Kenya: Sadly, We Have Taught Children Greed As a Pathway to Success

20 November 2020

Back in high school, the administration used to schedule motivational talks at least every month, which were compulsory for all.

I was often excited about the sessions because it provided some time off the tedious studies.

On the way to the school hall, we would pass through the parking lot, religiously without fail, in a bid to find out what type of car the speaker owns.

This would determine whether we would pay attention to the speaker of the day or not.

I mean, how will you motivate us if you have not motivated yourself enough to buy a big car?

From the talk, we defined what it meant to be successful: to get a good job, a big house, an expensive car and a lot of money.

That, in my opinion, is being successful but from a very selfish point of view.

Deep-rooted corruption

As a young adult, I do not have those things, so even though I am not starving or unhappy, I am unsuccessful in the eyes of society.

Until I build that mansion, then I know no success, according to society.

Thankfully, I did not allow this to fill me up, because it would mean that I get this success at all costs, even at the expense of others.

In those sessions with the motivational speaker, there was no mention of kindness or compassion. I never heard of how we can use our skills, talents and abilities to make the world a better place. It was just about the individual, what he or she wants, and that is where the story ended.

I know this because I see those who took this definition of success to heart play a part in the deep-rooted corruption that is bringing our country to its knees.

Kenya is reaping the fruits of teaching all of us to be greedy in the name of being successful.

It is unbelievable that a group of callous people would make a killing out of public funds.

What I do not want

Sadly, this mindset has no room for satisfaction. Get that big car, and start salivating for a bigger one or the newest model in town.

At my age, I do not know many things that I want. I know what I do not want though: a big car, a big house and a lot of money as the only motivation for my life.

Terry Njueini, 20, is a journalism student at Multimedia University.

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