Thursday, 26 September 2013

On a journey... the hardest thing after passion

This is my dilemma of all times- passion.
When I started blogging back in 2008 (but I only started posting publicly here in 2010), I wanted to share some of my personal (journey) reflections with people like you. I was motivated by wonderful people like Bwakali and Faith to start this blog. They told me small is beautiful and you can always grow wings and fly. And in 2010, I start growing wings when my boss recommended I start blogging for professional purposes. This led me to blog for several organizations and international events like the Share Fair, UNICEF and IUCN. I have tried to improve my blogging skills, but not to a professional level yet. But I also try to keep the balance between my personal journey and professional blogging. 
One of the most important things in my career is that it’s founded on my passion for the young people. Anything young ticks me, it makes my heart beat faster, it gives me a new form of energy, it excites me, and it makes me think differently- and critically. It looks like this.
Young people are like green pods, awaiting some little sunshine and they will pop up
seeds that will be planted on this planet to bring forth new life.
It’s like a seed awaiting some sunshine then it will pop up, and probably on a fertile ground will germinate to bring forth new life. 
I have come to the conclusion that my passion and my research are one and the same thing. My research, it ended up being one thing I was most passionate about, despite all the dilemmas I faced for the past one year. It also ended up being a re-connection to the university students who are so dear to me. Beyond the research, I moved to Oxford two years ago, and even a year before that I had stopped being what I would call, an active youth leader with movements like AYICC, KYCN and the like. I only spent time growing another youth movement in IUCN. I was instead engaged in more specific projects like Suubi and being a student
But as I write this, the hardest thing in my life has remained this: what should I do with my passion? Once, twice, several times, very many times, I have managed it; I have said no to a few things, only to regret later; I have quit Facebook for a year only to come back and realize that people were eagerly waiting for me; and here I am, wondering what next after my passion.
Occasionally, now becoming regularly, I receive emails from young people around the world, asking for advice of all kinds. Some want me to employ them, some want to volunteer for me, some want me to fund their projects, and some want advice on scholarship - the list is endless. Sometimes I am lucky to have answers; sometimes I am lucky to connect them with colleagues; but sometimes like today, when I have three emails in my inbox which I have no answers to, I don't know what to do with my passion. I did not ask these people to send me emails, but I cannot just ignore emails from a young people who are looking for something better. In my heart, something tells me it’s wrong to ignore these emails. 
These are young people who are looking for 'a life’; they are like the seed enclosed by the green pod. Someone reminds me all the time that I am that little sunshine, which when it shines on those green pods, they will dry, open up, and let out the seeds - the energy and talent in young people. The talent is in them, and in the right conditions it will bear fruits for the generation and the nation. But, they don't know how- I can tell from their emails- but I can't just send them away just because they don't know how to grow their talents. So I got to help them- as others are also helping me.
Will I always be that sunshine that these young people will always be looking for? Will I always be able to shine upon them whenever they need me, and eventually they will break up and let out the energy locked up in them, and they will sow their seeds, and we shall reap in bounds! I am listening to my heart, and I can tell you, I am happy, because I know I am not alone. Last week in Luneburg, I met amazing students from a university in Peru, running the Munay.
A poster on the interdisciplinary work of Munay, Peru
Jair, from Peru, presents posters on Munay projects at the WSES 2013
 It is unbelievable to see how much university students can do with such a little support. These students run a radio programme, an environmental education programme, internship and volunteer programmes, all coordinated by the students. I know this is not new to the world, because during my research I encountered similar stories of university environmental groups around Kenya. Its the same experiences i had last week at the WSES 2013. The students are getting quite advanced in terms of their collaboration with the university; the government and the community as far as environmental issues were concerned.
But what’s the difference between the students from Munay and the ones who have sent me emails this week? I keep wondering about this, and as long as I can figure out the problem, and how I might resolve it, I will be happy. But if I don't, then I know the journey I am on is unfinished, because these experiences are part of life, and they have to be dealt with so that the journey can be accomplished. 
I am not far from starting the journey; the reason behind my new life project- the doctoral programme- is inspired by this.This is the greatest of the journeys in my journey, the journey beyond passion. Watch and wait. 


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