I belong to a small network Kenyan men and women who meet regularly around a grouping in my neighborhood. The mix of people is naturally, (like many things in and around Nairobi), dominated by one ethnic group. Around the time one political party was agitating for a big meeting to tell-off the governing party, one of our members posted an update on “WhatsApp” that, perhaps unknown to them, would cause others of different political persuasion hurt! Even I had seen the message but like many people in the group thought nothing about it until the aggrieved party brought it to my attention. Unlike many others however, I am very careful with comments on social media and indeed I did not comment on this not because I saw the potential problem but because I did not even to interpret it! The whole thing blew up and threatened the unity of the group- it was construed to be hate speech! We lost one or two members from our group- one of them a very dynamic and loved member of the group.
We must handle “social media” with care. Before you broadcast a message please look it over and over again-you may not know the import of what you say-In this instant it was actually a prayer to God to bless one while demonizing the other! How I wish that the aggrieved party took the opportunity to “correct” the other party in love and stay in the group! I miss her!
Never send a joke on email unless you are sure that everyone would appreciate it; do not post stuff that may hurt others on Facebook and other social media; avoid the “reply all” key on emails and give deep thought to public information- it has ruined careers and relationships!
The Power of Asking
I never tire to implore on us to use the power of asking!
Early in the month our family tenant who works for the UN wrote to me that they would wish to terminate the lease 11 months into their very first lease on diplomatic transfer to Rome. I was not distressed but obviously concerned at a time when everyone is mourning oversupply and lower rents! I wrote back to her to thanked her for her short stay and amicable relationship with a request that she send word around her networks in the UN to see if anyone would be interested to take our house. One week later a Japanese couple and their daughter pitched up and agreed on all the existing terms! They even bought some of the stuff from them!
I have learnt to ask.
I am prepared for a “No” but more often than not I get a “Yes”!
The Abundance of Family Together
We took advantage of my being in Mombasa to speak at a seminar and invite our two daughters who are in Kenya to join us in Mombasa for a four-night holiday. My second born daughter came with her husband and our dotting granddaughter, Nashipai Wambui. We had a time of our life. I could not believe that we even had competition that was almost rivalry between me and my wife on who should hold the baby! I had opportunity to bond with my son-in-law as well. I cannot remember a holiday we had so much fun together!!
I enjoyed seeing the self-confidence we have instituted in our daughters show up so clearly during this holiday as we interacted with different people and circumstances!
The Outlier Advantage
During my time at the Coast I read the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. The book is based on the premise that we all owe our break to someone or something that happened in our lives. Some owe it even to when/where they born! Bill Gates owes it to the “outlier advantage”; Steve jobs do, as perhaps do you and me! Many times we focus on the success of the individual so much and forget to look at the “Outlier advantage”! It gave me an opportunity to look at my own life and question who the people were and what circumstances gave me an “outlier advantage” and I could now clearly point to many such advantages!
It made me wonder what “outlier advantage” I was going to offer my children and my grandchildren and further how much of an “outlier advantage” had I given and may have opportunity to give others!!
The heroes we know may after all owe it much more to fate than their own magic!
The Abundance of Public Speaking
I had an opportunity twice to speak to a conference of on Supply Chain Management and its place in Cost Management in a Mombasa hotel.
My high for the month was the arrival of my two younger sisters from the USA to come and celebrate the 60th Wedding Anniversary for our parents- a big event slotted for August 2014. One of them has not been home since 2003 when we did the Silver Jubilee for my parents-11 years ago!
Live in abundance!
© Eric Kimani July 2014