When you have a relative serving in the armed or uniformed forces, you generally tend to have an opinion that’s different from the rest of society. Most of us have grown up knowing that the police are people to be dreaded and feared. Many of us are guilty of saying not so very nice things about them. We forget that deep down, they are human beings just trying to do their jobs in order to feed their families; they have warm blood pumping in their veins and arteries ; they have feelings too; just like us. Of course not all of them are “angels”, same way not all of us exactly the saintliest of people.
When news came in that some KDF officers were killed in Somalia the other day; I was naturally filled with grief (most of us were) . Yes, I did not know any of the deceased, but I imagined their families; the widowed wives and the children that would be left fatherless. I have a brother who is a GSU officer and I often get worried sick whenever he mentions the places he’s been deployed to. You see, you are never sure whether they will come back safely or not. One minute they could be well, the next, you’re being called to pick up ther body in a coffin at the airbase (as with the KDF officers). Now imagine the trauma you’d undergo.
So when I heard that Pawa254 was holding a vigil for the deceased officers at Uhuru Park, I immediately resolved to attend. You can never really relate one hundred percent with the grief of someone who has just lost their loved one, but you can show solidarity by being present; by paying your respects however way you can. My expectations were quite simple; lighting candles, lengthy silence; a few words of encouragement; hymns/music then leave. While all this did happen, I made one observation (standing at some lone corner far from the crowd) that quite disturbed me for a while.
Our current generation has become so vain it hurts. People no longer do stuff because they “enjoy” or like doing them but because it’s chic or cool. We have become so obsessed with the trends that we no longer savour life moments. We are too concerned with capturing moments rather than living in them; we want to be like everyone else; doing whats fashionable at the time.
During the vigil for instance ( I arrived quite early so I had the pleasure of watching people streaming in) ; I’d see a bunch of youngins come in and the first thing they’d do was whip out their phones, take a selfie (poutface and all) and immediately upload it (insert appropriate hashtag) . If you thought this was the preserve of a few misguided individuals, the same trait was repeated over and over again.
Folks were jostling to snap a pictures and selfies completely forgetting the whole point of the vigil i.e. to pay tribute to the fallen heroes.
Is this how we pay respect to the dead nowadays? Those soldiers did not die for this 😦
There was a street woman who was sleeping near the site of the vigil oblivious of what was happening around her.
The crowd kept jumping over her in a bid to capture perfect pictures for sharing on their social media pages to show just how compassionate they were by attending the vigil. Not once did I see anyone bother to find out why she was sleeping there in the first place; not one soul had the decency to at least wake her up so as to avoid being stepped on. Have we become so inhumane and soulless that we no longer possess genuine affection for our fellow humans?
What’s this obsession with being “cool” anyway? Do we attend concerts because we enjoy the music or because everyone on your Twitter said they would be there? Do we visit some restaurants because a certain influential person (who was probably paid to do so) bantered about it being very “chill” or do we go there because we absolutely enjoy everything about the place? I have seen some friends suffer through a cake that tasted like wet mud at some restaurant yet their Instagrams were filled with pretty looking filtered cake images captioned “Best Cake Ever” .I was honestly appalled. What has become of us? Why have we become so vain and pretentious? Why do we insist on playing charades instead of experiencing the realness that is life? Where are our feelings? What happened to doing charity without announcing it to the whole world? Even the Holy Books tells emphasize on the gift of humility and silent giving; the left hand must never know how much offering the right hand has given.
I am honestly very scared about this Selfie Generation; crossing my fingers hoping that’ it’s all an unpalatable phase that will end soon.
PS: RIP to the fallen KDF Soldiers. May souls rest in peace. May your families find comfort