Written: October, 1997 – Nairobi, Kenya
Mwangi is a young man in the neighborhood. 20 some years of age in body yet in child or less in development. I have seen him sit for hours on the edge of the lane leading from the slum to the main road. Most people pay him no mind as he will write no great books, he will not lead a nation and may never do more than be this silent sentinel who watches the lane and all the wayfarers who pass along its way
I have spent some time with Mwangi but I think I mostly annoy him. He has no time for me if I have no biscuits in my pouch. Perhaps he is right to ignore me. Maybe I am interfering with his true communion or a breakthrough thought which lurks on the edge of his mind. I would hate to think he is simply an astute judge of character and thus without biscuits or sweets he has correctly assessed me as having little value.
Mother Teresa died last month. And when I see Mwangi I think about her. Given the choice to save her life by forfeiting Mwangi’s, the common worldly wisdom would be to save Mother. To save the wee Albanian who has touched and so changed the world where she passed. Yet Mother would choose to save Mwangi and give an added glory to the value and worth of human life
My father once told me that everyone is my better in that I may learn from them. From a woman I never met and a young man who doesn’t seem to think much of me I am still able to learn about this Life in us. Which passes softly unnoticed or flames as fiercely as a star gone nova. It is still a divine light which none dare to presume to extinguish. However noble or enlightened our motives. Life is always and everywhere in its own particulars sacred. To fashion our own judgments is a frightening thing.
October, 1997 – Nairobi, Kenya