The Strongest Men on Earth

By Daniel Muse. Daniel is a student at the University of Eldoret. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

In one of his trendy quotes, Henry Ford said, “If you asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” It would be difficult for anyone to make a clear judgement of this statement without unravelling the initial context of its use. For instance, why would one of the world’s most influential innovators of all the time make such a remark? Did he intend to refer to the situation of his community at that time or the entire universe? And if his statement was provoked by either of these instances, what was the connecting thread between a competitive society and horses?

As an initiative to interpret Ford’s sentiment, it would be essential to think of the word “horses” beyond the limits of a quadruple solid-hoofed species of the Animalia Kingdom. This venture will require the consideration of symbolic meanings portrayed by the word. For instance, in Native American societies, the word “horses” was figuratively used to express “power” and “freedom”. In the current world, we have also witnessed the use of horses as a symbol of power and royalty. A good example of this are the horses we saw in a last year’s event, drawing the royal carriage during the Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

With these links in mind, one can as well assert that Henry Ford might have used the word horses figuratively to point at the means people use to achieve their dreams. The kind of ‘horses’ that carry someone from a place of servitude to a paradise. Or maybe the particular type of horses which Pam Brown defined when she said, “A horse is the projection of people’s dreams about themselves -strong, powerful, beautiful – and has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”

Based on Ford’s diction, it’s clear that he used the word “faster” to enable himself to refer to a particular type of horse whose abilities vary from the ordinary ones. This will therefore mean that for somebody to be successful in any competitive undertaking, he or she must use a horse. However, faster horses (thoroughbred) act as catalysts, thus reducing the straining one normally undergoes to achieve a certain goal. For instance, anybody can relate to the facets of Ford’s opinion and thereafter paraphrase it. One of the potential interpretations of Ford’s sentiment in this case would be, “If you asked people what they wanted, they would have said quicker means of achieving success.”

Even in our societies we may have seen these horses in action. One of the outstanding characters these horses possess is the ability to carry people to fortune within the span of a single night. They also exist in different varieties but have power. We have even seen people using them to unlock their career dreams, their political ambitions, and the gates of justice. For instance, as one hundred job applicants undergo the tedious process of securing a job, one of them may use a black thoroughbred horse. With this type of horse, the person will therefore secure a well-paying job without facing any interviewing panel or filling a single application form.

In other cases, we might have seen these horses performing miracles in the political arena. One of the outstanding breeds in this case is the white thoroughbred horse. This one knows the secrets to victory. For instance, in a free and fair election those who possess them will never be shaken. They will never waste their time to tell us their manifestos or beg us for our votes. However, when the results are announced they always emerge as the winners. These are the horses that have sometimes carried the incumbents and atrocities back to glory.

Within our societies, it’s also evident that we have another category of people who have always stood against the use of these horses. I mean the kind of people that Henrik Ibsen pointed at when he opined, “The strongest man on earth is he who stands most alone.” (An Enemy of the People) These men are always strong enough to call these horses ‘vices’. Some will courageously call the black thoroughbred horse ‘corruption‘ and for the white ones, they will call them ‘daylight robbery of people’s voices’. These men risk their lives to condemn the ills that results from faster horses, and advocate for justice. They even go an extra mile to tell us how these horses have cost us our societies’ progress. What they advocate for is a transformed society where the peasant’s son, women, and those from royal families, shall have equal access to justice and opportunities. The kind of society where hard work will be the only horse that carries everyone to success.

Unfortunately, some of our societies have never given an ear to ‘the strongest men on earth’ because they stand in the way of the horses that drive people to success. In some cases, these men are considered toxic and therefore silenced. For instance, Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in 1968 for having been strong enough to fight for change in a “sick society”. This society was dominated by another faster horse (vice), which he identified as racism. This horse was extremely powerful, but it would only help one segment of the society achieve a prosperous life faster (by virtue of their skin colour). In other societies, those who stand for change are imprisoned, and some are forced into exile.

Ford’s opinion is a true reflection of our societies. It simply illuminates our own character which can never be judged based on what we say but what we consistently do. For instance, if you asked people in a society whether they can bribe, none of them would ever say “Yes”. However, within the same society corruption would always be evident from the same people who deny it in public. In the same way, if you asked people what they wanted, none would openly say faster horses. But if we were to judge from what happens in our societies, actions would speak louder than words. That’s the reason a few people who stand against these horses are always victimized, because they oppose what we secretly want: faster horses!

These horses connect a small group of people to their destinies. They trample upon the poor and destroy the hopes of the less privileged. They are anarchists, thus will never bow before the rule of law. By them, thieves are acquitted while the innocent are declared guilty. Despite all this, we love them and secretly desire to have them by our side. Our value for them is great, not because they are good but because we have our priorities upside down! We need success but we are not ready to fully pay for its cost!

91 comments on “The Strongest Men on Earth

  1. Kiptoo Edwin on

    A Wonderful one. It teaches to avoid standing in the way of the ‘horses ‘ that drive to success. Remain to be a tremour causer in fighting the need to give an ear to’ the strongest men on earth’.

    Reply
  2. Kaluki on

    I like your piece . The article goes deep to evaluate the nature of our societies which are dominated by ill ways that help some people achieve prosperity. These “faster horses” are eating our societies yet we are too used to them. Corruption is now our way of life , someone must bribe to get a job . Our leaders are also rigging elections to maintain power . When they are taken to courts there is no justice since they bribe judges and are set free. At the other hand those who are strong enough to fight for justice are treated like goons. Our activists are killed for fighting for change, writers and journalists are imprisoned while others dissapear to unknown places!

    Reply
    • Daniel Muse on

      #Kaluki. Exactly! Standing for change in some of our societies is like writing an application letter to join the world of the dead!

      Reply
  3. Justus Odhiambo on

    True brother. The men and women who fight for change in our societies are the strongest people this world has ever had. They advocate for a better society where all people irrespective of their background or gender shall have equal access to justice and opportunities.

    Reply
    • Muse Daniel on

      Surely. That is the kind of society the world needs . unfortunately , change does not just happen . Someone must have the courage to stand boldly and push for it!

      Reply
  4. Kevin Kutoyi on

    “One of the outstanding character these horses possess is the ability to carry people to fortune within a span of a single night” It is a sick society.

    Reply
  5. Emma on

    Wow! I yearn for this society where “hardwork” will be the only horse that drives people to success. A society where the peasant’s son, women and those who can not afford “faster horses” shall have access to justice

    Reply
    • Muse Daniel on

      Its achievable : but remember, change starts with us (I and you) . we need to boldly fight for a new dawn by first : making a deliberate choice of not using these “horses”. Secondly: being bold enough to condemn the use of “faster horses”

      Reply
  6. Rachel on

    😂😂 You mean even our politicians use these horses called white thoroughbred horses ( rigging) and that’s why free and fair election has remained a dream in our society? Your article just leaves me amazed on how you could reason out such a strong argument.

    Reply
    • Tomson Nyaberi on

      A good piece . The essays cut through the components of our societies like a double edged sword . One part of the sword pieces the outstanding nature of the shortcuts (faster horses) that most people use to achieve success . The other side of the swords makes a dig into the men who stand alone and say no these horses. These are the men who tirelessly fight for change in our sick societies . Unfortunately , they are mostly considered “toxic and silenced” for fighting against the prevailing methods of success . Yet still , they are the strongest men on earth😁. Too satirical .

      Reply
  7. Jefferson on

    “These horses trample upon the poor and destroy the hopes of the less privillaged.” In fact what is happening right Now is closing the doors for people who lack connections from succeeeding because they have no ability to acquire the favors of this horses.

    Reply
    • Muse Daniel on

      Thanks for being able to envisage this, there is a true need to pull together towards one direction called “change”

      Reply
  8. Nancy Jepkosgei on

    Right now corruption is killing our society because those people with potentials are being left out in job consideration . We go to interviews for formality yet the positions are already filled at the time the vacancies are being announced . Those who know the panelists are always shortlisted even without filling application forms or asking for the position. People are getting jobs based on “who they know” and not “what they know” . I agree with you that we are living in a society where the use of these “faster horses” is so evident.

    Reply
  9. Joseph Murithi Kaberia on

    Superb article.. Indeed this is a true reflection of what’s currently going on in our society.Let our society always be not without strongest men,for even though they are ill treated,they finally bring about change.This include the kind of Martin Luther Jr as said in the article,the guy successfully fought racism though assissinated.

    Reply
    • Muse Daniel on

      You are right #Muriithi. The system is in font of eradicating the men and women who fight for change but they cannot kill the vision these men and women have for change . That is why change is always inevitable.

      Reply
  10. Muse Bnfc on

    Excellent article! Yeah. Henry Ford was right. Realization of any kind of success demands an appropriate faster horse(s). This applies to all regardless of their strength on earth.

    Reply
  11. Kevin Kavoji on

    It is a nice piece I must say Dan, it delineates the reality on this planet Earth. It depicts the right procedures to success, no through passes . # No human is limited.

    Reply
  12. Muse Daniel on

    True. There is only one appropriate horse all of us should use to achieve success. This horse is also known as “hard work”

    Reply
  13. Mung'oni on

    The metaphor of horses is dominant especially in our country Kenya in almost everything. It’s an educating content especially to those who believe in standing for the rights and truth to know what and whom they are fighting this war against. The white horse is what is running almost 90% of govts today in this world

    Reply
    • Muse Daniel on

      That is it! It pains to see “people’s voices” robbed in broad daylight. Poor systems of democracy that are now killing us. This horse has its roots so deep in our societies . The roots are widespread in most parts of the world yet we are watering them daily . What we rarely learn is the cost of it all , poor governance!

      Reply
  14. Joram on

    Am really amazed with this piece. It speaks too much truth that no one can just ignore . Keep writing and opening the eyes of our society.

    Reply
  15. Hezbon Hemoa on

    That is great idea Sir which is so ideal ,change is always inevitable ,competency is should always be accorded,, thanks Mr Daniel for good motivation both locally and globally,, inspire more sir

    Reply
  16. Diphas on

    In the current world,things are getting tough daily because of these faster horses.People can’t get what they rightly deserve because everything is corrupted by those who have . The “have nots” are really struggling to fit in this kind of society.

    Reply
  17. Felstus on

    We all yearn for transformation within our societies we need more transparency in every avenue of life . There is need for fairness so that everyone can have a chance to rip from their hard work

    Reply
  18. FRANCIS on

    The inner voice of the author gives me much worries about what is happening. We are under a great catastrphic spell when living in a system where we become so used to faster horses , they make our societies sick .Am really impressed to see someone being able to openly tell us the truth like this

    Reply
  19. Ezekiel on

    Men and women who fight for change are not only strong but they are also our heroes. Some of them include Mahatma Ganthi of India. He too fought tirelessly for change in his society.

    Reply
    • Muse Daniel on

      Of course , the list is even endless. I agree he too is one of “the strongest men on earth ” for he fought for change!

      Reply
  20. Joy on

    I like the button you are pressing using this article. You are speaking on behalf of many of us who are so tired about this “faster horses”,we are tired to see our activists victimized while fighting for change . We are torn out seeing injustices thriving in broad daylight. There is need for a change! We need democracy ,we need fairness in job market! We need a new perception of faster horses,they are killing our societies’ progress!

    Reply
  21. Castro on

    This piece left me thinking. Reading it makes me ponder the things I see happening in our community . Indeed , there must be some “faster horses” which are really helping people.

    Reply
  22. Olwendo Hillary Omondi on

    This is just true image of real situations of this that are not only happening in our nation but also around the world . Such an interesting and have lots of lessons.

    Reply
  23. Malcolm Rashid on

    This article takes writing and thinking to another level. Its impressive to meet such a logical piece. You challenged me to reason out and try connecting each segment of the article into one piece. Great work!

    Reply

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