Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Celebrating heroes, spurning their values

Kenyans, collectively speaking, our fathers fought for independence. We know all about it; we are enjoying the fruits of that independence today. So we declare national holidays and build monuments in their honor (if budget permits). But we don't do as they did. It is a tragedy of Biblical proportions.
Matthew 23:29,30
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous,
and say,” If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.”
We collectively declare dead people heroes, while neglecting those principles by which said heroes lived. The problem is, the dead are dead, not somewhere watching to see whether and how they are being remembered. They’re unconscious of it all. The real question is “What do the living profit by the memory of the dead?” Were they examples or warnings to their survivors? Does the late heroes’ example and sacrifice inspire similar high ideals in the beneficiaries of their struggle?

Mention of heroes gives any speech a patriotic sheen, so we are certain that we will hear about them interminably. In the meantime, living people who actualize these dead heroes’ principles are ignored. Will they be remembered when they are dead, who while they live are ill considered? Will their flag-waving descendants perpetuate their principles, or merely rally around their monuments?
Matthew 23:34
Wherefore behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes, and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city.

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