Some people I know wake up every morning and say a prayer before doing anything else. Others simply get up and get on with it. Those that pray either recite a prescribed prayer for that time of day or make up their own thanking God for watching over them during the night and for the new day. They will, even those that do not pray in a formal way, be thankful for this wonderful country, the Rwanda Nziza of the National Anthem and of the many songs and poems extolling its many, varied and unique endowments, and ask for its continued prosperity and long life and increased wisdom for its leaders. There is good reason for this. First, it is good manners to acknowledge the gift of this amazing country. Second, there are good things happening here to be grateful for. And third, it is important to recognise how far we have come. Look around and see the progress. It cannot be mistaken; it is physical and visible. See the determination of citizens going about their daily business, not just eking out a living, but intent on making their lives better. See the effort of everyone, leaders and citizens alike, to make this our shared home really our common space and better for all of us. It can become the land of milk and honey again, not the one of mythical tales or folklore, or wishful thinking, but real, a sort of paradise as one of our patriotic songs proudly declares. And then to hear people proudly declare: Ndi Umunyarwanda, where once they would have hidden at the mere possibility of suspicion of being one or when they couldn’t, deny being one and claim some other nationality. It is a heart-warming sound. Who then can’t feel good about this Rwanda Nziza and include it in their morning prayer or wishes? Who cannot sing in full voice, with much gusto, Rwanda Nziza Gihugu Cyacu whenever the occasion arises? Who cannot be delighted by this fair land’s role and place among nations of the world, the esteem in which we and our leaders are held? Can anyone be blind and deaf to a people who keep their word, stand their ground when necessary, do not compromise on principle and right? Can anyone ignore them when they stand by fellow human beings and go to their aid when in distress? Only fools and idiots, traitors and other evil people. Sometimes you want to put modesty aside and shout from the one thousand hilltops the wonders that Rwandans have done. For great indeed are the things they have done. Then you remember your manners and say nothing and only feel the glow of achievement inside, which eventually shows on the surface anyway. You also remember President Paul Kagame’s reminders about humility and you keep your delight within. Or you heed the mildly superstitious injunction not to mention the good things happening here too much lest they vanish, or some malevolent people learn about them and scotch them or do you harm. Come to think of it, this may not actually be superstition, but a way our forbearers fashioned of teaching humility and modesty. No bragging for them. And so for all these reasons, I will, for now, not go to the hilltops and shout all those good things. I also know it will annoy some people, although they do anyway and say the nastiest things about Rwanda. And not because they cannot see or are not convinced that we are doing the right things. For some it is spite or envy; others anger that they did not give us permission or we did not ask for their help. All of which is proof of the good work being done. And now this paradise thing we want to create. It is real as fact and ideal. There is a precedent as the learned fraternity would say. There was once such a place that God made and placed human beings in it for the enjoyment of its bounty. Soon, however, one was overcome by curiosity, or perhaps boredom by the idea of having plenty, and aided by a little deception from a serpent, messed it up and ended their life of bliss. Paradise was lost and since then humanity has been trying to regain it, but succeeding only in making imperfections of it. And so the desire to recreate paradise continues. We had our bit of it, too, in this country, imperfect, of course, but one nonetheless. Then some idiots and ingrates, driven by hate and greed, and aided and abetted by meddling foreigners and a distortion of history ruined it. We have been trying to rebuild it. Ours, unlike the original paradise, is an ongoing project, constantly improving as our demands and expectations increase and continue to evolve. All these came to mind last week when Unity Club was celebrating its silver jubilee. It has been a period in which a lot has been achieved. As one person tweeted, a period of mending, moulding, solidifying, and, we may add, transforming. The event was marked in typical fashion, not with fanfare, but reflections on progress so far, plans for the future, and resolve to do more and make Rwanda a home where we can all live in bliss. It is possible but don’t talk about it too much. The views expressed in this article are of the writer.