I had every intention of writing this post cautiously but the words of my good friend came to mind.
random cat chilling… wallpapersinhq.com
There is one thing that my mother told me when I was younger; Wambaire, never apologize for what you have. In as much as she has told me this severally, I have had to remind her these very words when the stares, snide remarks and whispers of society cause her to ‘lower’ herself into fitting in. This is not a middle class rant but rather about this ridiculous thing we do that makes (most?) people feel bad for what they have.
‘Heish! Ubabie ndio zako!’ (there is no way to really translate this but it’s basically telling someone they are rich) are some of the things I have been guilty of telling people who have fancy stuff that I do not (yet :)) have. What I have just realized is that when this is told to me, I always have this feeling that I am immensely blessed to have what I have- which is an okay feeling to have- but at the same time bad because I have to downplay what is being talked about which leaves me feeling guilty for having whatever it is.
Case in point: my friend Kabera thinks that what I have is really not an internship- interns don’t get to stay in fancy hotels, fly to random parts of the country/continent and take leaves. That is true; this is the first of its kind- or at least what I have heard. At the moment, I am staying that a nice hotel for the duration of a conference. I think my supervisor and I were the only Kenya based organization staying at the hotel. Top that off, some of the people I am working with around my age live in the same neighborhood as I do.
I was asked severally what the point of staying here was and it was asked to imply 1. That doesn’t make sense and 2. It’s a waste of money.
The reason is really simple- there is a budget for it. There is no profound reason because morning traffic doesn’t cut it.
My supervisor left (she has a family) though she was meant to stay for two nights. She did insist that I could stay for the second night; it really was no problem since it was planned for. Last night I nearly packed my bag ready to check out today after the conference because of how it looked among my peers… however that is.
I talked to two of my friends last night and one of them started a speech with something like, ‘There you go again Maureen, doing things because you care what other people think about you and what you do…’ (I know where I got that from lol) and the other was like, ‘Remember the story you told me about Joseph?’ Gosh didn’t that get me to roll my eyes! Just last week I had pointed out that Joseph, a HEBREW SLAVE, was head of the household of a top EGYPTIAN official, then placed in charge of all other inmates in an EGYPTIAN prison he was thrown in AND THEN made ruler of EGYPT with only Pharaoh as his boss. Have you any idea how ridiculous that scenario is? You start off as a slave then you are given all these leadership positions like the natives themselves don’t know how to run things.
That is what I call favor.
I had a moment of realization that all these things are coming to me because God gives feely. It has NOTHING to do with what I do, feel, say, wish, pray, blah and blah. I also heard a voice (I know at this point some of you have inserted crazy people music) telling me not to despise my position, which I have been doing with phrases like, ‘But I am an intern!’ This is honestly how many of use block off blessings because we feel we don’t deserve it. And we don’t. But it’s free. So take it.
And with that I am FORCED to conclude-1. don’t make people feel bad for what they have, rejoice with them or just find a corner far off and eat lemons and 2. I’m going to take all this in and not feel guilty or the need to apologize. Because I mean, it’s not my fault! 😀