Kenya: Good seeds Don’t Grow on Barren Ground.

After winning a green card to settle in the United States, a couple arrived in the Americas. They settled in one of the major cities. After a few years of living in a poor and chaotic neighborhood, they realized that their children were digressing into a culture of disobedience, drugs and showed manifestation of attraction to violence and robbery. One of their children was so far gone that counselling and moving to a better neighborhood was not going to help in recovery.

Telling their story, the couple attributed the failure to their misunderstanding of basic American cultural and societal guidelines before they settled in the city. According to the wife, they should not have migrated to the United States without first learning how, when, who, what and where of their migration. They assumed that given that they had brought up their children in a village in Kenya, it would be just fine. This turned out to be a miscalculation that would cost them their children and family. Children do not grow in the vacuum of space. They grow within time and culture!

After graduating with a masters’ degree in music, Bruce Hornsby moved on to write American folk songs. He has been celebrated as an American folk song master. His ability to take the societal ills and use song to communicate them is mastery. One of his popular songs is titled, “The way it is.” In it he tried to explain the misery of being black in America and trying to get a Job. Tupac Shakur took the song and in a Hip Hop version tried to take the song further to explain the life of a black child in the Ghetto. In one of his many songs, Bruce Hornsby writes on how big companies in utter disregard of the environment and ethics get rich, using their money to buy their children Gold and Diamonds. Then when their children grow up to be as un-ethical as their parents, the parents wonder how they became so corrupt and evil.

It is here that he declares, “Good seeds do not grow on barren ground.” One cannot bring up children in an un-ethical and corrupt home and expect that the children will turn out all right. In order to turn a barren ground to a fertile ground, two things must happen. One, there has to be a divine involvement. It is this case that Hannah in the Old Testament is given a child by God though she was barren. Yet even for the barren womb to become fertile, she begged the Lord committing herself to constant request with specific reference to, “Lord, if you give me a child, I will offer him to you for service.” (1st Samuel 1:20) Her prayer was specific and in line with the call for praying without ceasing. When she was blessed, she kept the promise and Samuel was dedicated to the service of God. The other is the personal effort of praying without ceasing: a personal dedication to nurture within GOOD!

There is no way Kenya can expect to produce ethical and moral leaders when the example they are being shown is that of night political deals, black mail, corruption and utter disrespect for authority. There is a culture developing in the country that have young men insulting those in authority and those in authority insulting each other. A culture that defines success in terms of Range Rovers, Prado and methodologies devoid of ethical theory and moral aptitude! Children are watching television and see that when one becomes a member of parliament he gets wealthy over night.

Worst off is that even the church is loosing its moral compass. The old system of priests going to seminary and studying not only doctrine but being taught the proper conduct of ministers, the primal testimony of the CROSS and the consistency in the presentation of the gospel is gone. It is replaced by flashy priests wearing ‘Joseph’s coats’, gold watches and necklaces of gold and presenting the church as the place where a person can get easy money by promising congregants wealth and eternal life through Sunday donations.

Even worse is the idea that a major political party can establish a pin number with the aim of raising money for campaign. Then without consequences, after lying, cheating and defrauding the common man off the little ‘mosquito blood’ they have, withdraw from the race and the money collected is made to disappear into the silent dungeon of corruption. The man who holds the board is said to be a true follower of Christ! Then, those who rob, steal, maim, rape, and kill, call on the youth to become good, upright, and moral men who fear God!

Good seeds do not grow on barren ground!

Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)
HTBluff Associates
Diaspora Messenger Senior Columnist

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