Cold breeze. It slowly blows making me feel as if a frozen snow flake has been placed on my skin. The sky is full of countless dazzling stars. The light in the rooms of the surrounding buildings seems dimmer than the light being produced by the stars; or does it look brighter? The scent in the air is just neutral, neither sweet nor fresh as a daisy. They say that’s how the air in the city is supposed to be; plain. Noise. The clubs in the area seem to be competing. The hoots of the matatus can be heard; far and close. This is what my relatives in the village said the city would be like. For once, their exaggerated sentiments now seemed like understatements. Slowly my mind starts drifting. Surprisingly. I recall the words of my grandfather, “The world is changing. We all think it is for the best but we are yet to realize that it is for the worst.” Had he been right?
The world has evolved. That is what we say to ourselves and to each other. But how can an evolved world be a place where people learn about their own planet through what is written on textbooks? The fresh streams that used to have clean water are now full of toxic waste. Trees have been replaced by industries that omit waste into the air, land and water. Domestic and several wild animals are no longer just pets. Now they are mainly kept for the sole purpose of being slaughtered and feasted on. Our focus has diverted from appreciating the world as it is to seeing everything apart from ourselves as something that should be sold or owned. We keep complaining about the people suffering due to hunger yet 65% of the grain we grow is given to the animals that we eat. Why so? Because by giving it to the poor and those who are starving, we gain no profit.
When we were kids, every day was an adventure that we would look forward to. But now, our days are planned and scheduled. Is this what being a grown up is all about? If so, am I entitled to say that growing up is a trap? Most of our hours are now spent by staring at our phones and gadgets yet we have become disconnected. Our minds now believe in the illusion that what is on the screen is extraordinary but what surrounds us is just ordinary. Minutes and hours pass as we are following up on people we have never met and may never meet. But when asked about them or if a topic about them springs up, we are fast to pour our knowledge. In the Western countries, blacks are still viewed as un-equals especially if they are not eminent. Wars, accidents, strikes and riots are now a norm which bring death so close to us yet we fail to realize it since we still think that death is distant. Is this what being civilized and modernized is all about?
When will we realize that the planet will remain even if the human race goes extinct like most of the species? How long will it take for us to figure out that money has no value compared to the life on our planet? Day by day we tear our world apart without realizing it. Same way we always have screens in our faces such that we barely see where we are heading till we come to a bump, crossing point or trip over something. What we keep forgetting is that we all have a similar goal of achieving happiness. Now we are out competing to get that paper that we barely take note of the best moments and people. Funny thing is that some people are so rich yet poor for they have all the money they need but have no happiness, yet most of those who own the least are the happiest.
A strong and cold breeze brings me back to reality. I think a storm is coming. So I stand to take my leave and head back to the house. Suddenly. I stop and look back at the buildings as a final thought crosses my mind. ‘Maybe grand papa was right. Maybe.