secondary…. It is about values.
You fail to apply those values that made your fathers and mothers great, you fail. It is that simple…..
So, this morning as you start a new month, as you start a new quarter of the year……. Think… Where do you fall….. What values are you infusing on your children? Are you teaching them how to make it or how to munch it?
Reflect, reflect and reflect..