I shed a tear today, in fact, I cried a lot. My tears were for the marginalised, disadvantaged all those who experience despair. They were, perhaps as well, for my own inadequacies in influencing the systems that create such disparities. How deeply I relate to such feelings in my own aloneness/loneliness. The tears were not of sadness but of release in knowing that there are others who share the same feelings and others who have experienced life’s anguish.
I had experience this morning to bear witness to two stories, as different as could be, but as alike as possible. One was of foreign domination, the other of family alienation, one of educational wealth, the other of educational deprivation, both the results of colonisation and subjugation. Colonisation at its roots is more than possession and ownership but of cultural alienation and is not only the experience of those have been dominated by foreigners but those who have felt the sting of rejection from their own. The results were the same; a sense of loss, of not fitting and of the need to make amends to all those who follow behind. Then there was the expressed need to make life better for others to contribute and to some how compensate for the perceived inadequacies of those that went before. I related to both and knew that I was a part of something that I am yet to understand. Were we kindred spirits, marginalised minorities or just lonely people adrift in a world where the fit was non existent?
I listened to the words of wisdom offered years ago by a Bishop to a person, who at the time, was depressed at the state of his own people as a result of government and church colonisation, both done under the guise of good and God. Advice, which suggested that the answer, as to why this happened, lay in an understanding that would come with age and one’s own responsibility. The guidance suggested that when one became responsible for others, the key was to look for the spark and with gentle breath kindle the glow of life. It was inferred that spark was a sign of leadership and leadership was so important to societal development.
I thought about this as the morning wore on and the tears flowed. I wondered, were the only people with worth, those that had a visible spark, who could glow with a gentle breath of air and lead the others to some promised glory. Or, if indeed, did everyone, even those whose spark was so weakened that it was not visible, deserve the gentle touch of a breath of kindness. Do we have to have in a society the elite who lead the rest? Or, should we strive for an ideal equality where everyone has opportunity to have their spark kindled, their brightness amplified and their flame enlivened. Do we really need to relegate those that are somehow diminished to the backwater of despair, drive them from society and erase them from our conscious memory. All this, because we need to demonstrate our state of egalitarianism and our societal advancement. Is this not the reason why historically all supposedly advanced societies collapsed?
What price will we pay if we continue on this path started a few centuries ago, a path of repression, cleansing and deprivation? We condemn it in the modern world when others blatantly practice it, but we refuse to recognise our more historically refined and subtler methods. I witnessed two individuals this morning struggling with their price. I have felt the experience in my own life. And, I felt the wrath of another this afternoon as my car was wilfully damaged by another less fortunate, deprived, and perhaps depraved individual. This is a small price for me to pay for someone else’s despair but a microcosm of a societal dividend that we can expect if we don’t face the rot of marginalisation that is growing by the day locally, nationally and internationally. Increasingly, stringent barriers are being erected between the have and have-nots of the world. But, we must always remember there is more of the latter and their deprivation will eventually cause rebellion. I wonder, as money and consumerism are failing as weapons of repression are the elites reverting to deprivation of education (or what is termed education) as the new control mechanism.
Yes, I shed a tear today and cried a lot for a world of so much plenty assigned to an elite few, who for reasons of arrogance and fear, continue to hoard and control, as if in the end, it would make a difference to themselves. The tears were a cleansing of course, of my own arrogance of plenty that I have experienced and of my own rebellion towards those that have tried and would marginalise me. And today perhaps, for the first time, I realised that tears are life’s cleansing solution to rinse the bitterness and despair from the soul, just as the rain washes away the refuge and blight from the earth, making way for and nurturing the new growth that is hidden just underneath the old, worn and unnecessary.