Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Homecoming

It is great to be back home. Now I appreciate home than even before. I have seen the said first world and indeed its advanced. Germany is a rule based society where efficiency and time keeping are the values of honour. Where your word is to be trusted and where what you see is what you get. They are technologically advanced and have very reliable public funded safety nets. Their public transport is great and the general organization of their economy well run. They have food for their people and shelter for all. They are a very hard working people and for them if you cannot do it perfectly then don’t do it at all. Now we know why Made-in-Germany is always a trademark of great worth.

They have a good decentralized government and many small functional cities. The land side where they produce their food and the forest covers are well guarded. Thus most people live in the cities and towns hence freeing land for large scale production. We found that farmers especially for dairy, wheat and barley are among the very rich people. Those who live in towns and cities have the possibility to hire small plots for kitchen gardens. They thus can produce their own food...but not for sale.  Their system of education is rather relaxed and hence children get an opportunity to explore their interests at an early age. They also get to specialize rather early. Most schools are public and in almost all states education is publicly funded for all persons below age 30. Based on the right to information principle, teachers are obliged to give pupils at all ages all the necessary information including on reproductive health. It is then expected that the students would make the choices that best serve them.

All this said, what have I brought back? As as some of you may be aware, I did graduate with a Master of Public Management specializing in Public Policy and Administration. By the grace of God I topped my class. I was in an international class of 26 - 2 Ghanaians, 1 Ugandan, 1 Cameroonian, 3 Egyptians, 1 Rwandese-Canadian, 1 Kosovorian-Swissish, 1 Mongolese, 1 Guinean, 1 Japanese, 3 Vietnamesen, 2 Indonesian, 1 Brazilian, 1 Argentinian, 4 Chinesen and one Kenyan. And in some classes a few Germans. This has enabled me to get a glimpse of how the rest of the world views various issues.  My biggest concern is how I translate both the attitudes, skills and knowledge that I got into productive ideas in building our country. How do we translate the efficieny and time management of the germans, the hardwork of the Japenese, the tenacity of the chinese, the compassion of the vietnamese, the beauty of the rwandese and the elegance of the ghanians just to mention but a few into practical ways of a national lifestyle. For having looked at our country from outside, I am more than ever convinced that attitude change is a critical starting point. The heart of our problems is the problem of the heart. We need, starting with me, to search and turn our hearts. From easy income to earned income. From Godfathers to God the father. From do I know you? to are you qualified? From just speaking our mind to minding our speech. From living for the now to living with a vision. From just saying what should be done, to doing it. This turn will be unconformtable at first but is definately worth pursuing. Afterall, shall we pass out as flowers that never shined or as a clouds that never rained?

We have work to rebuild our country that we can neither delegate nor abdicate. Only we can do it. As we register and prepare to vote a new government at National and County level. Let us not plan to leave it to them to lead as they wish, we need to be involved. The Constitution provides a prime place for citizen participation in decision making. Let us apply ourselves to every opportunity that is there. Let us live and teach our children to live by the labour of their hands. To aim high and work hard. To seek to excel in all our ways. Let us raise the standards in our body politic and service to humanity. And when all is said and done, let the be much done than said.

Abraham Rugo Muriu

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