America is no longer the greatest country

We have been urged to get back to normal biz as we await the results of the elections, so normal biz it is. That includes my blogging I guess. I do hope we are not still stuck in front of TV or perhaps social media waiting for the results. We did our part, God is in control so chill pill it is.

One of my favourite things to do is watching series’ (especially those series’ that just cause me to be up all night glued to my TV). Last December I got caught up with one of my series’ season. For about 2 nights I hardly slept, I was so engrossed in the series’. Good thing I was on leave otherwise red eyes would have been my official look. I miss those days.


One of the series I watched had such a sobering moment that I listened to the clip several times. A lady asks a news presenter, ‘what do you think makes America the greatest country in the world’. The response of the presenter got my attention, ‘America is not the greatest country in the world anymore’.  What follows is statistics showing why America is not the greatest country in the world ANYMORE. But what stood out for me is why it used to be a great country:

“It sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chests. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men, we aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it, it didn’t make us feel inferior.

 We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed, by great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. Enough?”

You’ve got to read the above transcript again.

There is a sobering moment that comes to my mind when I think of the above comments. It might have been a hype moment, but it represents such truths.

Not the GDP…

Every great nation that is great becomes great not because of the GDP it has, or the big fancy buildings it has, or the best infrastructure. A great nation is made by the moral fibre that holds it together. It is made great by the morals they hold dear.

I actually believe that America was once great, they were a nation that fought for moral reasons, cared for their neighbors, were interested in getting cures for diseases not to beat their chest but for the betterment of people’s life, they stood for the right things. As a result, they became a great nation.

With the downturn of these things, when self-interest took a stronghold, the greatness has reduced, and I bet in a few generations, their greatness will be so gone and the nation that will embrace these values will be a great nation.

The Kenyan lesson

As Kenyans we need to learn from the mistakes of this ‘great nation’.

We are easily swayed towards the values of the ‘great nation’ but often we do not recognize that their greatness is dwindling because of the value system that we are easily adopting. I believe that one of the things that make Kenya great is that we care for our neighbors, that we still have some socialist policies. In all our fears of socialism, we must never lose track of that this is where all great nations started off.

This may sound like a grand plan; a thing of the presidents and politicians but the one thing I have learnt is that it starts with you and me. No real change will ever stat from up down, it will always be bottom up.

Be the leader

One of the other statements I love about this tv series is a challenge to the leader of this show to stand up for what he believes in the midst of a lot of chaos and fight against him ‘Be the leader of this show, be the moral compass, be the integrity’. Such a statement, almost scary.

Ok some background, this series is about a newsroom that reports the right things for the right reasons, a newsroom that is less bothered by ratings than it is about informing the people, it was a newsroom with a difference. Unafraid to stand for what is right. As a result, the newsroom was losing its ratings, rattling the politically connected people and from left right and centre was a call to conform to what had been done before – what had worked, regardless of whether it worked for all the wrong reasons.

I call it the price of being a pacesetter. So with this background comes a lady who calls on the leader to ignore the beating and stand for the right thing!

You and me have to find ways of being this as well. Be the moral compass of our society, stand up for what is right, prevail for the meek and weak.

How, you may ask? I sat in an amazing sermon in Mavuno church; I have put a link below. It gives very practical examples.

Be the change

Bottom line is this, you and I cannot afford to be satisfied with how things are done just because they do not bother us. We must stand for what is right, at whatever cost. We must be at the forefront of advocating for justice, in whichever ways we know; be it in the media, be it in the legal process, in whichever society we belong to.

We must be bothered with the plight of our neighbors. We must be a nation that will easily give of its time, of its money, of its efforts for the betterment of others.

We must get away from the me, myself and I mindset and begin to think of our neighbors, those in need of our help. We must engage with society and be a blessing to at least one other person. That is the calling of a great nation.

A friend of mine recently told me that one of the saddest things about Kenya is that we are very many Christians but injustices do not bother us. We are the ones who pay our house helps even lower than minimum wage, we are the ones who will go to mama mboga and find a way of milking her dry, we are the ones who are least bothered by the plight of the many homeless children. We must begin to change this. Get involved, a great nation is made not by the leaders we chose, but by the moral fibre of the society.


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