Two weeks ago, I attended a sports day for one of my younger sisters at the national stadium in Kenya. The event was amazing, during the 100 meter race kids ran as though they were being chased by wild dogs. Their heart was in the track and all the activities organized by their teachers. When the event ended, we wholly submitted ourselves to the never ending Nairobi traffic. One of the street hawkers activated our sweet teeth with the assortments of flavored chewing gum that he flashed across our eyes. My mother quickly understood that our jaws were craving for a job and she gave me some loose change to buy one pack of gum. With all the excitement rushing within me, I quickly lowered my window and called the street hawker so that I could get some gum. “Hello, I need some gum. “The gent didn’t even bother to look at me, all his attention was glued on the vehicle of one of the political aspirants that was also enjoying the soothing ambiance of the traffic.  The hawker bolted past me and headed straight for the high and mighty of the area, (probably hoping to get his hands on some of the election money that some politicians have been splashing), to his dismay the chauffer of the aspiring leader saw him coming and decided to rush through the traffic – eventually evading him. My sweet tooth was now beyond peeved, so my instincts pushed me to lock my door and raise my window. This whole scenario sparked questions in my mind that up to today still need some answers.

First and foremost, why would an aspiring leader who needs the votes of the people run away from the very people whom he would expect votes from. The election period is a quiet ironical moment as this is the time the leaders become the beggars. Yet when they are in power, they seemed as though they were the superheroes of the world whose ears are barred from hearing the voice of the common man. The next question that sparked my mind to eternity was, why did this young man ignore a potential customer who could have helped him put food on the table? It seems my conscience knows much more than I can imagine as it answered me before I could seek the counsel of some sensibly sober people. It came to my notice that people always love the sight of what lies in their future and they forget that their tomorrow is made by their present.

To the politician, the sweet smell of success in the elections blocked his sight of the common man. To the street hawker, he saw that the money he would get from his leader is much greater than some loose coins from a giant. Yes the future is much greater than present but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we should ignore what we have right in front of us. Besides some aspects of the future are mere probabilities , the politician had two options – to either listen to the person holding his vote and sharing some words of motivation with him (without necessarily bribing him) or running away (which he obviously proved to be good at). This happens to many of us, we tend to be so myopic that we don’t seem to see that some of the opportunities we are yearning for are right in front of us. Always keep your eyes wide open and mind alert because what you are looking for is closer than you think. People who are termed as “ successful “  are the ones who make the most of all the opportunities that come their way not those that say bye to one and move empty handed towards another. Don’t be foolish to the extent of saying good bye to the chances that are right under your nose.

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