OpEd, Politics

Learning to carry your own bag of problems

As I set out each morning to fight my Goliath, not a biblical one but my own problems, I meet different kinds of people each with different sets of fear. Some of these people have their dreams and plans. Others are hopeful that this country will change for the better one day and work for everyone.

On the other hand, we meet without knowing people who have been struggling for the last few years without getting a job. And we just think that they are lazy or that they don’t know what they are doing. In every corner of this country, there is someone who is praying for something, a child, food, hope and job.

When you are walking on the street, what do you see? Of course, different kinds of people, there is no doubt you have no idea what those people are looking for or what they have been through and if you were to be in their shoes for a day or two, you will have respect or hate them for the rest of your life.

Most of these people wanted to rob while others are struggling to earn a living.  It all goes down to the fact that the country doesn’t appreciate those who work hard. You can be a best student but still lags behind when you don’t have any support.

You can be beautiful and each day, you lose that beauty. You can easily become old before your thirties. This is not a surprise. Wait, you don’t know some people until they are in the middle of a crisis. You can name people based on how they handle difficult situations, but I respect most South Sudanese because they are strong.

Sometimes back, I was greatly humbled by the suffering of our people, I saw a young man, and he was walking with a crutch. This amputee must have been shot during the war. It could not be during a war, maybe an accident because many of our people have bought expensive cars and eat road’s money.

There was something extraordinary about him, as vulnerable as he was, I found him dividing the little money he had between two old women who sat by the roadside. The money was not that much but it meant the whole world to them.

After all, I saw them praying together and a drop of tears fell down from my eyes. It was a touching scene I have ever seen in my life. On that day, many things came to my mind. What were they praying for?  I asked myself this question because I was aware that God was not in their midst at that time.

The only person I consider that day, as a God was that young man who gave all he had to the poor. I am not an atheist; I believe in God. But I have a different view of God. He is not what you think he is. God is someone who rescues someone in his or her point of need.

This means that when I fall into a ditch and you help me out of it, you are my God. In this case, the government is our God. If the government fails to render good service, no amount of prayer will help you in your prayer. In every country where the leadership has failed or is not doing enough for the people, prayer is not a solution. It is unity and hard work.

I am sorry; I didn’t really know what I am saying. Hard work doesn’t work here. You can try everything for years and end up hopeless in the end. I have seen this with one young man who studied medicine for nearly ten years. This course is pretty hard, but it is only six years when you have someone at your back.

But this guy’s story was different; he was the one paying his own tuition fees. So, the program took him ten years to complete because he didn’t back up. He was hoping for something, that after his bachelor’s degree, he would be able to secure a good job and change the trajectory of his life.

But unthinkable happened, he lost his life just years when life was beginning to make sense. This was very heartbreaking. Why would God allow such incidents, is he kind? Sometimes circumstances will force you to ask these difficult questions and you will be right because God is unkind, this is because the government doesn’t care about its people.

You can study for years and still fail to get a job, it literally makes no difference, and this is why I disagree with most motivational speakers when they say what you are going through is preparing you for something better, this is not true. It depends on God’s plans for your life, who knows the story may end up this way.

Sometimes, I don’t want to say this, but your success is determined by the kind of family or country you come from. In this country, your family background has almost 90 percent of your success. I don’t know how you understand success, it is not all about finances, you can be a successful thief or vice versa.

It is very costly to be here, like Sisyphus we get punished daily for being South Sudanese. Sisyphus was an Aeolus who was punished in a place called Hades for his misdeeds in life by being condemned to the external task of rolling a large stone to the top of a hill, from which it always rolled down again, and he would start all from zero.

Sisyphus was a hero, but I don’t know how his story ended, it could be worse or more interesting. The same tragedy is being explained here. As a matter of fact, we are going to have different stories at the end of the journey.

The load we have been carrying is too much for us but it is worth it, you know what? There is no greater privilege in life than for someone to abandon you; it reveals the new person in you. For most of us, we live like orphans. The only achievement our government has made over the years was their negligence towards us.

There is a lesson in this, most people have made it even without the government in the picture, when you are struggling alone, it is a sign that you have forgotten the fact that there is nobody standing with you. In countries where people entirely depend on their governments for survival, there is success but when your government leaves you alone, it is your duty now to swim to the shore or you die without crossing to the other part of the river.

In this case, you have many people in the same boat. And you need to cross all together, in South Sudan; it is not good to hate your fellow brother because he hails from a certain community. We need each other in these difficult times and that is our only way out of this dungeon. You don’t need to push someone down for you to rise. For each one of us, there is a painful story behind it. Try to move in the street and tell me if you will be proud of the people, you will meet there. It could be a child washing a car, a mother begging and an old man crying inside. This country hurts. Sometimes you could be proud of them, but it will not take you long before you weep bitterly.


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