This year 2020 marks 26 years since the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) stopped the Genocide against the Tutsi, effectively liberating the country. The Kwibohora26 celebration was a time to reflect on how far we’ve come and how much further we can go. A time to remember who we really are and how much we have overcome as a people.
Last Saturday, the Kwibohora26 was a virtual interactive celebration with the Rwandan Communities in North America. As I watched a flash-back to Kwibohora25 celebrations in Texas, brought fond memories of a deep teachable moment. The unforgettable lesson came from a testimony by Hon. Marie Rose Mureshyankwano, who shared how the RPA rescued her and her husband from the jungles of the then Zaire (DRC), right after they lost their child running. What was ironic is that they were running away from the very people that rescued them – RPA soldiers.
Hon. Mureshyankwano shared how shocked she was at the mercies and kindness that RPA soldiers showed them despite the atrocities her people had committed during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. She narrated how her family integrated back into Rwanda, how she was able to go back to teaching, later became a Governor of a Province and went on to become a Member of Parliament. But one question always bothered her and one day she decided to approach Hon. Tito Rutaremara with it. If I may paraphrase, her question was something like… “why did RPA soldiers not kill us and instead rescued us after all the terrible things our people had done. Hon. Rutaremara said “RPA soldiers were well trained, well taught of who the true enemy was and why they were fighting …”
There, right there, was one of the greatest lessons of my life…. the need to gain understanding of who one’s enemy is, the actual cause of the many problems in our lives, and why we do the things that we do!
I have observed that, for the most part, we are unconsciously participating in building a life story that we don’t like. We follow other people’s causes even though they don’t really serve us; we follow the crowd; we take courses because someone else has done it; we start a business because someone is doing it. This unquestioning conformity never ceases to amaze me!
I believe, that the WHY we do the things we do, is more important than WHAT we actually do!
I once watched a war movie in which as the commander commissioned the soldiers to go to war, he ended his powerful speech with this … “and do not forget, the most important weapon you take to war is the REASON why”.
I find that one of the most important life questions is “why”. Our main responsibility is to understand why we dedicate our time, energy and resources doing what we do, believing what we believe, and following the causes in our lives.
- What is your why?
- Why do you do the things that you do?