In Pursuit of Happiness

By Edgar Ojiambo

Stressed out at work

The situation is different today. Contraceptives, divorce and abortion are acknowledged facts of ‘modernity’. What with the race among states to legalise abortion and the unending re-branding of contraceptives. These phenomena have been associated with progress, a fine word indeed.

Progress is thought to be the right word to be tagged with various issues in the modern world. It could be taken to mean all sorts of things. Does society progress by the mere fact that it’s able to acquire weapons of mass destruction or through improved communication, through the fibre optic tariff? The inter-continental communication may be improving, as is with warfare techniques, but is man really progressing?

For man to be seen to be progressing, a goal must be attached to his progress. He should aim to attain something. Progress can’t therefore be taken to mean movement in any direction because even losing ground is a multi-directional movement.

It is factual that man’s main goal in life is to achieve happiness. The fast speeds and never ending desire for money are all aimed at ultimately achieving happiness. Just like freedom, happiness can also be deemed to be a human right. “Our freedom is a treasure beyond price, a wonderful pearl that would be at tragedy to cast to the swine” and the same can be said for happiness. Though practically ours, freedom and happiness are governed by conditional ties – that we obey the rules of life.

To most of us, these rules are but heresies and we go ahead to break them at our own peril. We do this out of ignorance though at a hefty price. It is with the same ignorance that one gets killed by poison or electric current not because they are physical or chemical realities but they are truths of life. Anyway, ignorance is not an antidote for poison nor is it an insulator against electric current but the shortest link to the Potters residence.

Coupled with ignorance and trying to dictate to life (nature and God) what is to be done, we start our endless journey in pursuit of happiness. We use the shortest routes to cover the distance and end up finding satisfaction in sex, drugs and alcoholism which result in obsession and addiction – simple forms of slavery. To some, slavery is happiness but for most of us it’s horrific living like Theodore Bagwell.

It ‘s at this rate that the government is contemplating to distribute free condoms to students in high schools and raise the minimum drinking age to 21yrs. In the current twittering world of Facebook funga where relationships start at Home move to the Wall before the two love birds find themselves in the Inbox ready to play fox, the government’s proposal is not welcome. The government will also have to deal with the problem of inefficiencies poised by these prophylactics. Remember what happened with the ‘Hot brand’?

It’s beyond doubt that contraceptives aren’t a reliable lot and therefore can’t be relied upon for AIDS prevention, let alone reduction in the number of unwanted pregnancies. In fact the famous birth pill has been faced with its doubts and soon someone at KEBS might be losing his job. The solution to the current proliferation of teenage sex should be the banning of contraceptives and encouraging abstinence. Artificial birth control mechanisms are to be blamed for the current quagmire we are in. As ‘illiterate’ teenagers set out in search of happiness, the availability of cheap contraceptives pushes them into slavery – obsession with sex.

Isn’t it time that focus is shifted to more, and properly structured, Sex Education rather than waste funds stocking the country with contraceptives? The time wasted debating over abortion could be channelled to activities tangential to vision 2030 as we pursue our long term happiness.

Edgar is a 2nd year Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Nairobi.

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