The disease called shortcuts


Isn’t it amazing that we’re in the middle of Njaanuary? Two more weeks and we’ll all be out of this wilderness. Hang on folks! But more important is the fact that you are alive and kicking. That despite your shallow pockets this dreary month, you can wake up in the morning, take a bath, have your microwaved breakfast and rush to work? Don’t take it for granted. Some didn’t make it to 2018. I know that some of you, if not all, have their resolutions stuck somewhere on a refrigerator or bedroom wall and something I’m also sure of is that by the third month, many will have fallen by the wayside and slipped into their old habits. My resolution is to remember to write down 2018 instead of 2017.? But I digress.

Something I have keenly noted with concern for a long time is the inclination in taking the shorter path in almost everything we embark on. Kenyans love shortcuts. They are addicted to shortcuts. This is despite the perilous path that some of those shortcuts lead to. It really baffles me when I see a person alight at a bus stop and instead of taking a footbridge which is an arm’s length away, the wise soul will instead insist on spending ages scanning for any oncoming vehicle on a busy highway and finally make a dash across the road at neck break speed. How Genius! Indeed, how foolish the engineers must have been to erect a footbridge.

Let’s not forget those people who buy road licenses and put their lives and other road users at risk. The drivers that arrogantly speed down against the flow of traffic forcing you to give them way. Or those rogue motorists who overlap just to get ahead of others in traffic, with their vehicles inclined at perilous angles that can make the hairs the back of your neck stand up. Woe unto you if you are inside a matatu that’s overlapping. If it doesn’t topple over and fall into a steep valley or on an adjacent salon car, you’ll be fortunate enough to live and narrate the ordeal. It’s more saddening that the authorities tasked with the responsibility of keeping sanity on our roads fall for bribes from drivers and matatus owners and the final result is gruesome road carnage leading to loss of lives.

Educational institutions haven’t been spared either. it’s not uncommon for students to appropriate others’ class assignments. And those who, rather than putting in the hours at studying and revising for exams, preferring instead to carry micro notes to exam rooms or “hire” other candidates to sit exams on their behalf. And job applicants who ‘buy’ degree and Masters certificates when searching for jobs. In the recent past, the news was awash with cases of certain politicians faking degree certificates when applying for top positions.

We are living in a society that adores quick success and shuns hard work, discipline, and patience all the virtues that are considered key to success. It’s not surprising that the term ‘Sponsor’ is a buzzword that seems never to fizzle out. A moment spent between the sheets with a much older partner, in exchange for money, gifts and exotic holidays is a way of life for many.Let’s not forget those who sleep their way up in total disregard for ethics and professionalism.

Examples are endless. But the above is a clear indication of just how deeply entrenched the culture of taking shortcuts is. Nobody wants to break a sweat over anything. It’s no wonder that most youths are deeply immersed in the gambling craze in hope for a quick buck, preferring to eschew diligence and strong work ethic. Far too many people desire the appearance of winning rather than embracing the ethics, practices, dedication and hard work that makes one a champion. What most fail to realize, shortcuts are not always the safest pathways to our destinations. The person who decides to ignore the footbridge and sprint cross the highway does so obliviously to the danger of having his life cut short by a speeding motorist. The overlapping driver risks losing control and causing a tragic accident. The threat on our roads is even higher for those buying and forging road licenses. The old man will drop you like a hot potato once he’s  done with you and go on to the next young pretty thing. It’s more shameful that men also go for older women for the same vice. Where did the rain start beating us? Poor parenting? Lack of role models? Or simply sheer laziness?  Whichever the case, we are guilty as charged and its time to look into the mirror and do a lot of introspection.  Get your hands dirty and appreciate the long but rewarding journey to the top.

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