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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Behind every successful woman is a...?

Today Maina Kageni and Mwalimu Kingangi were talking about how women are buying more cars, houses and property than men. Mwalimu was of the opinion that that was to be expected and it would have been impossible to achieve that without the help of a man, the unseen, unheard, unappreciated shujaa (hero)!

My Human opinion

Ha! As expected, the men agreed with Mwalimu. It is true that women today are buying more cars, houses and property than men. Women are doing more 'money-building' exercises than ever before than men—but which men are we comparing these women to?

For proper evaluation the money-making ability comparison should be like-for-like. And therein lies the problem, because the like-for-likeness in money making between genders has and most probably will never be the same.

What do i mean like-for-like? I mean similar-ish situations. Are you comparing:
  • a married man with a married woman (marriage can increase or decrease one's wealth)?
  • a man with the same qualifications as the woman (e.g. both are university graduates, or both didn't finish high school etc)?
  • a man and a woman in the same industry/profession (i.e. compare a fisherman's income/lifestyle to a fisherwoman's income/lifestyle etc)?
  • a man and a woman with similar-ish backgrounds (Don't compare Njonjo's daughters with, a random dude from say Kiberia, same education or not)?
  • a man and a woman in the same age-group generation?
Anything other than this would be a statistical comparison, with no real social basis.

Chances are that a male CEO and a female CEO will roughly make the same amount of money (over time at least). Or a random chick from Ahero with no primary school education will be hustling just like the next random dude from Ahero with no primary school education.

However, the above opinion is very idealistic. The real world is a lot more realistic. The dude with no formal education is your boss, the chick with the masters is an 'administrative assistant', the mathree driver has more assets than the hotshot CEO, who's deep in debt and you know more such stories.

Now to Mwalimu's opinion, we cannot, with certainty say that a woman cannot achieve such success without a male shujaa. However, there will be a male shujaa in her life. (whether or not he is the cause of her success is another article)e.g. Her father, brother, pastor, boss, lecturer, colleague, friend and not necessarily her spouse or boyfriend. So in that respect I will agree with Mwalimu. Saying otherwise would be saying that men and women do not need each other.

I tried to resist writing this: I failed.
Q: What did the blonde's left leg say to her right leg?
A: Between the two of us, we can make a lot of money.
Women have an upper hand, eh, leg in some matters. Enough said.

My Biblical Opinion

Despite my human opinion, we should NOT compare ourselves with others. Comparing leads to bitterness and envy. Comparing led to the first murder.
Genesis 4: 2-8
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Believe it or not, even one of the ten commandments has something to do with comparing:
 Exodus 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." 
Now, let's mix with royalty for a few minutes. Do you know of one Queen Makeda a.k.a Queen of Sheba?

Way back then the country currently known as Ethiopia was ruled by a line of virgin Queens. The most remarkable and memorably of them all was Makeda. She was beautiful, she was classy, she was filthy rich, she was extremely powerful and she was very intelligent. And she was a virgin, (until she met King Solo as some say but we shall not debate that for now)

Basically, there was no King of Sheba.

However, she still needed male shujaas like one called King Solo. Take note that, King Solo was a real shujaa. He's accomplished a lot before Queen Makeda saw him worthy of a visit. Note also that state visits back then were huge ceremonial affairs. And she came bearing expensive gifts, for the world's riches man.

Here's the story from 1 Kings chapter 10
The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
 1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions. 2 Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 4 When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, 5 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed.  6 She said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 7 But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. 8 How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9 Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD's eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness."
 10 And she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
 11 (Hiram's ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood [c] and precious stones. 12 The king used the almugwood to make supports for the temple of the LORD and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)
 13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.

Finally, we shall end with a quote from the Desiderata,
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

DO NOT compare.

DO NOT compare yourself with others. We don't know what circumstances someone lives with. (You may be looking at the big car but may not see some pain inside)

But God knows.

No offense to any profession, locales or such like things mentioned today. Take it easy. It's for example's sake

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