By Amunga Peter
We have to agree that we are all members of equal standing. We have to agree that anyone can introduce any subject, without it being termed “too academic”, “pointless”, etc. In any case, who formed these rules that are now being selectively applied? And for what purpose?
We have to agree that this is a free forum of both citizens and even friends. It follows therefore that we cannot condemn any for hinting at where their are likely to be in 2022. It follows also that those headed to UDA, ODM or ANC al have equal rights to continue talking about Jubilee. Provided always that they are not just launching scathing attacks.
We also have to agree that there is a fundamental difference between critique and attack. And if we cannot agree on that, then why not adopt the dictionary definition? So that we banned attacks, while permitting criticism which is useful for improvement.
We have to agree that we all benefit from the free exchange of ideas. If this were not the case, this group would have died of natural cause ages ago. The fact that many are still here is testament to the fact that people enjoy robust dialogue. And I have come to discover, perhaps too late in life, that there is really only one know-it-all. Yet to meet Him, you must exit the world as we know it.
We must also agree that there is a time and a place for spin and propaganda. We need not banished these from this group. Yet let them not consume all of our attention to the point where we give lip service attention to the most pressing challenges facing our republic. And right now, my friends, we have 3 major challenges – defeating the pandemic, forestalling economic stagnation and entrenching good governance. All this for the betterment of ALL Kenyans.
Yet we must also agree that we are not here to procure conformity. For John F. Kennedy was right to say that ”conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” Kennedy also suggested that we must take care not to enjoy the comfort of opinion without a corresponding discomfort of thought. And so what matters is not that we agree on every question. What matters is that we share opinions that inform and not just those which serve our political objectives.
My friends, if we can agree on certain basics – to keep this forum as an open space – then this forum may just become a permanent feature of our lives. And it will prove to be a very rich source of information – no matter where we end up beyond 2022. *And who knows? This could be the start of something.
My petition is simple. Agree on the basics that will keep this forum free. And please let us leave the edicts out. Edicts kill, rather than promote, robust dialogue..
My friends, that is where I am coming from. Hiyo tu.