A kid grows up somewhere in the slums of Nairobi, impoverished, cold and and confused. This is a scenario that affects so many people in our land, people whose fault was to be born by parents without means; parents who have to struggle in order to survive; parents who question the unjust of such an unequal and inequitable nation. These children sometimes have to gaze at the posh homes of the affluent usually juxtaposed next to the disheartening slums. And so as the sun bids humanity goodbye and the young ones troop from school and head to the comfort, and sometimes discomfort, of their homes; the rich head to their luxurious abodes and the poor glibly find themselves into their humble shanties. It is almost redolent of past colonial times when the masters lived in mansions and enjoyed the fruits of our labor while the African, hitherto taken to be lackeys only, would wallow in the misery of servitude and languish in the torture of cruelty and unkindess. I would imagine that these kids, bowels rumbling with the hard pangs of relentless hunger, would question the kind of fate that assigns one infant to a life of grandeur and confines another to the indignity of slum living. Who gets to choose where one is born? Why don’t we get a choice to choose whether to be born or not? Why is it that humanity must be fragmented into two unequal segments, the haves and haven nots? The answers to this questions transcends common sense and how we attempt to answer them is highly subjective to our skills, intelligence and culture. But mostly, such questions do not have any right answer and such answers as might be propagated by people are mere suggestions. These kind of questions, dear reader, are imponderable questions.

There are many examples of such questions and people who try to find answers to imponderable questions are walking on a path laced with frustrations and fraught with the danger of over speculation in an area where nuance isn’t possible and any evidence to the contrary must exist through unethical skullduggery and backed by supplanted data. But man’s need to know will always prove too strong and speculation will always be rife within our society especially within the academic circles. In fact, philosophy can be accused of delving too strongly into issues whose possibility of arriving at clear, concise and valid answers is not possible.Take the issue of God, and their overly ambitious attempts to prove that he exists, and some that he don’t, with the presupposition that they have the means to reach conclusions which are beyond peer disapproval. I disagree, since we cannot see God, we should not try to rationalize an issue of faith. Somethings are supposed to be viewed through faith and our learned fellows should devote their significantly talented minds in pursuit of more objective goals . As to the rest of the imponderable questions, they will always intrigue us, but we should not obsess too much about that which we cannot fathom but instead focus on those that we can change or at least mitigate.


13 responses to “Imponderables

  1. A big ask Pitzevans. Who decides. Who chooses. You make an important observation – we know that two children will be born today within a few minutes of each other – one into abject poverty whilst the other is ushered into a life of abundance and endless potential. Why is this? It can be answered simply – and I assure you not glibly by saying: Such inequalities exist and survive and are perpetuatated and grow even more glaring because we allow them to.

    Stay well.

    • while i dont disagree, Woolie, it would be nice if one could be given the choice between being ushered into poverty or abstaining from being born at all. But its time the world stoped politicking too much and addressed poverty from a pragmatic approach, putting the welfare of the common person first and everything else a distant second.

  2. This is a tricky one. Especially with the gap between the Haves & Have nots widening each day. I believe in one thing though, one has got to be satisfied with his current situation in life in order to gain true happiness.

      • What about ambition,aspirations,desires……… can never really be in a state of content.Can we really say then one is alive without desires or ambitions? So then what is true happiness? The only time in life, one is allowed to be content is on ones death bed.
        Just saying!

      • contentment is a mater of inner choice, while ambition is not wrong, it should be framed within a larger context; where achievement or failure is not a determinant of happiness.

  3. if we talk about chosing not to be born over been born in abject poverty then we get to question so many things,like why am i not white or more beautiful or slim or tall like a model or clever.there are so many things.but that is life…my rule acceptance is a key to happiness.yes it is a condition but i can change it

    • i know but the spirit of this post was not to question disparities rather to highlight the kind of questions which we generally cannot answer. In a sense, to provoke a deeper analysis of the status rather than a systematic attempt to answer these questions.

    • Interesting perspective this one. Acceptance of ones status is the only slingshot that can catapult us into happiness. This however is not to say that we should become complacent and cease striving to better ourselves in every way possible.

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