By Namakando Nalikando Sinyama, B.Sc Forestry,BAHRM
Welcome to a joy ride through my inner sanctum!!! Namakando Nalikando Sinyama's personal news log, Allow your Brain cells to grow! The best of Chi-Thinking
Every one of us on this planet have reasons for doing what we do,looking the way we look,saying what we say in the way we say them and of course for thinking the way we do.....Right or wrong.
From the onset I would like to state that before i’m labeled or accused of being an opinionated male chauvinistic pig from this piece of writing, the word MAN in the above title has nothing to do with gender as I’m referring to both masculine and feminine dispositions. Why do I get the impression that to most people gender means female? Of course this is not to say I would care or give it a hoot if I was only talking about males as I’ve had enough talk about gender equality, equity and what not, so that the very mention of the subject makes me want to throw up! Gender insensitive? Maybe! Anyway name calling will not get us anywhere now will it? You see my own mother has on several occasions called me exactly that from our usually heated & protracted debates about women’s place in society as I hold very strong and sometimes radical and somewhat controversial views on gender equality or the lack of it in the world.
Those of you who are television maniacs like I’m and were keen followers of the series channel will recall that ‘The Measure of a Man’ was the title of one of the episodes of Star Trek, The Next Generation. Lt. DATA an android and member of The Enterprise crew was to undergo a series of very risky medical procedures done on him. Were these to be done without the ethical considerations that he might not make it alive after the operation? The Enterprise Crew was faced with a potentially revolutionary decision of establishing whether Lt. Data was a sentient being like any other member of the enterprise. The tests were not done!
Well…come on Namakando what is this, A T.V editorial? What’s your point?
Well…welcome to a joy ride through my inner sanctum.
The point is in our quest of trying to put a value on human life and our mistaken obsession of establishing the worth of fellow humans male or female or of whatever nationality; we have to be level headed. It is an all too common practice of stereotyping people. To illustrate; it’s been said that Italians are temperamental, Jews are pushy and Scandinavians are stolid. This you will no doubt agree has the effect of fueling racism and causing xenophobic sentiments to ensue. The above classifications may seem innocent but are in fact a coating of a deep cited sense of xenophobia. There is need to be more accommodating especially as we make strides into the ever beckoning future of the global village where I want to be a member of a new race.
"Where are we to look for our survival, for the answers to the questions which have never before been posed? We must look, first, to the Almighty God who has raised man above the animals and endowed him with intelligence and reason. We must put our faith in him, that he will not desert us or permit us to destroy humanity that he created in his image. We must look into ourselves, into the depths of our soul We must become something we have never been, and for which our education and experience and environment have ill-prepared us. We must become bigger than we have been, more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook We must become members of a new race, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations, but to our fellow men within the human community."
- His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Sellasie I
May I refresh your memory on just how easy it is to be a victim of this pitfall. May I ask,what makes you treat strangers you meet for the first time differently? That is either to be courteous or rude or suspicious. You will contend that the outward appearance more than anything is what determines your level of etiquette. Does the sight of a person clad in tattered apparel immediately make you suspicious of them or classify them as social degenerates? Does the sight of a smartly dressed, well shaven man give you your impression of the ideal gentleman? The only problem is I have met more crooked con artists or confidence tricksters clad in suits than I care to remember and more honest, upstanding shabby paupers. Of course, remembering that the reverse is also true, unfortunately.
On a countless number of times I met girls during my old varsity days or should I call them ladies, pardon me, who had either consciously or unconsciously gazed at me with an evaluating look. You know the kind where she starts from your toe, working her way up to your head. These if you asked me would make the perfect employees at the government valuation department. They had of course more often than not always walked away from my sorry sight. I didn’t blame them.
When they see an expensive pair of footwear on someone does it ever occur to them it could so easily have been borrowed? If their assessment of me is one of a cheap bloke, does it ever cross their myopic minds that I was studying for my B.Sc degree thus hopefully on my way towards earning thousands of dollars, pounds or kwachas ? That is if materialism was their bent. Whatever the criteria ,maybe I would rather be judged by who I’m rather than what i’m! This is because what I am is usually transitional whereas who I is, forgive my Jamaican patois, is more on the permanent side of things. We no doubt all have a lot to say on the subject matter, so before I stray may i make this profound statement, “You should never put a value on human life.” Some females have stooped so low as to even judge me by the sheer arrangement of the strands of the protein Keratin (hair) standing on my scalp. Now this is exactly how shallow some peoples thinking gets. You honestly can not base your liking for someone on the state of their hair. This is something that a razor or a comb can fix. I was mostly unkempt all during my campus days as a strategy of keeping detracting females at bay. I’m glad to report that this reinforced by virtues of chastity from the monk fraternity worked like magic because I maintained my sexual purity through out my four years of study! But then some of us hold and strongly so that it really takes a very strong sense of character not to follow the trends of fashion. Even if I was liked for spotting a well tended afro-hair style that would make James Brown green with envy, what would happen if I lost it all after a rigorous regime of radiotherapy and chemotherapy combined after having say, a severe form of cancer of the tooth, if ever there’s such a cancer, Dentalmia I would call it!? Look for the sake of variation, a precursor to human behavioural and phenotypic evolutionary diversity which inturn helps spice up life,we can not all be spotting shaven skulls like gangs of teenage right wing neo-nazis chanting hail Hitler! If we all looked the same, had similar tastes and dislikes we would become almost like a batch of clones from a yet controversial state of the art cloning experiment. Well, not that that would unsettle me, as The Human Genome Project has been a resounding success after all! I have always held that there is a reason why people choose to look the way they do. As for me the day I will taste the fruit of genesis is the day I will pass a razor over me head. By the way I’m enjoying the sounds of one Antonio Vivaldi celebrating the Baroque in “The four seasons”, a greatly inspiring classical symphony collection evoking my literary genius which I only suspect could be there.
To conclude may I say human beings are by their very nature dynamic conglomerates of tissue.we all undergo what I would call in my scanty Italian I picked up from my Tuscany connection , le Quattro staggioni (The Four Seasons )Of Life . It would however be unwise to befriend someone because you see in them the potential of changing them into something or a character you please. Humans are not lumps of clay waiting to be molded into shape. Remember earthenware breaks into fragments when dropped, you follow the meaning?The inertia of individual principles demand that we resist unnecessary change. Especially if this change in character is only meant to conform to expressed norms of thinking and behaviour.For the critical survival of the species let not humans succumb to the debilitating disease of Conformism. So much has been done in conformity to previously set ‘norms’ and where has this taken humanity? Right on the brink of extinction it has. We ,as a race are quickly approaching an E.L.E (Extinction Level Event).
An old Chinesse saying sums it all up by putting it this way, “If you do not change your course you are likely to end up where you are headed.” !
Why can’t we celebrate the diversity of personalities we possess instead of conforming to some stale norms of thinking aided by 'tunnel vision',I aks? (No error that is Jamaican patois for you).
Let the gene pool overflow……
Namakando Nalikando Sinyama
Barotseland, Central Africa
“I tell you a truth, liberty is the best of all things, my son, never live under a slavish bond.” – Sir William Wallace’s Uncle