Hello once again to my little niche in the cybersphere.This time around I’m ranting on a plethora of things. I just couldn’t stop myself despite having promised a reader I was going to shorten my posts :/
Earlier this month I knew exactly what I would blog about. I had scribbled down brief opinions on the uprising in Burkina Faso and later on contemplated doing a tourists comparison between London and Paris. But since that time, too many things have happened. Too many different hurts have been felt, questions raised.
Some of us walk around with our hearts wrapped in bubble paper, you know, the ones they use to package porcelain and other delicate, fragile items. And others still walk around forever in shades that make everything look a little better than they are or a little less harsh than is real. Optimist they’re called. I have been both these people in and out of time, and it hurts like hell whenever something pushes through the buble wrap or I lift the shades and reality slaps me in the face.
Where am I going to with this? Certain truths exist which have come into focus recently:
On Burkina Faso
Let me start from home. Compaore is down, who is up. Sankara they say has received “justice”. No. The downfall of your murderer or enemy is not justice it’s merely the most popular form of revenge. Justice will come when What Sankara stood for, believed in and hoped for his people comes to pass. So all those who have been calling on the spirit of revolution to come down to Cameroon, especially online, particularly from out of the country. I ask you to tell me who will be put up. You may say of course there is the opposition. I ask you, were you here during the last elections? Did you enter the voting stations? Did you see what I saw? Can you name a single contender of the president who was worth it. Could you show me a single one who without the title of president. Just as an able bodied, financially capable citizen was doing something anything to make a change in their community? Tarring a road, mentoring youth, creating jobs etc. Just giving of themselves without eternal donations of which only a percentage may actually be rightfully used? Could you name any of those candidates actually being a leader NOW. Have you heard any news of them NOW that there is no elections? But yet you’ll hear of a list of over 200 political parties when it comes time to distribute funding to the “opposition” to “run against” the ruling party. Yes. We want the Spirit of Sankara. But not the spirit of revenge. If bringing down one bad seed to plant another in the seat is some people’s idea of change they need to face reality. Things will not get better by just eliminating one man. The problem is much deeper.
On Equality or the lack thereof
I was just telling my friend inequality began in Heaven when God gave certain genes, talents and skills to one person as opposed to the other and how we should just stop fighting for the illusion of equality down here and face the music. It was mean as a joke. But in truth, when I see the way people of different nationalities are treated at Boarder Patrols because of the color of their passports, when I think on how much we are defined by our genders, by our race, by our body shapes and facial features. It’s clear we were never meant to be equal. The idea that we can be different yet equal is idealist especially given that we certain things give people advantages over each other in certain ways and different points in time. It will take more than several lifetimes to undo what has already been done. And the only way for two groups to ever be equal would be to stop the progress of one so the other can catch up and they both go on together. And who would agree to that?
1-In Kenya a woman was stripped and beaten for wearing a mini skirt. Have you ever, will you ever hear of same happening to a man because his baggy pants were exposing his backside?
2-In the same region of Africa a man could probably be beaten by a man and might go to the police where he would be laughed at and told to go handle his wife.
3-Think on this: we have called Thatcher Iron Lady, but male leaders who had similar ideologies and enforced similar policies, Reagan and Bush to name a few were never called anything. Why? Being a man is explanation enough for “Iron”. Think on the fact that when a a woman with a PhD is threatening but a man with the same qualification is good husband material…
4-Think on the fact that we are considered a global village where a foreign company can come in and by vast properties of land in your country at probably a lower cost that you would in the name of free world trade, but you can’t get a visa to visit their country with even half that ease. Suddenly we aren’t such a global village, there are boarders.
5-Think on the fact that recently Bill Cosby a popular Father figure of American tv. Has been accused of sexual molestation and rape. On one hand fans of his have disparaged the women, they are lying obviously. They are all white. Why are they saying this after 30 years etc. and on the other hand a large number of people have called him out, supported the allegations, his show has stopped running and generally they believe the allegations against him because he’s a man and he is therefore “probably wrong” After all thirty women can’t lie. No one it seems needs the women to actually file a case nor hear both sides of the story. Yet we dream of equality
6-Think of Mike Brown, the many Mike Browns. Think outside the box. Lets say the he is a gang member, he robbed a store and started a fight that was too much for him… think about why he’s dead and not arrested. Think why he’s in a coffin and not in jail and wonder along with me why it is justice for a “petty thief and thug” as one commentator termed Brown to die of twelve bullets in broad daylight when he could have been shot in the leg, disarmed, slowed down anything and at the same time it is okay for Charles Manson a convicted mass murder to get married while in jail? (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/17/us-usa-california-manson-idUSKCN0J12EV20141117) Are we meant to be equal? I think not, the cases that prove no are too many to list here. We should face the music
We have all heard the saying to err is human to forgive divine? I much prefer this version: To be selfish is human to be empathetic humane. It occurs to me that our greatest problem is lack of empathy. Because something is not happening to us directly or has yet to affect the cocoon of our existence we do not pay heed to it. It need not concern us. And worse as Cameroonians in particular even when it might affect us we still do not pay heed to it. Unless not knowing the number of parliamentarians would prohibit our evening bottle of Guinness, we need not be bothered.
Empathy goes beyond sympathy (feeling sorry) it is understanding. It is understanding or at least trying to put yourself in the place of a woman marching for her right to decide her clothes of choice even though you are not a woman, even though you are a woman who perhaps wears only long gowns and a hijab, even though your religious belief or moral stance would not allow you wear a mini-skirt. Empathy, being humane means you understand that it is not your place to judge and especially not harm another on what they choose to do with their bodies. Sympathy, especially the fake kind is what happens when you come to the site of the beating and mutter “Weh! They shouldn’t have beat her, but where was she going to with that kind of skirt too”
Empathy is understanding the difficulties someone who is handicapped might face and acting on that understanding without you being disabled yourself.
Empathy is trying to understand the position of the person whose opinions are different from yours, who has hurt you, who does not love you back… trying to understand them because understanding kills hate. Hate is in so many ways “illiterate”
Empathy is simply being conscious. But a lot of us are conscious for nothing other than ourselves, our own wants and needs.
A few weeks ago I read that T.B Joshua failed to attend a a hearing where he was called to explain the collapse of one of his buildings which killed several visitors to his church. Members of the Synagogue supported him. They must have forgotten Jesus went willingly to be tried…
Closer to this time, in Ghana a pastor was preaching about women needing men in order not to rot, in Kenya we hear of terrorists shooting you for not being able to recite parts of the Koran. We can name them, a plethora of instances where we used religion to elevate ourselves, subordinate others or just do away with them all together.
When will it end? I don’t know. But I think we could make some progress when the theme of popular crusades switch from “ Claiming the prosperity of Abraham” to maybe “Claiming the unconditional love of Christ” Or when rather than a church banner reading “Your Enemies Must Die” It reads “Love your Enemies”
And perhaps if the jihadists could move beyond the part of the Koran which talks about the doing away with infidels (if at all there is such a part) and focus more on the part which tells them how to live uprightly. We could finally have useful functional religions.
And of course maybe if atheist would show the example of how things should be done rather than just criticizing those misusing religion, then maybe things would get. But let me end here. I could rant till next year at this rate. Return your heart to the bubble wrap, Put on your shades and shield your eyes. Lets be happy to see another day. Keep safe.