“There was a man whom I knew when growing up. He had everything going for him. Money. Good job. Esteem. And respect. He married a beautiful wife. But the wife was the only thing that was beautiful. He would occasionally lay his hands on the wife and finally but unfortunately chased her away.
He was handsome. He viewed himself as the center of the universe with other people revolving around him. And that meant the young ladies fell for him. He’d get involved with women and when he was advised by the elders and his friends to take his wife back; he saw no need and rejected their counsel. ‘I have all that I want. And if I don’t I go out there and get it,’ he would say. This paradoxical pride and arrogance persisted with him for a long time. Either way, what could you tell a man who has all he wants, or could get what he needs?”
My dad looked me straight into the eyes maybe wanting to know if I was following and listening carefully.
I was. I really was. He’s a good story-teller and what made it more captivating: it is a true story.
When he stopped talking there would be silence in the car. No matter how much I’d want to burst into a gale of laughter I couldn’t, as I could almost hear myself agree with those words.
“You see dad, when God blesses me to become rich and my wealth grows, I’ll have about 5 children. Maybe more. As long as I can provide for their basic needs and afford school fees to good schools, why not?” I put it forth with much vigor as someone who has really been thinking about it.
My dad keeps on driving, he is immovable. He chooses to see and hear nothing; probably he’s trying to be wise with his words. But I know it stumped him for a second or two.
The cool breeze rushes in through the pulled down windows. I turn and place the gift I had wrapped, at the back seat. I was attending a celebration “send-off” party of a good friend who was leaving for Scotland to do Masters in Law, specializing in Oil and Gas.
[I’m proud of you my brother!]
“Of course, if my wife is also reading from the same script.” I add.
Now you may wonder how the conversation came to be – talking about babies. In a car.
Me and my dad talk about pretty much anything and anywhere. He’s a bit reserved (just like me) and opens up to only a few, those he can trust. (Again, just like me!)
We hit it off in the issue of why wealthy persons, billionaires, have no kids, or if they do… just one! I couldn’t really understand. Why not have a football team and play six aside? Okay, you didn’t get that one. Forget it.
Again, understand me clearly. I’m not saying if you are 10 kids in your household, you’re not billionaires. No. Please, don’t misquote me.
Others are billionaires by Faith!
‘Is it because they chase money and forget what’s important in life? Is it the greed to want 1,000 then 100,000 then 1,000,000 then 1,000,000,000 and they’re never satisfied? Is it a choice, lack of interest, busy building their empires, or a medical reason? Why?’
Every time I have tried to think out along those lines I have ended up in puzzles and contradictions.
A few minutes pass by, and it’s when I notice the coolness in him: “There was a man…”
“The man began to age. The money would diminish and the young ladies left him. He told me one day, ‘I wish I knew (those four haunting words) I’d have listened and not chased my wife. She’s the only one who would have stayed.’
He has no kids and you know in communities, children give the people a sense of immortality. Plus he looks old for his age.”
He didn’t have to tell me the sage of the story. I heard it all and the message was screaming to my ears. I pledged to know what’s important in life; not to get distracted by the ins’n’outs of everyday living, by life’s inevitable minutiae.
Though I took pity on the man, it was a confirmation that we do live with the consequences our decisions birth.
I still haven’t got the answer to my questions, so if you can arrange a coffee meeting with Bill Clinton or Chris Kirubi, give me a call. My phone number is…