As many in our country take some time today to march against President Zuma, I find myself thinking ‘For or Against’?
There seems so often to be a state of fighting against something and I wonder what would happen if we started fighting ‘for’ something instead – or as well.
When South Africa was an Apartheid state, the battle lines were drawn and it was clearly a case of fighting for, or against, Apartheid. When the laws were changed, we largely stopped fighting (other than some who kept fighting for it to return). We stopped fighting for anything, in essence, and sat back and waited for things to change. It felt like there was nothing left to fight (Apartheid was over)and so we stopped fighting at all. Which is awesome. And a great loss too…
Because we didn’t fight for our ‘Rainbow Nation’, we didn’t fight for unity, we didn’t fight for equality, and we didn’t fight for healing. (I’m aware as I write this that I speak from my privileged, white perspective. Perhaps it was just my group that didn’t fight anymore?)
But I wonder what would have happened if we had continued to fight, with as much energy and passion, for what we truly needed to have in order to create our Rainbow Nation – the ghost of which is slowly slipping away…
What would have happened if we had fought to listen to each other? To ask forgiveness? To forgive? To understand? What would have happened if we had come together to envision what our country could be? What we could have created together? What would have happened if we had moved from ‘fighting against’ to ‘fighting for’ when the time called for it?
The two are always together. If you’re fighting against something, you’re fighting for something else. We just seem to put so much emphasis on the former.
Now we come together to fight again. And I wonder what we could create this time? Can we learn from our past? Can we start getting it right? Can we start figuring out together what ‘getting it right’ might mean?
Can we start fighting for this country we love with all the passion we have; to create a country where all belong; all are worthy; all are whole, healed, and heard? Can we start painting the colours of our ‘Rainbow Nation’ again? Brand new colours that we can only imagine together…
And my last thought on this day? While we consider if we are ‘For or Against’, let us think carefully about our enemy. Perhaps it is not the corruption, greed, entitlement and destruction of President Zuma? Perhaps he is just an archetype and a scapegoat?
I wonder if the battle is actually against these characteristics within us - and not just in him. So what would happen if we worked with passion to change ourselves, and not another man? And what would we fight ‘for’ ourselves to become…?
On a personal note...
I am curious, creative, determined, committed and (a bit too much of) a perfectionist.