DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

We live in a world that thrives on Untruthfulness

Written by: on May 28, 2019

When we were growing up in our villages in Kenya, we used to get a lot of stories and so many dos and don’ts. For example, when we were growing up to the age of ten years, we never knew how a child is gotten. We understood that a child was brought by an aircraft, not born, and any time we saw an aircraft flying over our homes in the village, we got convinced that it brought the child in the night. As children, my generation in the village we believed and knew that children are brought to the homes by aircraft. Only later to discover it was plain untruthfulness from our parents. We were also being told by the parents never to cut your nails at night because if you do that, we shall be making our parents die earlier and leave us orphans. This was total untruthfulness from the parents, but on the other hand, it was meant to avoid one cutting themselves in the night because we were using lantern lamps which were not very bright. So many things came as a learning lesson to keep children from causing any harm to themselves or others but all they used was the untruthful approach. That created a society of untruthfulness to that rules us now. It takes time for one to believe what one is saying whether it is true or not. Mistrust has been created, and many untruths are being said from left right, in our home by parents, to political leadership in communities that people can hardly trust their words, but still vote them in offices of leadership.

With the preceding untruthfulness from our parents as we grew up created one that Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in their book “Codding of the American Mind” says, Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.[1] This statement reflects what our parents were preparing us for the future responsible life. They told an untruth in proverbs to protect us from becoming morally broken. They were preparing us for the road, not the road for us. On the other hand, we carry the untruthfulness to another level of life, and hence the world thrives on untruth, and the more untruth is told, the more people make a living out it, and the society remains empty. Many reporters of the newspapers which are politically owned by heavy political weight in the society, will always want to report what they things people should get to hear.  That is why Zemke Diane, in her book “Being Smart about Congregational Change,” claims that sometimes resistance is healthy for the community and will support change later. The goal of all resistance is to make one feel safer, not necessarily to thwart change.[2] Zemke speaks to the condition of the African parent approach.

It was surprised by the witch hunt approach described by Jonathan and Greg and how untruth was used against people they thought were the witch. The same is still happening in some communities in Kenya among the Kisii people. The sometimes go around the communities flashing out older women and men whom they claim are the witch and causing a lot of innocent death in the communities they live. The same is happening along with the coastal communities known as Mijikenda people. It is interesting that this happened in 1662 in the US is happening in Kenya this 21st-century era. During that time, they stoned and hanged the purported witches to death who caused the death of others by bewitching them. Here in Kenya they stone them and burn them. From the 15th to 17th century, Europe experienced multiple waves of witch hunts, driven primarily by religious wars and conflicts in the wake of the Reformation and also by fear brought on by recurring plague outbreak.[3] Many innocent older people were rounded up and killed as witches in their communities. The same spirit is coming through Africa, doing equally the same this current century. It is interesting that what happened four centuries ago has been going on from one place to another in a similar way as if they taught that in school. It brings us to the conclusion that we live in a world that thrives on untruthfulness. The book also struck me to see what is happening in the field of academia where scholars used to stand with each, but they are now turning on a witch hunt again others thriving on untruthfulness, in the name of fear defending the accused wrongly.



[1] (Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt, 2018) location 23 Kindle edition

[2] (Zemke, 2014) Loc 965 Kindle edition

[3] (Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt, 2018)Loc 99 Kindle edition

About the Author


John Muhanji

I am the Director Africa Ministries Office of Friends United Meeting. I coordinate all Quaker activities and programs in the Quaker churches and school mostly in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The focus of my work is more on leadership development and church planting in the region especially in Tanzania.. Am married with three children all grown up now. I love playing golf as my exercise hobby. I also love reading.

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