It was in 2013 when I first heard the same thing that got me angry today. We were talking about purpose and destiny when one of my friends made a statement that shocked me.
“Nakuambia bana,” he said, “ni heri kuzaliwa majuu kama mbwa kuliko kuzaliwa Afrika kama binadamu!” Loosely translated it means, it is better to be born abroad as a dog than it is to be born as a human being in Africa!
As I was meeting a group of 14 girls today, one of the girls mentioned something that sounds the same and it broke my heart. There was a teacher who was cutting and preparing vegetables that she had bought at Kawangware Market. And out of the blues, I asked each girl to say one thing that differentiates them from the vegetables that were being cut.
“I am a human being, these are vegetables.”
“I am breathing, they are not.”
“They are plants, I am an animal.”
The girls kept giving their answers until one of them shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t see any difference!” she said.
“You mean you are like these vegetables?” another girl asked.
“Yes,” she replied.
The girls usually laugh, but today they didn’t. After awhile, I was able to bottle up my pain and disappointment. I quickly related it to what my friend had mentioned many years ago. I realized that as a human being the only favour I can extend to another person is to let them know, feel and enjoy being a human being.
I am yet to meet anyone who managed to write an application letter to their parents asking to be born here, there, this, that, short or tall. And since we don’t… wait a minute maybe you do? Okay, your silence means you didn’t.
This simple means that you and I have no business making another human being feel like they are a lesser human being. There are no superior human beings. Using your superiority to undermine another person is a disservice to humanity.
Ways we make dogs and vegetables out of other human beings
- When we mistreat our spouses, children and relatives
- When we abuse, misuse, molest, over work and underpay house helps, and especially when we employ under-age domestic workers
- When we make new employees feel inferior
- When we speak ill of others in terms of their religion, tribe, race and socio-economic status
- When we deny younger people the opportunity to gain mentoring and guidance because we didn’t get the same when we were growing up
Ways we can make a difference
When you stand facing another person and look them deep into the eye, you won’t see that person. You will see your own reflection! That means when you hurt another person, you end up hurting yourself. We need to make others feel good about themselves and about being human beings. We need to speak, envision and think positive things that will enable others to become better human beings who are full of life and purpose.