On ‘THINK BEFORE YOU ACT’ By Mwangi Ndegwa

"Mr Keith this is the last warning! If this happens again, you can be sure we will face each other in court!" These angry words...


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“Mr Keith this is the last warning! If this happens again, you can be sure we will face each other in court!” These angry words came from a visibly annoyed James. Keith and James happened to be neighbors and for the longest time, Keith had been a thorn in the side of James. It seemed every thing that Keith did was meant to annoy his neighbor James. On several occasions, Keith had done outrageous things, some bordering on absurdity. One time he almost got into fist fights with a group of three young men who he had splashed with water. It had happened like this: outside his perimeter wall, on the side that borders the road, he had planted a flower garden. He had this nasty habit of watering his flowers using a hose pipe while inside his compound. He never cared to check whether there were people walking down the street or not. 

On this particular morning, James was returning home after completing his morning deliveries of milk and eggs when without warning, Keith drove out of his compound at high speed without stopping to check whether there were any oncoming vehicles and were it not for the fast reaction of James, there could have been a nasty accident. James’ last words to his neighbor were simple: you need to look before you jump and think before you act or else you will one day pay a heavy price. Keith threw up his arms and simply drove away without offering an apology.

Keith continued his reckless behaviors until one morning, pay day finally dawned. He was driving to town and in his usually arrogant manner and he didn’t stop at the junction joining the main highway. From the opposite direction, a truck carrying logs was hurtling down the highway. The driver saw Keith’s car drive into the road but a twenty tonnes trailer needs a longer stopping distance which was not available here. Though the truck driver tried to brake hard, it was too late. He rammed into the rear of Keith’s car throwing the mangled wreck plus its driver into a ditch. Keith was pulled from the wreck unconscious and was in ICU for four months. He was finally discharged but with the sad news that he would spend the rest of his life on a wheelchair. 

This is a typical scenario especially among the young; making rushed decisions without making a proper analysis. Some never stop to think about the consequences of their actions. Many have died, while others have seen promising careers being destroyed.

We’ve read about politicians or high ranking government or corporate officials being involved in things you would least expect. Why do we hear of a blue chip CEO getting caught with a mistress in the most compromising of situations (details withheld)? Why do we hear about cases of bright students cheating in exams? Why do we hear about cases of people diverting money and food meant for disaster victims into their own coffers? If only we all could learn to do a bit of soul searching and interrogate our actions and their repercussions on the rest of mankind, then we would not make some of these decisions. How many of us ever take time to question the things we do or are told to do? How many of us take time to vet the kind of people we want to make friends with or, bring into our networks?  How many of us take the time to calculate the cost of our actions?

The young people have fallen victims of joining groups before they even get to know the intentions of the members in it. Many today are suffering the consequences of their rushed decisions.  They involved themselves with things simply because their friends were in them. It will cost us nothing to take time out to think – look right, look left before you drive. It will cost us nothing to ask relevant questions.

Friends, let us think before we act, look before we leap, take time before we answer. To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

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