Guest Post: The Hunger Games — MockingJoe

I had the wonderful opportunity to do a guest-post-for-guest-post with Sykes from Sykes Things.  According to his About page:  “I’m on a mission to be different. To make a mark in my world and hopefully yours. Great leader, perfect mentor, awesome friend, father, husband, the best writer ever; these things will be used to describe me in future. But you can even start now if you want to!”

I haven’t yet told a lot of people, but I lost my job late February. The months preceding were a very trying time for me because I had already learned that the company wanted to close shop. I went into a slump. Not like the ordinary ones, I really went into some dark places. I was in those ‘close yourself up to the world’ kind of months. It reminded me of last January when I lost a cousin and went off the rails. I was hardly of out of the house and my phone was constantly off. I closed my social medias and was very much alone.

Before I started my work at this company back in December of 2012, I had some not so interesting jobs for close to two years. One whose boss was a nightmare to work with and the next whose pay package was nothing more than a warm handshake. So when an opportunity to work for a NGO presented itself, I took it with both hands. The job was perfect and I was sold to the vision of the company almost immediately. The added advantage was that it was outside of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, which was something I always wanted to do. We were to teach simple programming fundamentals to 10 -13 year old kids who would have not had the chance to learn them in rural Kenya among the famous Maasai community. Our aim was to make those kids think in a different way to what they are used to and give them an alternative source of skills. The job loss was hard to take.

My Facebook profile still reads that I am the program director (I was promoted after a year) at the company and it still says the same on the company website. I am at pains to explain to people over and over that the job is over. That I am back to Nairobi. Back to where It started. Back to scratch. I have a certain set of skills that doesn’t particularly endear me to the job market and so I know looking for work will be a real hustle. But where do you get inspiration from? How do you pick yourself up for another day? In the face of all things not working out how do you reassure yourself that all will be well?

It’s funny where inspirations come from sometimes. I know people have this attitude towards religious posts but I hope you read on after the next sentence. The story of Joseph in the Bible always gets me thinking each time I read or hear it. Someone had this on their Facebook profile recently:

“Jacob looked at Joseph and saw Rachel’s first born son, ten brothers looked at Joseph and saw a useless dreamer, the travelers looked at Joseph and saw a slave, Potipher looked at Joseph and saw a fine servant, Potipher’s wife looked at Joseph and saw a play thing, the prison officer looked at Joseph and saw a prisoner, but my, were they all wrong!”

Joseph’s story reads like a Hollywood movie (Why haven’t they done that already?). It starts from humble beginnings in Canaan and ends in epic triumph in Egypt. A betrayal from the people you’d least expect and a dangerous love triangle with a powerful man and his alluring wife. A guy with serious street cred from his time in the slammer. The temptation of revenge when he finally ‘made it’ and an impending disaster, the drought. I would have called it The Hunger Games; MockingJoe. Someone tell Martin Scorsese to give me a call.

At what point would you have given up? When your brothers laughed at you? When your own flesh and blood sold you out? Or would it be when you were sent to jail for an indefinite time for something you did not do? I think being sold as a slave by your family would have been it for me. Let’s not even talk about being tempted by a beautiful woman. Granted that my situation may not be as dire but I draw parallels with my life and get inspiration from this story I have heard since my childhood days.

“God looked at Joseph and saw a prince, a leader and a Saviour of His people.” The Facebook post ends.

The story always leaves me intrigued. And sure the main lesson we learn is that it only matters how God sees you, he is the only one who knows the plans he has for you no matter what kind of situation you are in; but what makes Joseph a role model to me, someone who inspires me, is that he took it all in his stride and never abandoned his purpose. He always knew he would be great; otherwise I think, he would have given up.

I want to be exactly like that. I don’t want to give up. I know I will be great, I just need to not let the set backs dampen my spirit. I know one day I will fly with eagles and not walk with chickens. All will be well again.

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