We are getting into the festive season. This is usually an exciting yet introspective period for me especially since I turned 40. The holiday mood kicks in and I look forward to the warm weather at the coast with my clan. Introspective because I start taking stock of the year that’s about to end. I seek to find out how much ground I have covered since January and if I have met any of the goals I journaled. It can be an uplifting or confusing exercise based on what I find out.

When growing up my folks would take us for the Christmas carol service and the Christmas eve service at St Andrew’s Church. I think the exciting part for my siblings and me was the fact that we went at night and waited up to midnight to wish each other Merry Christmas. It was even more exciting on 31st December on New Year’s Eve. Being in Nairobi CBD usiku was such a high for me. My version of it now as a parent is to witness some fireworks ushering in the new year with my baby sharks.

Those rituals embedded a sense of community. It somehow moved the focus from self. We would be encouraged to give to the less fortunate even as anticipated to receive gifts from our family members. The story of Jesus’s birth focuses on giving much more than receiving. For those of us who believe in him, He came to save us. He was born into this world for our sake. So, we are encouraged to be selfless through the story of his birth. Sadly, many of us are selfish during this season and focus only on what we can get for ourselves. And the commercialization of Christmas through the media hasn’t helped.

I read a sad article in the Sunday nation by Scheaffer Okore last week. She speaks of how leaders have normalized the theft of public funds in this country. High-level theft by highly influential people continues with impunity and no punishment is meted out on them. She goes on to illustrate how salt is viciously rubbed to the injury when some of those culprits are rewarded with appointments. The KEMSA scandal where funds for equipment meant to protect Kenyans from Covid19 were stolen is a case of greed and self-centeredness at another level. Even in a pandemic like this, some people will steal funds meant to protect the lives of Kenyans. Money has become more important than life itself. We have sunk that low. God help us.

I call this the selfie life where it’s all eyes on me. I appreciate that we live in a capitalist society and I’m all for self-advancement. it’s natural and expected to pursue opportunities and deals to improve (and enrich) our lives. The problem comes when we are so blinded by self-enrichment that we forget (or neglect) the responsibility we have to others.

I’m amused every time I see people taking photos of themselves to post on social media. I guess it’s fine but does it feed the desire for self-gratification? I’m just wondering aloud. What would happen if we turned the camera around and focused on others for a change. I think even the photo others take of me look nicer than the ones I take of myself.

Allow me to make an exception that has revealed the positive side of selfie life. If I am to give this year a name it would be the year of self-improvement. Or the year of inner awakening. Corona brought life as we knew it to a screeching halt nine months ago. This has forced many of us to look within in a way we have never done before. Sometimes we have looked too deep and gotten scared of what we might find in the process. The deeper I have looked within the more self-aware I have become. Even to the point of discovering latent gifts and interests like coaching and being a school teacher. Though I’m lousy at that latter one I think. Or maybe my students are too kichwa ngumu.

So, it’s fine to have a selfie life if it will lead to making us a better version of ourselves so we can serve humanity better. May this corona version of Christmas be one of turning from a selfie focus to others’ focus. Even within the covid protocols, we can mulika others with acts of kindness. Call them, mpesa them, or buy them a gift. A framed wildlife photo printed on canvas would be a great choice for a Christmas present to a loved one. And I know a guy who can hook you up he he. Check out LucaShots gallery on www.lucasmaranga.com.



Share this post:

2 thoughts on “Selfie Life.”

  1. ItsMisatih says:

    Woooooow, seems you were in my mind since I aldo wanted to write an article with the same prospect as this one😀well, you’ve captured everything here. Looking forward to more of your tastes

  2. MG says:

    A merry Christmas Lucas to you and your loved ones. May the selfies and other selfies this season fill you with joy and gladness.

Leave a Reply

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