WE ARE EQUAL BUT DIFFERENT

Millicent Adhiambo Joash
Posted September 3, 2020 from Kenya
We are Equal but Different

My life as a young girl and now as a woman, a wife and a mother has been a big classroom where learning has been taking place. I learnt that trying to copy other people and walk their path is very stressful. I have learnt that everyone has their own unique path with a different purpose to fulfil.

As a young girl, I grew up in a disadvantaged family of 8 siblings, 6 girls and 2 boys. I was the second born of my parents and the first two of us were girls. Our community didn't believe in educating girls' and they really ridiculed my father for having taken me to high school while other girls, who were my agemates, were being married off in exchange of resources for their families. Because I had a strong desire and zeal to study, I worked extra hard never to disappoint my father and I excelled in a very ordinary school with very limited learning resources. I passed with a good grade that gave me chance to join University and I became the first girl in my community to make it to the university.

I studied a course in BSC Botany and zoology and after graduation, I couldn't get employment immediately and I resorted to relocate to the village because I was unable to afford life in town. I expected that after graduation, I would get employed, get married and settle down as it has been the case with other friends I knew.  Mine was different. When life sent me back to the village, I decided to start by getting married and seek for job later. This looked very abnormal to people including my parents but, this is what I chose to do. My husband took me back to college and I took Post Graduate Diploma in Education (Biology and Chemistry) with an aim of becoming an high school teacher. Before I could start my teaching career, I got some job (Credit Officer) with an NGO and I  worked with disenfranchised women, helping them to start or grow their existing small businesses for economic empowerment. Here I interacted with several needs of the women and I realised that it is not just economic empowerment alone that these women needed.

As a credit officer, I found myself doing more than just economic empowerment to the disenfranchised women and I could feel a lot of peace having done that. I realized here is where my passion lied. I discovered that I was fashioned to serve the need of others around me. I decided to let go the teaching opportunities that knocked my door for service to the community. I was seriously criticized making this choice. When my contract with the NGO I worked for ended, I decided still to continue on my own and start small by offering what I had for the women of my community. I offered them skills and when I saw them "rise up and walk" I was encouraged to do more. I have impacted the lives of many disenfranchised women and their daughters and I feel happy because I am doing what I am wired and called for. When I feel exhausted, I celebrate, because that shows how much of my strength I have invested in others. My life is full of happy moments and I enjoy doing the work I do.

I conclude by saying, we are all equal but different. We were all created to fulfil a life purpose. Seek your heart, your inner knowing, to discover what you were made for and follow it heart, not others. When you follow others, you are pushing yourself into living their dreams which you don't have the capacity to bring to manifestation. When you follow your inner guidance, your heart, you have all that it takes to manoeuvre through and bring your vision to reality. 

This, is what I put down artistically in these teddy bears. I crocheted them and they all look alike but, each of them has unique feature that separates it from the rest. Though they look equal, they are different.

Comments 20

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Nini Mappo
Sep 03
Sep 03

I love your teddy bears Millicent, and you actually made them! That is a great skill yo have there.
And they do tell the story of all of us, made of the same fabric, but each of us has a special blue print that sets us apart from the other person.

Your story is another example of how educating a girl translates to educating a community. Good on you for taking the road less travelled, a road that had no certainty in career advancement or job security so that you could raise others up with you. That is bold and commendable, and it is great to hear all that your dedication and sacrifice is accomplishing in the lives of the women you help.

Keep growing sis.

Thank you dear Nini for your nice remarks. Yes i actually made the teddy bears.

SeemaKhandale
Sep 03
Sep 03

Dear Millicent, so proud to know about you. Following our Passion is very important in our life. Making different impact in others life really gives us a great happiness. Just loved your Teddy Bears:)) Equal but Different:))

Seema.

Thank you my sister Seema. Your remarks has encouragement me. Thank you.

Kike
Sep 03
Sep 03

Dear Milicent,
Your story is testament to the African proverb that says 'When you educate a woman, you educate a nation'. Kudos to your father and husband for their wonderful efforts, they are champions!
This piece really spoke to me because I am in a place of having to choose between job security and family approval as opposed to stepping out to follow a calling that has fixed itself on my heart and the fear of making the wrong choice has me paralyzed.
I'm glad that you found what gives you a sense of purpose and it gives me hope that I can, too.
I love your teddy bears! I'm a crocheter too and I know the labour of love that it is to make items like these. Thanks for serving these women and bringing them hope.

Keep the passion burning!
Kike.

Kike
Sep 03
Sep 03

Dear Milicent,
Your story is testament to the African proverb that says 'When you educate a woman, you educate a nation'. Kudos to your father and husband for their wonderful efforts, they are champions!
This piece really spoke to me because I am in a place of having to choose between job security and family approval as opposed to stepping out to follow a calling that has fixed itself on my heart and the fear of making the wrong choice has me paralyzed.
I'm glad that you found what gives you a sense of purpose and it gives me hope that I can, too.
I love your teddy bears! I'm a crocheter too and I know the labour of love that it is to make items like these. Thanks for serving these women and bringing them hope.

Keep the passion burning!
Kike.

Hello sister Kike, thanks for your nice remarks and I feel good that this sharing has spoken to your situation. Just take your time to soul search and make a wise decision that offers you piece of mind- your calling. Bye

Hello, Millicent,

Welcome back on World Pulse! How are you doing, love? Your story/journey is inspiring. This resonates with me, "I learnt that trying to copy other people and walk their path is very stressful. I have learnt that everyone has their own unique path with a different purpose to fulfill." So true, dear sister. We are all unique with our set of skills.

I read somewhere that our future lies not ahead of us, but within us. It's when we discover who we are that we can create our own unique path. Yes, we are different, but we are equal.

I love that you crocheted those teddy bears. I crochet,too! But I don't know how to do that one yet. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing this with us. Please keep writing more. We missed you!

Dear Karen,
Thank you for the warm welcome and the nice remarks. I am glad to learn that we have some common learning made in this classroom, life. Yes, when you achieve self-awareness, that is when you can make correct decisions for your life's path. You can design and create your life as you want. Thank you
Crocheting is one of my talents and i keep learning new things daily. If you want to know how to do these, you can. Thank you once more.

You're welcome, dear sister. Please write more about the lessons you learn in life. I know a lot of us will learn from your journey.

Wow, that's awesome! Do you sell your teddy bears? Yes, I need more time to crochet. My schedule is quite hectic now.

Thank you so much sister Caren. I will surely be sharing by writing about my lessons here. I have also learnt a lot from my other sisters who shared their stories.
I only do sell teddy bears when I get an order to make for someone. In Kenya, we have very limited market for these. I have sold for someone who placed an order for a number of pieces.
Thanks.

The pleasure is mine, dear. Same here. I learn from our sisters' stories, too. Wow, that's a good business! I know a woman from a country who became wealthy by buying clothes then add crochet designs on those clothes, then resells them. She began supplying these clothes to malls. Then hire more women until she built a clothing empire on her own. It all began with crochet. I hope you'll have more ideas coming so you'll be wealthy, too!

Thank you for that powerful prayer. I receive it! Which country was that?

You're welcome, dear. Oh, I mistyped. I meant to write "our" country which is the Philippines.

Andrace
Sep 04
Sep 04

Wow! Great insights, Millicent. I agree with you. We are unique...all fearfully and wonderfully created in the image of God. We're not the same. Discovering ourselves as individuals is really fulfilling. We can be challenged or encouraged by others, but we have our individual paths. Celebrating our uniqueness by complimenting each other brings out the best in us individually.

'Happy you found out what makes you tick, while making an impact too. I celebrate your uniqueness, Sis!

Meanwhile, the teddy-bears look cute. :)

Thank you Sister Andrace. I love and celebrate you as well dear.

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 04
Sep 04

Dear Millicent,
It is so good to know more about your journey the=rough life, and to know that you have found the joy in serving your community, in particular disenfranchised women. "When I feel exhausted, I celebrate, because that shows how much of my strength I have invested in others". A true activist. May your energy be renewed every time by the proof that what you are doing is making such a difference to so many.

Dear Tamarack, your comments are full of positive energy. Thank you so much and am glad meeting you virtually, in this platform.

Minakshib
Sep 07
Sep 07

Such a great you are doing
All the best

Chinyere Kalu
Sep 08
Sep 08

Woah Millicent! I must commend your strength and determination You are indeed a strong breed. Thank you for helping other women I can attest to the joy that emanates from helping others especially those that can't pay you back. Kudos! And don't stop helping. We are sure equal but different and the diversity is the beauty of life .