The spiritual realities of shock, echo throughout our behaviour and relationships, and if left unchecked, could destroy everything.
The last few days of my life have been filled with books about south africa, museums and castles about south africa, walking the streets of cape town and chatting with some back packers who have come here from far and wide and their thoughts on this beautiful country as well.
And this is what I think, and i think it echos similarly with the australian aborigines, and the natives of north america.
All of the aforementioned people groups in the “old days” could be described as figuring out “the civilized art of living fairly peacefully NOT in states.” The aboriginals of Australia were arguably living with hundreds of different cultural groups relatively peacefully for 40,000 years. The native Americans too, and similarly for all of the African peoples. And you walk through these museums and see how deep and wise and intelligent their cultures were. These people had something great. Enter the British, the Spaniards and the Dutch.
Instead of seeing beautiful, intelligent cultures, the professional colonizers saw a people to dominate. Until recently, the Australian first settlers were still labelled in the constitution as “flora and fauna”. The shock of colonization goes deep and wide. Oppression does things to our humanity. Being told you aren’t of value, being shown what is ok and what is not through inappropriate violence shocks. It shocks to our core. Going from a deeply complicated and spiritual community to being treated like children….
Fast forward a large amount of time and all three, SA, USA and AUS have come to a point in their history where technically everyone has concluded that everyone is equal. Men, Women, Blacks, Whites, Yellows, Reds, Browns, Mochas, old and Young are worthy of value. Our governments have put things in place to limit corruption and oppression in the work place and in social engagements.
But shock still echos through the blood lines and experience of those alive still. And if it goes unchecked, unforgiven, unreconciled, without compensation it could destroy everything. This can be seen in the recent resurgence in calls for changing Australia day to something different. The first settlers of Australia refer to it as invasion day. This can be seen in the continued violence in parts of south africa.
This can be seen in individuals and families, because although blanket statements can be made, individuals and families need to take up their own shock and make sure it is dealt with.
Soft spots, like idle hands, are the favourite past time of evil as soft spots are easily manipulated into hatred and bitterness that seethes under the surface until it explodes. and explosions aren’t conducive to strong communities or societies.
Strong societies are found on the back of continual revelation that unique individuals need to be loved uniquely, and given a space to pick up their own unique love banner.
Equality is a crock. We aren’t all the same. We all don’t need the same things. But we all need a platform to give the right things uniquely to others. Unique equality is what we need to find. I, as a son of committed parents who encourage and believe in me need a different love to a young orphan who has been convinced he’s not good at anything. Unique Equality means that I should be allowed anywhere near a job with the defense force, because i wouldn’t be great at it. But I’m great at the job I have. It also means, that if I slack off and there’s someone better at the job then me, a conversation should be struck up to discuss my future.
But within all of that, each side of this debate has a responsibility to an extent. Forgiveness can be denied, and thats a choice. But it also comes with consequences.
Unique Equality, comes with Unique responsibility.
Do you know who you are?
Do you know what yours is?