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The Telescope


Fathers day is celebrated globally to appreciate the role of fathers and father figures in shaping lives of children and the family in general.

Nevertheless, reflecting on current trends such celebrations could die in the near future.

Over the years a lot has been done to give the girl child her voice. Groups and activists have focused on empowering the girl-child achieve her potential especially in education and job market with varying results.

However, in the process of lifting the girl child the boy child has been left lagging behind.

Instead of initiating an inclusive approach that recognizes the input of both genders. boys and men have been placed sidelined in the girl-child empowerment initiatives; consequently creating imbalance in family set-up and society in general.

We now have a scenario where the girl child is excelling in education, employment opportunities as the boy-child tries to find his place in society.

Women and girls in Africa are given first priority when scholarships are awarded.Besides they are constantly mentored through rigorous initiatives that have been raised globally.

Like a success story we have all observed an extraordinary shift in the way people think about the girl child and witnessed the impeccable influence that various remarkable solutions have impacted to give her the unprecedented independence that bOY2had for so long been neglected.

Its in fact a deplorable discussion that calls are being raised to ’empower’ the boy child but if empowerment programs continue neglecting the boy child frustration may push him to join dangerous underground criminal activities.We are sitting on a time-bomb.

Sadly, the boy child has been left to choose his future and chart his own course without much guidance from the environment.He has been placed at the peripheries of the girl-child’s profound advancement leaving them excluded in addressing central issues lurking in the society.

The impact of the neglect cannot go unnoticed.In his bid to find his footing, the boy-child is now associated with vices such as drug and substance abuse, sexual abuse and dropping out of school.

We are sitting on a time bomb if empowering programs continue neglecting the boy-child.Frustration may push him to join dangerous underground criminal activities.Reports of young boys joining terror groups fill the media.

The consequent solitary focus on the empowerment of girls and women has imbalanced the scales; equaling to the now seen dominance of one gender over the other even in the basic family setting.

As much as it’s important to reach out to the girl child, let it not be at the expense of the boy child for a just society is when the two compliment each other, not when they are involved in a rat-race competition.

Both genders are fundamental to the success of any society.Boys need counselling and guidance through their passage to manhood.

Conversations of how we can support boys should start from the family level.

If we allow the boy child to continue struggling with poverty, unemployment, and dependency, not only will our country suffer economically , but we will also lose the productivity contributions of a majority of the population.

And we will pay a price.

This article was published on the People Weekend on JUNE 27-28,2015.


How I finally broke free from paralyzing perfectionism

Looking back, the earliest account of my nearly paralysing perfectionism pace to my lower primary school days.As far as I can remember, I always owned a note book. Far from the usual ones in stores, mine was of an exercise book from my previous class that had not filled up from the subjects course work.

Every now and then I would open it and put down my thoughts, mostly girly stuff not to mention naive reflections of a village-bred nine year old.

I would give vent to my thoughts, which would flow through the pen onto paper and if I made a single mistake-of a misspelled word or jagged letter I would refuse to cross it out.

Instead I would tear out the entire page and start all over again regardless of whether I was in the last sentence or word.

Eventually the habit found its way to the classroom, affecting my class work performance often getting me in trouble for not presenting my work on time. Why? Because if the page did not look perfect to me, I would never hand it in.

While this obsession with perfection has been overly exhausting there was a justified reason to why I clung to it even in my young adult life. Any flaw in my work signalled a voice in my head, “You will never get ahead if you keep making mistakes” an undue influence in my mind that inevitably came with immense pressure.

Of course there is no class work in your 20s so perfectionism manifested itself in other ways. Like avoiding work assignments because I was afraid I won’t get it ‘just right’. Walking out of relationships because well it   jimagesust doesn’t feel right. It was no way to live.

People like to idealize perfectionism. Think about all the different things we are told we must perfect. We must find as perfect spouse, bring up perfect babies, maintain the perfect body shape, speak impeccably perfect English…the list is endless. But, pray, how can you find perfectionism in an imperfect world?

They convey it as an endearing quirk but here’s the thing: Striving for excellence and setting unrealistic expectations for yourself are very different things. The former is actually ambition while the latter is a crippling condition.

Fact is most perfectionists do not even realize they are one. They are convinced that their fixation just means that they are more determined or hard working. The irony is that perfectionism may be precisely what’s holding them back from success.

The first step to overcome perfectionism is to recognise it as a problem. There is nothing wrong with setting high standards but when this standards are unrealistic they could get in the way of enjoyment of life. Furthermore, life itself is an everlasting learning process and we are all a work in progress.

By repperfectionism-quotelacing self critical thoughts with more realistic and helpful thoughts we could well be on the way to seeking long lasting resolve.

Life’s successes can only come in addition to what we gain from trying and its okay to surrender to the moment, accept that we cannot control everything and embrace the uncomfortable state of uncertainty–that’s when we’re able to flourish.

I wish I could tell my 9 year old self what I know now, which is this: A crossed out word or a jagged letter isn’t going to hinder you from success.

This article was published on April 21 2015 on People Daily Kenya