We are social beings. However, mobile devices have come to complicate who we are. We get a rise in dopamine in our bodies whenever our phones beep or vibrate. Unfortunately, communication has become hardwired and our social structures, especially, when we are alone has decreased. Whenever we are depressed or facing stress and anxiety, we tend to text or call a number of friends hoping a conversation will start with either one of them. In most cases, you will not share your challenges or issues and will move on to a totally different out of context topic. Instead of learning to turn to a person physically we tend to turn to a device seeking solace in the realm of social media. It is about how many likes we have on that Instagram or Facebook post. Our self-worth has become how many followers we have on our social platforms.
Yet, why not put our phone down.
This speech by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie will hopefully stir you up.
This part though;
You cannot be complacent. You cannot afford to be complacent because democracy is always fragile. To keep a just society just has nothing to do with being on the political left or on the political right. It requires people who know that incompetence dressed up as strategy is still incompetence, and still unacceptable. [Full transcript]
On a light note, despite the current political state, have you noticed the purple bloom of the Jacaranda Trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia) or the red flowers of the Red Hot Poker Tree (Erythrina abyssinica) and the Nandi Flame (Spathodea campanulata)? The bougainvillea fences and bushes are lined with shades of purple, pink, orange and red flowers. Not forgetting the beautiful Cape Chestnut’s (Calodendrum capense) pink bloom. There is a lot to see in the nation on our streets, towns and villages. You really don’t necessarily need to visit a protected area to be one with nature.
“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.” –Charles Dickens
Whenever I commute using either of the available various modes of transport, I have noticed a number of changes. For instance; the number of plastic carrier bags on our streets have reduced. We have allowed the cutting down of old indigenous trees along Ngong Road, between Dagoretti Corner and The Southern Bypass to pave way for the expansion of the road. There are less and less Marabou Storks on Mombasa Road where trees were cut because the Then President of America, Barack Obama, was paying a visit to the country. At least political posters have been removed, well, most of them. The rains have brought giraffes closer to view along Langata road at the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters. Baboons, vervet monkeys and Warthogs are straying less from Nairobi National Park along Magadi Road due to the onset of the rains as well.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” –Albert Einstein
The world is full of wondrous natural beauty despite human caused interference. You only need to put your phone down, if only for a moment, to notice the unseen. Our screens will blind us of this beauty someday. Whether traveling or sitting in waiting outside, the first thing shouldn’t be looking down at your phone and wondering why it’s not beeping. How about observing the environment around you? The birds chirping, the trees standing tall, or short, near you, the insects daring to fly amidst human movements.