Once upon a time there was a village of plain people.
Their days were sweetened with not knowing freedom.
A dormant notion never seeded in their minds.
Because they had no war to wage against earth kind.
I wasn’t around to experience apartheid in South Africa but I’m weary of it. I cannot hear stories of being chased by men bearing guns and menacing faces without trying hard to imagine the fear, the blood motivating legs to safety or to stand and fight; and then the anger cementing the heart of the hunted a little more each time.
I try to imagine living under a physical threat imposed on me by outsiders; being made to feel less than I am because it’s the only way to live, or rather, survive. And I can’t. I don’t want to. I don’t want to replicate a sense of fear and inadequacy; I don’t need to be a soldier. I really don’t. It serves no purpose to mechanically fight each difference. What I need is to live healthy, be safe, keep the world turning with you. That’s enough, right? If any behaviour of mine will be automatic let it be to preserve you, for me. That’s the only kind of selfish I want to be.
We’ll acknowledge our humanity when others deny it; we’ll proclaim it in a bold way, a brave way. We need not threaten the economic existence of those we gave power to for decades. We simply need to start practicing that empathy that was shared among our parents and grandparents across the span of our backgrounds…