What Shapes our Lives?


We get shaped b everything around us. We only choose the level and how. Photo Courtesy of mytechlogy.com

This is a question. You are at liberty to go into thinking mode about what has shaped you as an individual before you can continue with reading with this. And it doesn’t have to be one thing. In most times we are shaped by multiple factors. Think along those lines.

Multiple factors is as a result of the diversity of life surrounding us as human beings. We have traditions we are born into, we have a culture that dictates the values and characters we take as we grow up. And then there is our sexuality. We are either born Male or female and in least of occasions trans-gender.

Besides those, we get shaped a lot by the environment in which we are brought up in. Then there is the friendships we forge as live comes along. And we go on to either study and become professionals and academicians while some others follow the talent trajectory and each one of us succeeds in their own way.

But perhaps there is nothing that shapes our lives more as does family, religion, power, money, love and culture which may by extension mean tribal inclinations.  And these have been the greatest source of conflict in our live today. Anything that you have watched on TV or on internet which had violence was about one or more of the six majorly.

If I may talk about money for instance, word has it that if you want to know the real character of a person, either give them money or wait till they have it. Nothing changes people quickly as does money. Money has a way of unlocking the evil in us.

Before one has money, they understand humility very well. When they finally lay their hands on money, pride becomes the new humility. Faithful husbands suddenly have their eyes opened to the reality that lust is more than family. Cheating then is the new normal.

When power adds into the mix of money, it makes the perfect cologne of ‘devil.’ This time value gets decayed and in its place sits vice comfortably. Where people valued life, now they can comfortably kill without a second thought. Where they voiced strongly against manipulation, injustice and corruption, this time the devil money holds the same supreme.

Another strong aspect that shapes life a lot is love. As a matter of fact, the hardest person to advice is a person drowned in love. Whether it is infatuation, lust or true love, a mind that is governed by love or its illusion thereof is the hardest one to deal with. Fairy tales of people dying because of love are everywhere from Romeo and Juliet to the greatest of them all; the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

People have changed because of love. People have succeeded because of love. Others have lost their all including life itself because of this thing called love. The wisest man who ever lived; Solomon, said that love is as strong as death and it consumes like fire. Truth be said, love shapes our lives greatly.

And closely following love is family. I watched a documentary about Pablo Escobar, the drug lord king. One thing surprised me that the bait used to zero on him was his family. Not him alone, but family has been used as a trap to kill or catch many criminals. Family takes quite a special and huge part of our hearts. No wonder you can joke with everything a man has but not his family.

To explain the place of family, watch how animals becomes violent when members of their families are threatened. For example look at a chicken with chicks Vs the one without. Try joking with the calf of a weaning animal. In the wild, the greatest way to provoke animals is to try joking with their young ones or trying to interlude the joy of a family.

Then there is religion. Religion is a very slippery thing that has brought a lot of divisions in the world more than anything else. The funniest thing is that my study has always revealed to me that God is a God of love. And all religions seem to agree on this. The problem lies in the followers living this.

Most will go around explaining that God is a God of peace yet these same people go out fugitively plotting violence everywhere. The same people will go round saying how killing is so unacceptable before God yet they go defending their own who go about minting out violence and death on others.

We are then left to wonder if we all have our own peculiar gods unique to each religion. At times I wonder loudly why we have to fight for our gods instead of leaving them to fight for themselves. Our role should be to call on them just as Elijah did with the gods of baal. We only have one God who is supreme and whom we know what He stands for. We ought to live to His standard alone.

It said that to know a woman, see her behavior when her man has nothing and to know the character of a man, study him when he has everything. It thus denotes that the best way to understand the influence of the various factors on us is not to study them in isolation but rather in clusters.

For instance study the influence of money together with power, love and family. For religion, study it alongside politics. For friendships, study it alongside environment, love, education and social stratification. To study culture, do it alongside family, religion and politics by extension.

We will be influenced by a lot of things depending on where we are at any point of our lives and also contingent on those who are around us, our families, what we do, what we have, our political and religious inclinations as well as the situation we are in terms of love.



Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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