BENCH SEATS AND POSSIBILITIES

Recently I was seated on a bench wandering at all the faces crowded around me. From nearly one o’clock to the late evening, lots of people sat around that very bench with some for hours longer than I had. Their faces held the same expression, they weren’t just seating there resting from a rigorous undertaking; no, this was what they did now. Day after day, they sat at the bench for a living.

I found myself on the bench for a completely different reason. I actually was tired and decided to wait for the bus fare to go down before I boarded a matatu back home. So, I was on the clear for this epidemic that is sweeping over most Kenyans. Let me just say that there is no more possibility in the eyes of our brothers and sisters. There is no more ambition, or drive or even dedication. People are living out their lives far more grateful for the little they have than they ever should be. Those with five thousand shillings a month jobs are surprisingly happy about it; so happy that they would take a whole day seated on a bench without much thought about it. That is why this country has workers who would take more than forty years in the doing the same thing. An ice-cream man will sell ice-cream at that one shop, on that one corner for over thirty years. Kenyan children are growing up being served by the very same vendors, on the very same shops for years into their adulthood.

This just leaves one conclusion, there is no more possibility. Our generation, those of our fathers and those coming after us will no longer be faced with the chance that is possibility. Or worse still, we will no longer see what can be possible.

Possibility is what builds explorers. It is what defines entrepreneurship. It is the blood force of invention. New possibilities! The hope…yet more than that, the knowledge, that something better can be achieved regardless of the outcome. Humanity’s achievements to date all began with the word possibility. Why did that one man hold up a string into a thunderstorm? For the possibility that is electricity. And why did those two take too much time reasoning over flapping artwork, because of the possibility to fly. Then another couldn’t just eat the apple that landed perfectly on his head but saw the possibility of knew knowledge. We wouldn’t be here as a race if it wasn’t for the possibilities our future held. But maybe…that time has passed. Well in our time, it has.

No one sees something in the future anymore. Our lives have dwindled down to television and boring work-a-day jobs that we don’t even like. That is why the chance to seat on a bench in this country is considered a day better spent that going off to invent your own story. At least on the bench you won’t have to hope for something that may never happen and just end up getting a headache.

But don’t get me wrong. Even though I am being very pessimistic, I hope that possibility wouldn’t be limited only to the wealthy. Once upon a time, there were just a group of twenty or so bush dwellers thinking about new ways to use this strange thing called fire. Possibilities were endless but brain power and thinking was only limited to the twenty. Now, we have a whole world filled with people who can think far beyond our possibilities. We have crossed the two hundred billion mark of brains and still we are too divided to do amazing things together. Space travel comes to mind, so maybe it’s time we took a trip around our universe.

Maybe then, the people sitting around on benches can rise up and wander at new possibilities.

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