Everyday we read posts by those who seize every opportunity to moan, groan, whine and whinge about the past; and to rant and rage at the colonialist, the imperialist, the British, the Americans, the Zionists, the Capitalists , (the Whites, the Blacks, the Chinese) ..... now even against Nelson Mandela, the most significant human being of the modern era. The list is long. The whinging is longer. The crying is ever louder.
Regrettably it does find fertile ground in many hearts, still sore about dispossession and victimization in the past. Because the crying is about largely true events and treatment, we are all too easily propositioned, our hearts inflamed, judgment clouded.
However, as members of the species, classified as homo sapiens, we need to step back, take a deep breath and have dispassionate look at this practice. When we do, it is somewhat easy to see several real problems emerging, some that are perverse.
- Dragging up the past, pointing fingers, and blaming outside agents, is nearly always employed by those who hold a brief for current failed leadership. If we did not have very serious problems we would not hear from them. The failure needs to be explained. What better way than to blame someone else, especially if that someone is vulnerable on account of past conduct.
- So it follows that you can be nearly always sure that it is a tactic to excuse current failures of leadership; and to divert attention from those who are actually accountable.
- It further follows that, by blaming others, we are comforted, consoled, reassured and relieved of the painful burden of fixing our own with responsibility for failure. Any family will be instinctively attracted to an explanation or reason that excuses a family member. It is one of the reasons why we go to the nyanga, or spiritualist, and accept their divinations. We are comforted when they explain bad conduct of a family member by pointing to some other causal agent.
- What you should notice about this lot is that, from head to toe, they are usually clad in clothes that are products of the very cultures they bemoan. The cars, watches, air travel ... ect are all products of the cultures the profess to condemn.
- If you are prepared to accept this wailing and weeping please understand that, firstly, it will confer no benefit other than to make you feel good in your self pity ... just as the mother of a rapist feels good when the Sangoma diagnoses that, the reason why her son is a rapist, is that he was bewitched by an old enemy of the family.
- Secondly, you should understand that the colonialist, imperialists and other "baddies" are 1000% unaffected by this ranting. They have long since moved on. Their real and imagined misdeeds have been disposed into the dustbin of history. I have travelled across most of the World. A country like Zimbabwe is virtually unknown to most. South Africa is significant simply on account of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Other than that we are but spots on the map of the world. Your "blamestorming" and crying will not change their lives, and it will not change your life until you wake up and see what is really going on here and now, not yesterday, not what his father did to your father... until you are concerned with the truth of the present.
- Thirdly, they are by no means ashamed or remorseful about their past exploits. England is called "Great Britain" precisely because it went around the World invading and subjugating others. That "greatness" is internationally acknowledged and deferred to. The Queen is loved across the planet. English is the dominant language. The tiny island that is England commands influence and respect 1000 times out of proportion to its size. As for "imperialist" America it is safe to say that it is so big and powerful that your whimpering and tears are just that, whimpering and tears ... of a weak cry baby. The average American will never understand what excuse you have got when you have such a wonderful much resourced country, that you are unable to "capitalize" on.
- Fourthly, please take note of Japan for instance. It was bombed to smithereens. In under 30 years it rose to become an economic powerhouse on the World stage. Hong Kong was a tiny island of just one million people and no resources. It let in another million poor people. The rest is history. Germany was also bombed to smithereens. Again, in under 30 years it rose to be perhaps the strongest economy in Europe. As with us freedom for America was attained with lives lost and much blood spilled. Instead of wallowing in self pity it said to the World, in the words now inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, -- "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ..." It welcomed all into its borders, even during the Great Depression. It is now the most powerful nation on the planet.
- And you know what". Despite its racist past; despite all its flaws and faults as the great "imperialist", that you are encouraged to cry about; in America, a dominant White majority voted a Coloured man to be the most powerful president on this planet. They did this, even though his father was a Black African.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela endured terrible suffering at the hand of the oppressor. He forgave. For having been "big" enough to do that he is loved and revered by all on this planet as the most significant human being of the current age.
You are not Mandela. You do not have to forget or forgive.
However we really need to understand that we are now in charge; that we were liberated by Mandela and others; that we are free; that the oppressor is long gone.
So just stop pointing fingers, blaming and crying about the past. Stand up and show the World why you wanted your freedom. Tell those who want to defend failure that you can see their trap for fools, and that you are not a fool, but a sentient human being, a member of homo sapiens. Offer him/her a handkerchief and say --- "Look if it is too tough for your/our leaders in this big bad world, then ask them to stand down and give someone else a chance. Look at what a brilliant coach like Pep Guardiola has just done".
Just hold yourself and your government to account.
Some years, on a trip to Melbourne, Australia, we met a young Somali lad, as our newly licensed taxi driver. I was with an African government Minister who said I should not stop the young lad as he ranted about the failures of Africa and its leaders.
He ended by saying that -- "if the Jews were to be give a country like Angola, so rich in resources, they would be a superpower in just 5 years.
The Minister laughed saying, "you know what, this young man is right".