Lucas Marang'a

A man at 40

Ati I’m an Elder…

The distance between the heart and mind is probably less than twelve inches so one would expect that consensus on matters of the head and heart would be reached fairly easily. After all, si they are neighbors? As easy as we would want that to be the case, it’s far from reality. Often times an issue that I’m pondering in my mind (which is in theory form) has taken many months to become a practical reality. For instance, I have a read a popular Bible verse for the last few years and agreed with it in my head but it had little impact in my day to day life. Then on a random day I read it again and it came on like a flood light. Its relevance in my life is so real that it puts to rest a huge struggle I was dealing with.

There are moments I get an epiphany and I wonder why. Is it because if they were frequent I’d have a system overload? Or am I just a slow learner and I need to be taken pole pole. Whichever the case I’m now beginning to see glimpses of that head and mind convergence in my halftime season.

The Bible verse I was referring to earlier was highlighted to me by my dear sister Lilian me as it represents my current season of transition. It is Proverbs 22: 29 – Do you see someone skilled at their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before obscure men. Addressing the President on March 17th at Karen Country Club brought that verse alive for me. Yet Lilian had read it out to me many times before that time. I was shaking with excitement and disbelief when that happened. That Sunday afternoon that scripture moved from my head and got tattooed on my heart immediately and now I’m looking out for more of those downloads over those twelve inches or so.

To create a conducive environment for more of this head to heart downloads I created a personal hashtag (#Onlybigthingsgoingforward) and pasted it as my WhatsApp status. For the second time since I started using WhatsApp, I also changed my profile pic to a photo of Mt Kenya to align with that status. That mountain speaks to me somehow and it represents big things.

Last weekend I was happy to fulfil a promise I made to the golf captain of Kisii Sports Club three years ago. We, the Kenya Golf Union, would visit Kisii and support them to grow the game in that region. Last Saturday I went there accompanied by my two colleagues Vincent and William. It was my maiden visit to Kisii Club and we received a heartwarming welcome by the captain, club chairman and their members. I was impressed by their golf course which they have improved greatly. After our game we donated some junior golf sets to kids who’ve been learning golf at the club. Seeing the smiles on their faces validated this voluntary work that we do.

The evening was my highlight as I had no clue what was awaiting me. Vincent took the members through a rules of golf presentation. There after the chairman rewarded us with tokens of appreciation. He started with William then Vincent, handing them beautifully done soapstone carvings of some of the big five animals plus a bunch of bananas each of course.

I was the last to be called forward by the captain and the most senior golfer from Kisii Club, Mzee Aburi. He came forward with a four-legged traditional stool curved out from a log, smoothened well and decorated with bead patterns. I was instructed to sit on it in front of the entire crowd in the room and handed a flywhisk made from a cow’s tail. Aburi told me that by getting the stool I’m now a Kisii elder and that that stool symbolizes authority and headman ship. That no one is allowed to sit on that stool apart from me in my home.

Soon afterward I was presented with a magnificent rhino carving made of Kisii soapstone as a further symbol of authority. I do not recall ever getting such honor and recognition, just because I visited a club that is perceived to be small and hidden away. I felt quite undeserving of the accolades in comparison with what we had done.

The reminder here for me was that what we do and see as kawaida is often a big deal to the recipient of our actions. Therefore, we should strive to do as much good as possible to those we interact with. But equally importantly is to take a chill pill to evaluate our actions and the effect they are having on others. This is because we are mostly blind to the impact of our deeds on others especially when those deeds are in our heads and haven’t travelled the few inches downwards to the heart.

I have reflected on the honor and status bestowed upon me over the last few days and the light bulb came on again. Could this be another indication of my hashtag? Because it’s a big thing being considered an elder. Mummy shark and my baby sharks will most likely laugh at me when I sit on that stool at home yet I feel the honor and responsibility placed on me by the good folks from Kisii. And the only way I can return the favor is by using my skills, talents and leadership to serve those who need it. It’s not about me. That was the download that happened for me after that ambush of an initiation ceremony.

Folks it seems the more we call out the things we want, the more they start appearing, however slowly. The head to heart downloads may be few and far between but they sure are destiny moments when the connection happens. I have taken my new status and ran with it because I believe it’s part of my journey to significance. Let’s be on the lookout for signs of our head stuff turning to heart stuff because with that awareness we will make our days count on this earth and not just count the days.

Folks we can’t have been around 40 years and aiming for small things. Let’s aim higher and bigger because we’ve earned the right to at fourth floor.

Friday, May 17, 2019 | Leadership, Reflections, Travels |

5 thoughts on “Ati I’m an Elder…”

  1. Lilian says:

    Nice article Lucas. Am glad the light bulb finally went on.
    I tend to believe what we hold in our hearts is what transforms us pushing us to the place we desire to be.

    1. mlucas says:

      Very true sis. We grow into what we feed.

  2. Ndisya says:

    Great Read Lucas

    1. mlucas says:

      Asante.

  3. Mwangi Martin says:

    A good read Mr. Chairman always grateful to hear and learn from you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *