LIVING LIFE LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW – by Judy Waithira, KI Administration Officer

Many times, younger generations fall into the temptation of engaging in life’s excesses with the excuse that tomorrow is uncertain – so why not live at that moment for that moment? There are those who live from paycheck to paycheck, who have no care whatsoever for the possibility that tomorrow might not be so bright. The very job that is the source of your fortune could be the source of misfortune once lost. How to survive after redundancy? How to deal with emergencies? How to survive during harsh economic times? How to ensure the needs of your children are put into consideration and planned for? The list is endless….

Living life like there’s no tomorrow poses major risks. We should also think of what lies beyond our immediate needs and save money for the future. This does not mean that we should not have fun, enjoy life, spend our money etc. It means that one is being mindful of the future and of his generation. It pains me to see some men with expectant wives who are fully aware that in some months a baby might be born yet they make no effort to save up for future hospital bills; or think of costs of clothes for the expected newborn; and all other expenses that come with the addition of a family member; while the wife is hospitalized. And what happens when one of the family members becomes sick or whenever there is an emergency in the family? What tends to happens is you look for ‘good’ friends to lend you money, and then you can end up in a circle of debt and all kinds of related problems. What if the expectant father just sacrificed one night of fun? What if he sacrificed just one road trip? What if he made a deliberate effort to sacrifice some excesses? Would they not have some savings to pay the hospital bill or to invest and earn more? Would they not be in a better position to survive in an economic crisis? I say buy a piece of land; invest in the stock exchange; or put your cash in a fixed deposit account and accumulate interest.

Not only fathers are reluctant in doing this, but I have observed the same problem in the community in which we live and work. Many youth KI work with have this mentality that they cannot save since they might die at any time, and the bank will end up spending their money. Firstly, they need to learn how to project themselves beyond their immediate means and environment. These day-to-day limitations harm their future, it kills any aspirations, and they think of life as being too simple, without consequences – they can just rely on ‘magic’ solutions. The truth is that others have to pick up the pieces – someone has to bail them out of their short term dead-ends.

If you rely too much on others, you stop taking care of yourself and live in dependency. And if you do die (life expectancy in Kibera, where I grew up, is 50 years of age), what do you leave behind for your family? I know of so many stories where the family had to borrow money for a funeral; children had to leave school and even find informal employment because of ‘living life like there is no tomorrow’. Is that your legacy? Is that what you want to be reminded for? Is that your excuse? I live today and do not care about tomorrow – others can pick up the pieces.

Someone said, do not push till tomorrow something that you can do today! I say love life like there is a tomorrow, be hopeful and work hard – opportunities will come! Save like there is a tomorrow – invest in your future and for your loved ones. Start now, start small and grow your empire!

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