Sometime just before we left the University, I remember attending a job interview at Royal Media Services (RMS). RMS was a small player then but we were trying our luck anywhere and everywhere.

I always remember that interview. Not for anything good. I have never forgotten the interviewer lecturing me with the words “the world owes you nothing.” I can’t recall what triggered the rebuke but the words stuck with me. Maybe I came out as entitled and needed to be beaten back to line.

It seems it is possible to turn insults into solutions. Those harsh words have been my guiding light for years.

Many people were shocked to hear that celebrated Kenyan novelist now aged 85 was recently divorced. He is living alone old and sickly. It is like he never had family. Only his caregivers occasionally step in to assist. The details of the divorce are scanty. The reasons for his lonely self only a subject of heated online debate and speculation.

The story has even sobered some men into realizing that their dreams of a happy retirement in company of family may as well be a mere fantasy. I hear tomorrow is Father’s day but it may as well be any other day.

No matter how much you sacrifice for others, never neglect yourself while doing so. Never expect anything in return. Don’t even expect a word of appreciation. That is the only way to avoid being crushed by betrayal.

Nobody owes you anything. The world owes you nothing. The only person who owes you happiness is yourself. That was my take home message from that nasty interviewer. It has stood me in good stead over the years.

Learn to enjoy your own company, learn to do things on your own. Invest in your future at an early age.


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