Do not try to force your world on other people

People attend the Nyege Nyege in Jinja, Uganda, in 2019. What's right for one person may not be the same for another. PHOTO/FILE/AFP 

What you need to know:

  • Just because something is unacceptable in your world does not mean it is not acceptable in another person’s world.

All my life, I have sought to understand people and not to judge them. I do not assume a higher position in this life.  I have always been that same ordinary boy. When I was young, I made a decision that I would never be taken up by titles, by the illusions of life.

Life has a way it separates us and then we assume we are different and better than the man next door. Just because you have succeeded in one domain, does not make you intelligent in all domains. Just because you learned how to reason logically does not mean that everything in life must be reasoned out that way.  There are limits to logic and reason. 

I sought to learn from everyone in this world. If I gathered all my friends in one room, I suspect they would fight. Because they are all complex, different, very nuanced. A perfect katogo. 

As a rule, I have always befriended the person in the kitchen. I have always loved to befriend the people everyone ignores. I learnt early in life that I could learn more about an organisation by being close to the people everyone ignored; the cleaners, the security guards, name them. 

You see a cleaner will always have a key to the most guarded office. And funny how people assume that cleaners know nothing. But those people have intelligent ears. With a cleaner, one had access to almost everything. 

I was raised in a dual play. I lived two lives, one too rich, one too poor. I lived in what could pass off as a ghetto, and also lived in the up of town. Those experiences tempered me. So I vowed that the only constants in my life would be my values.  The world has a way of fooling and imprisoning people with titles, degrees and positions. I vowed never to belong to those prisons. 

We have no business judging anyone in this world. I have sought more to understand. Context is everything in this world. Only the man in the arena understands. When a man snatches our phone in traffic (we are perplexed and annoyed, we call that man a devil). But hey, if you were in the context of that devil, you would probably understand. Our contexts may close us to the possibilities in another context. But there are people for whom snatching your phone is redemption.  I do not judge the world I live in, I seek to understand this world and the complexities. There are many worlds all playing out at the same time. There is a world where I am waking up to write this. But there is a  world where someone has just lost a breadwinner. 

The day my mother died, I felt betrayed by the world. I thought that the world should stop and partake in what had come to me. For how in the world could I have lost my mother? But later on, I realised that people before me had lost mothers and people after me would continue to lose mothers. The world does not stop.   

Just because something is unacceptable in your world does not mean it is not acceptable in another person’s world. Everyone has a world that world influences how they act in this world.