2020: WHATS NEW ABOUT THE YEAR? By Mwangi Ndegwa

Happy New Year! That's usually the common form of greeting every time a calendar year turns. But allow me to pose this question to you? What is...


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Happy New Year! That’s usually the common form of greeting every time a calendar year turns. But allow me to pose this question to you? What is new about the year?

Sue was besides herself with joy, the reason being her parents had fulfilled their promise of buying her a musical keyboard. She was a grade four pupil but her love for music started when she was still young. Her parents wanted to nurture that gift but were afraid it would affect her studies. She would pester them every moment and it got to a point where her parents were worn down by her constant pestering. They had exhausted all reasons and excuses so they had to give in to her demands.

As they were discussing how to go about it without compromising her studies, an idea struck her dad’s mind. They agreed to purchase the keyboard for her but it was on one condition: that she maintain her high grades as well as her first position in class. Sue was a natural go getter and once she focused her mind on something, she never stopped until she had achieved her objectives. This one was no exception and for a whole year, she topped her class in every test she did. Her efforts had finally paid off and she now had the chance to enjoy what she loved doing: Playing music.

When her dad gave her the keyboard, Sue quickly unwrapped it and what a sight she beheld. The black and white ivory keys and their smooth surface just took her to cloud nine. She loved the smooth feeling of the keys as she lovingly passed her tiny fingers over them. The keys looked so delicate she feared that pressing them might break them. For a whole week, she did nothing but stare at them and wiping any speck of dust that landed on their surface. Her parents got worried when they didn’t hear any musical tunes coming from her room and decided to check whether everything was okay. When they went into her room, they found her bent over her keyboard wiping it clean. When they enquired why she was not playing the keyboard, she innocently answered: “I don’t want to break the delicate keys.”

Her parents smiled and that’s when her dad explained to her that musical tunes will never come out of the keyboard if she didn’t press the keys, for that’s how it is supposed to be operated. From then on, Sue started playing very sweet and melodious tunes.

Everything in this world is here for a purpose and if not used well, it ends up being a waste and as one of my mentors Dr Wale Akinyemi taught me;”where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable.” The importance of anything is only realized if it is put to its intended use and purpose. The value of it is in the maximization of its ability. The keyboard in Sue’s case above could have been a waste of money if it was not used to make music.

The newness of the year will remain just a change or replacement of  numerals on the calendar if we don’t do anything useful with it. The newness of the year will be in the positive thing we do within this time measure called “Year.” And all this is not possible if we still use the same kind of thinking we were using over the past year.

It is always important after every session in our lives to do stock taking and self analysis so we can point out our shortcomings. This way, we will be in a position to know what needs to be improved and what needs to be changed. My parting shot is this: New Year, old way of thinking will give similar results. The thing we need to renew more is our minds for it is from there that the newness of our lives is launched. Let’s not concentrate to match on the numerical values but rather, let’s put our focus more on our personal values. In so doing, we shall see a very big shift in the value and qualities of our lives. To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

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