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A Letter To My Child - Poem by Gedion Onyango

My child listen
take a pen and a paper and sit next to me
for this is the best inheritance I can offer you

First -

I am sorry to play part
in your birth into this cruel world
but know that, you’ll survive it
because you’re my child
for all decades I have lived in this world
I’ve got no better success than having you
but listen my child
this world is not your friend.
It is your battle field
so make wisely your allies and foes
smile and laugh when you’re happy
also cry and wail
because all are fine and temporary
but know this – no one can care about you
than yourself –
love and love properly
hatred will strain your energy and wisdom
avoid pursuing vengence
because it’s a two sided sword
that can also cut the bearer
so let the world not contaminate you
because you’re pure
just do your part
and if others are not doing theirs – don’t care
because you’re my child

Secondly -

My child listen
always believe in yourself
no one will do that better than you
and once you begin a venture
see it unless it may take your life
never give up
and if you fail, take it positively
because that is just a negative success
whose time will guide your future paths
listen my child
be good at listening to others
listen well before you talk or act
for this will minimize avoidable mistakes
know that all opinions matter
the difference is only in their appropriateness
so think through all ideas – none is the best
but one is more applicable – I know you can do it
because you’re my child

Thirdly -

My child listen
Respect all people no matter their age and sex
or qualification and specialization
don’t show what you know until needed
always be humble and unpredictable
for these will help you escape evil and shame
go slow with your feelings lest you get it wrong
be sensitive to your circle
and never go with peer pressure
because you are not insufficient in any way
and for that – don’t work hard to please others
because you’ll become a prisoner
of their interests
But listen my child
know what others expect of you
and act accordingly
without malice
or self approval
or arrogance – I know you can do it
because you’re my child

Fourthly -

My child listen
Investment is not the capital
it is an idea
so is the success – which must be realized
be pragmatic and untainted
when chasing your dreams
don’t let your ambitions cloud your senses
and let your ventures hurt others
because you’re just as good
as the society you live in
be careful of greed temptations
and retreat when you’re in
know that challenges are not there to kill us
but to make us stronger and focused
my child, any pain you’ll find yourself in
know that it is just temporary
so work your ways out of it without blame or regrets
for I know you can do it
because you’re my child

Fifth –

My child listen
be wary of creating a class of your own
know that people are the same
and your success is only real
because others make it so
without people you can’t do anything
so value lives
and know that knowledge is not confined
within a social group
my child, learn how to see goodness in people
and appreciating their skills
only judge people by their deeds
because a person is not in color, language
or where they come from
people don’t choose who bear them
or where they are born and in what color and language
so don’t be prejudiced
and don’t bear values of an overlord
to your juniors – no matter your position.
Know that death is inevitable
and always keep that in you
for that way you’ll be able to see equality in people
so mind your legacy - build it
it is only through it
that you’ll continue to live for generations to come
always try to be happy my child – I know you can do it
because you’re my child

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