Thursday, July 23, 2015

Acknowledging the pain of Others


This is one of those articles that sound really naïve and unsophisticated; but it’s undeniably necessary and true. I posted a video on my Facebook page a few days ago and some of my Nuer brothers and sisters were enraged. While their anger wasn’t unfounded, I do believe there should be a safe, necessary manner in which anger needs to be exercised within a larger context of societal, national future. However, I’ve realized the short-sightedness with which we configure our anger and its resultant consequence.
We’ve become a population that focuses on the satisfaction of our immediate visceral reactions without the need to consider the potential effect of our anger, and what we say at the height of our polemical fancies…after all is said and done. No matter the intensity of our anger, hurt and loss, it is crucial to remember that the noble way to mourn and honor one’s lost relatives is to engage in a discourse that’d frustrate any repeat of the past. However, what we seem to care about now isn’t the dreadful past and the possible bright, promising future but the here and now and what we feel.

“I feel anger and a sense of hatred and I’ll make sure I satisfy that!”
The more we cultivate our hatred, magnify our pain and deny the pain of others, the more the hurt we feel becomes entrenched as a cultural phenomenon. Unfortunately, talking about the potential for future inter-tribal cohesive coexistence sounds like an untenable joke to some people given the magnitude of the anger they feel now. But none of us has a choice: living together is the only choice, the end gain! Regardless of what we feel or think, togetherness is the ultimate end.

But there’s one thing South Sudanese need to remember. In any sociopolitical conflict, healing or the possibility of living together as a multi-tribal country rests on acknowledging the pain of those who’ve been hurt. And it’s no secret that the following are acknowledged facts:

1)    The conflict started due to President’s mishandling of intra-SPLM problems

2)    SPLM leaders overestimated their influence and underestimated the power behind the president.

3)    Nuer were targeted after the mutiny in Juba by President’s militia.

4)    War is concentrated in mostly  (not exclusively) in Nuer areas.

In spite of these accepted realities, it’s very crucial for the Nuer brothers and sisters to remember that non-Nuer members have also suffered in the senselessness of this conflict. The more we deny that others have suffered the more we foment the entrenchment of hatred in our nation. As long as others don’t deny that Nuer were massacred in large numbers in Juba, It’d be ideal for Nuer to advocate for the loss of their loved ones while acknowledging that others too have suffered and continue to suffer. Denying the pain of others is not only dishonest, but also detrimental to the future of South Sudan.
The culpability story doesn’t end at the point where we come to the conclusion that the SPLM and the President started this war. We have to remember that we also exacerbate the problem through evangelism of divisive language and policies. No one is going to live in comfort if we instigate or fuel inter-tribal hatred. Satisfaction of one’s anger feels good at the moment but all conscionable people should consider long-term effects of that state of mind when anger creeps into our sociopolitical consciousness.

It’s undeniable that corrective measures geared towards finding out structured, conscionable and remedial methodologies are unequivocally necessary. However, focusing our fancies on the immediate delight and enjoyment of anger geared towards others will only position us perpetually in the same sea of hateful stagnation.
The only road to reconciliation is to make sure that others acknowledge our pain while taking the necessary initiative to acknowledge the pain of others. Failure to do so will only have us drink from the sea of bitter reality: perpetual insecurity. Let’s grow up!

Truth...but responsibly!

Kuir ë Garang lives in Canada. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info

ON CULTURAL IDENTITY & BELONGING

Dear Melbournians, the South Sudanese people to be precise. Do you think we have seen it all? Do you think we have seen that: I mean in the aftermath of yesteryears, in regard to our culture and the notions around identity and belonging? Do you think we have seen the true reaping of what we sowed years ago? Do you really think so? After all, did we really sow anything like seeds and that there’s something to be reaped? Did we really live it out well to be seen today?

I am sorry to have bothered you, my potential readers, with questions regarding our social, economic, and political location in our host society: Australia. I think we have not seen it all and as a whole: The idea that people are bound by certain values and beliefs of significance to them. This requires cooperation and role-specific obligations on the roles of every man and woman across a given people and their society.

TOLERANCE & INCLUSION


While it is possible for us to racially discriminate or judge people we know, the chances of judging people we know diminish significantly the more we know them. An easy example of the importance of understanding others is the attitude people develop when they want to harm others or when they want to deny them something valuable. Essentially, before you fight someone, you insult them. Insults are attempts at diminishing the value of people, an attempt at estranging them, as Toni Morrison argued in The Origin of Others. It is easy to discriminate against strangers or make others strangers or dehumanized in order to discriminate against them.

Transformational Leadership, Inclusive Institutions and Service Provision

Leadership, given what is happening now in South Sudan, and generally in Africa, fascinates me. And it fascinates me not in a good way but because of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic ills facing the African continent and most of the so-called 'Third World.' To me, South Sudan, now, is a classic case.

Rebellion by disaffected politico-military leaders and repression by the government of South Sudan in Juba have stunted institutional development and leadership growth. This has made service provision almost irrelevant as political survival has taken primacy and supremacy. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

‘Black’ as an Identity Oversimplification and Mockery

Black as a universalized cultural identity of the African Person (AP)* is a residual effect of slave and colonial mentality; a racial/race paradigm. It is a malady I call, conservatively speaking, stuck-in-the-past syndrome of color constraints. Black could be an on-the-street ‘social identifier’ of race figures not a meaningful phenomenon of deep cultural identification on a universal scale.