If you have ever visited a third world country, you have probably noticed some of the problems that they don’t have, that we, in our dualistic, western culture, tend to see as essential. We first met our friend Solomon about 30 years ago. He was raised just north of Mount Kilimanjaro, and met the love of his life, Protasia, in Arusha, Tanzania, just southwest of there, in the foothills of Kili. Solomon did a very wise thing– he found the girl with the highest grades at the school they were both attending! The school, families, religious leaders, and communities saw it as a good match. And after 35-some years, and three grown kids, they still love each other dearly, and are now in the middle of a political campaign for the next Kenyan Parliament.
Did I say religious leaders? Having done a little research, they both grew up primarily in their separate tribal cultures, and in their youth, one chose to follow a Baptist tradition, and the other, a Benedictine tradition. Am I saying they had a mixed marriage? No, I am saying that from the point of view of their East African culture, and religious leadership, that they were viewed as both having the same belief system. Was this after Vatican II? Probably, and neither had to “convert” to the other’s world view. Why? Because they both had the same world view. As we like to say in Business Intelligence, they saw “One Version of the Truth.”
In his run for Parliament, the subject of Leadership has frequently come up. He recommended my reading Robert E. Lee on Leadership— together with some buddies, we all read the book (Here are my one-page notes). His reading this book was part of the motivation for his writing his own, Solomon on Leadership. It is scheduled to be required reading across public schools in Kenya.