After being away from home for two decades, I returned to a country changed beyond recognition! I believe that no aspect has been left untouched; some changed for the worse and a few for the better. The old saying: “No Man Is an Island,” rings so true. Uganda is part and parcel of the Global Village and the 3rd Industrial Revolution known as the Digital Revolution which started in the 1980’s and is ongoing, has become an integral part of our lives. It has changed our lives: the way we do things, move and communicate. The internet and social media makes us feel so connected to one another globally and yet we are less sensitive to the feelings of others. The 4th industrial Revolution which builds on the 3rd one is steadily ensuring that technology becomes embedded into our societies and even in the human body. We are all really controlled by the environment around us and the more we get to know the environment, the better we adapt to it and thrive.
I am here struggling to navigate through an uncertain environment and trying to find a way to fit in not merely to survive but to flourish as well. I am slowly but surely learning to deal with reality and help others of my kind to do the same.
They say: “East, west, home is best,” but things as they stand, you can never make enough plans and preparations for the return home. Surprises keep being thrown at you but you just have to learn to keep trusting yourself while at the same time become street smart .You have to make your decisions based on facts other than feelings or emotions. The challenges you keep meeting serve to hone your Warrior skills. My biggest challenge is finding where I fit in a country whose moral fiber and values have been radically changed. Each day presents you with opportunities to grow and develop at the same time demand of you to acquire some critical skills like : knowing when to humble yourself and ask for help and when to help others and when to stay back.
As I try to makes sense of the changes around me, I am using it as an opportunity to learn and adapt. Like everybody else I know too well that change is a fact of life and that the earlier I accept it and work with it, the quicker I would settle down. When I choose to be like the ostrich and just bury my head in the sand, settling down will be terribly difficult for me. I have chosen to take the philosopher, Alvin Toffler’s advice very seriously. He says: “The illiterates of the 21 st century will be not those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.’’
Living in this era of information overload, every day I consciously choose to learn new things, unlearn what is no longer true or relevant and relearn what is still true and relevant to the times. I have to decipher the information for quality- absorbing what adds value to my life.
I still learn through hearing, seeing and doing things. I have become a keen observer of what is going on around me. I learn from my network of friends and family, colleagues, the young and old whom I have a chance to talk to, and through other returnees. I know for sure that the wise among us learn from the experiences and mistakes of others. I have also had to reassess my strengths and weaknesses, humble myself to ask for help and advice and tried to improve my weaknesses where possible.
This constantly reminds of the quote by an anonymous author: “Blessed are the flexible for they shall never be bent out of shape.’’ It is the same observation that Charles Darwin (1809-1882) the English Biologist and Naturalist made many years ago: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survive. It is the one most adaptable to change.”
I have to remain positive in action and attitude to succeed. My thoughts determine my actions while my attitude determines how far I can go. By observation, I have come to understand that here people play the game of life along a different set of rules- cheating and exploiting others and a few of them play by no rules at all. After the shock and denial, I am now embracing the change but at the same time holding firmly to my core values and principles. For we are advised that: If a place is changing you to your core values, pack up and leave before you lose yourself.
Having said that, I know that East, west; home is best. I have to trust myself to rise to the challenge of turning home into the place I want it to be. I should start in my house and spread outside. No doubt it takes me out of my comfort zone and it can be scary at times but Charity always begins at home.
I remain hopeful that despite the avalanche of changes around me, I can carve my path through them to grow and develop while at the same time helping and serving others. I have never been the type of person who just sits and watches and I am determined not to start now.
Thank you for visiting my Blog and reading this post. May it help you to embrace and work with the changes at home , at your workplace or wherever you are. Feel free to share the post with your network of friends and family.