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"We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they have all learned to live together in the same box!"

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

"Reconciliation starts at home" PART 1

A couple of months ago I was struck by a phrase i heard on TV- "hate starts at home" which started me thinking about where reconciliation starts?
So i have asked a couple of friends who are thinking and doing and living and grappling reconciliation to write for me about "RECONCILIATION STARTS AT HOME"

My first contributor would prefer to be anonymous but really captures my heart for the future of reconciliation:

Despite what untruths we have been taught and brought up with, it is each of our choice to live in reconciliation. By sheer introspection alone, one is able to see the many prejudices that still exist within us, even those of us that work hard at not outwardly displaying those prejudices. I would say that reconciliation starts first and foremost in the heart and thoughts. Having an ability to be honest with ourselves when we do find ourselves judging an individual based on a preconceived idea we may have based on their outward appearance. It takes a certain ruthlessness with ones own thoughts and one’s own heart. A brutal kind of honesty with oneself, as only once we acknowledge our clumped low expectations and soft bigotry, are we able to actually challenge ourselves to think differently and hinder preconceptions.
The exciting part of the journey, is that as we individually start to take responsibility for the “ism”s in our own lives, there will be a knock on effect within our families, as we raise children who are not exposed to rash broad group judgements at home, we raise children who will start to see and value all people equally. What a beautiful responsibility we have to start reconciliation at home. For our own benefit, for the benefit of the generations to come, and I believe that as we rise to the occasion, for the benefit of preceding generations, as they see the fruit of freedom and equality and choose too, to partake.

As usual pls let me know what you think...

Monday, 13 February 2012

opinion or fact?

In the middle of an argument the other day (i think with my father... We are living with them until we can move into our new house on the 1 March. Makes for some tension!) i realised that the line between opinion and fact is rather blurry in our minds.
We assume our own opinions are fact.

Opinion according to dictionary.com is
1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal
Wheras a fact is
1. something that actually exists; reality, truth
2. a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true
I guess the difficulty here is that we often believe our own opinions are the TRUTH. But they arent necessarily because they are not proven! But to an extent they do exist for us and are the reality.
The problem with having such fixed ideas about our own opinions is that it makes us closed minded and not able to change our minds. But thinking back to my own argument i guess i dont always want to change my mind or listen to a different opinion to mine.
A personal challenge (for my self firstly) is "am i prepared to not hold so closely to my opinions that i could changew my mind? am i prepared to accept that my opinions are not necessarily the truth?"

Friday, 3 February 2012

Shedding white supremacy- easy as it sounds!

Usually when i post something i have a great catchy Title... Havent thought of it yet. Hopefully it will come to me soon.
The following post on the DAILY MAVERICK http://dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2012-02-01-umlungu-mdala#.TyqCVPyu98A.email was brought to my attention yesterday.
What an interesting and well written article. Please read and let me know what you think!
A lot of what he touches on is what i tried to highlight in my earler posts about "whiteliness".
However i think Xhanti Payi is a bit more eloquent than me!
i partly agree with his statement that white people refuse to shed their supremacy. He is right, because, honestly who wants to not be supreme;-)! The subtelty that he misses is that as apartheid has screwed up futures and pasts of black people it has done the same to white people. i am not excusing racism, white supremacy or whiteliness but i think there is so much wrongness in how we were brought up that it is hard to "shed it" as Xhanti Payi would have us do.
i think the first thing in shedding supremacy is recognising our position of supremacy and many white SA dont. They proclaim non- racism and no direct involvement in apartheid which they feel absolves them. i would argue it doesnt! (another post for another day!)
Once we, as white people have recognised supremacy we can start to step out of supremacist (sp??) skins. But it is hard to relinquish power- ask Mugabe and the rest of the dictators scattering our continent! Practically i am not sure how we do this?
I will post a bit more about this later! But comments so far?