Origin of inequality.

Inequality is conceived in the mind. I’m not a psychologist nor a student of psychology. But, the question of where inequality originates is a recurring one. In trying to find an answer to this recurring question, it dawned on me that inequality stems from the mind, a perception of others as inferior, undeserving, and of lower status than one’s self.

There is only one equal relationship that exists – the peer relationship ie. adult to adult, child to child and so on. If one sees others as having something in common or being within a group of equal peers.

However, other unequal relationships are often at play in our interaction with others. Parent – child, teacher-student, master – servant or master-slave…

Some of these unequal relationships may change and become more equal but others, like master-servant/ slave, employer – employee persist. It may be for always. There’s a set mentality, bordering on the caste system. A slave is forever a slave even if free on paper. Discrimination sets in. Borders are established on various grounds down to skin tone.

We know this apartheid to be wrong in principle but justify our warped emotions with negative generalisations, often more untrue. At the very heart of this inclination to discriminate, dehumanise and demonise is FEAR. Fear of the other whom we don’t know nor understand. Thus, slaves are slaves forever.

It is this ideology of inequality and inculcation of ‘unequalness’ that has driven the maintenance of an unequal status quo between conqueror and conquered, victor and loser, colonisers and colonised, master and slave.

Thus, the existence of systemic discrimination, institutionalization of apartheid, racism and xenophobia. This ideology of inequality justifies the denial of the humanity of those perceived to be of lower status and intelligence.

Systemic racism and the institutionalization of discrimination whether negative or positive has become normalized in our lives. The caste system becomes cast in iron in all its forms and variations. Thus, we live with inequality inculcated into our perceptions of the world and all living in it. We become the very instrument of what we know we should oppose based on emotion, the need for self-glorification and assurance of our acceptability in society, our ego boosters. We think of this as self-love. Who doesn’t need this?

It avoids the larger picture, the reality, the truth of our existence, that we live in an unequal world community that seldom wants to admit its unequal nature but lends much lip-service to the virtues of justice and peace.

Stock taking time

The time has come when the rays of life’s sunset can be glimpsed over the horizon. Age is just a number, yet one has to take stock to know where one stands. Why am I doing this? What purpose does it serve? For me? For you? for all out there, who may chance upon this record of personal history? This is the story of my thoughts, feelings, opinions, views, judgments, memories…

As my body slows down, and mind becomes slightly blunted, I look back and wonder, “What have I done? Is this of use to anyone?”

I have no successors, like a lone voice in a wilderness, only I know. It will one day be silenced in death. Yet, I’m not anyone important, I’m not a celebrity. I’m just a lone wolf writer, casting my lonely thoughts to anyone who cares to read them.

I know it’s too late to change, for there is peace and contentment in this solitary existence that I’ve lived for most of my life. Will I die alone? Do I care, if I do?

I’ve hit a trough, becoming familiar with what it means to age even though my mind still feels as inquisitive as a child’s, craving for adventures into knowledge and experience. The thirst to create something new, find a new way to make this world a more livable, peaceful and happy place, persists in my being. How can I deny this? This is my spirit which will live forever, even when this soul leaves its “mortal coil”!

Toothless tigers,wingless birds and armchair politicians

Look at us, my friends. There’s so much talk of how we might become a better nation, a better humanity, a better society…it’s just talk. When do we get down to brass tacks? When shall we walk the talk?

We want a more just world, more equal distribution of wealth, clean government, zero corruption (we will be in heaven then), our human rights and freedoms, equality and all those wonderful ideals we aspire to.

Coming down to earth with a hard thud! The reality of our human condition is so very different. It is difficult, degrading and dirty. It’s 3D, whether you like it or not. The bodies that are supposed to protect us, often persecute us, make our lives miserable, humiliate us. Many of us feel the pressure of being used and exploited by autocrats we may or not clearly identify. The systemic exploiter, oppressor and slaver. The inherent systemic cheats that spew toxic promises of better lives, bright futures, rich rewards, all in exchange for our blood and our souls.

The ‘do-gooders’ make deals with the villains calling it a democratic compromise. They must work together to overcome the problems of this era. What happened to your principles? Were they too difficult to keep? What are the best compromises to keep the people happy in hallucinatory limbo, suspended animation, waiting for something to happen. We’re waiting for Gordo!

We applaud at the publication of the promises. Yes,yes, we agree a hundred percent! Then, we hope, hope and hope… Soon we are treated to the parade of the toothless tigers, the guardians of our rights, liberty and sanity. Again we give loud applause! At last our rights and lives will be protected! They pass by with much fanfare and more promises of better governance, guarantees of justice to be done. The end of criminality, a slate wiped squeaky clean. No more dirt, no more slime… they disappear into the distant fog of the future.

Boyd by the last display of righteous promises, we turn to the next float in the procession – the birds of aspiration. Our aspirations soaring into a grey sky. But, when will they take flight? We are convinced by our hope that they will soar into a clear blue sky,one day. The birds are yet chicks, they haven’t got their flight feathers yet. But, our optimism still fuels hope, they will be propelled by great winds carrying them on wings of freedom and prosperity. So, we wait for the birds of our aspirations to mature and take flight. Always trusting in our choice of human masters who keep feeding our hopes with candy floss.

Over cups of tea, or whatever we choose to drown ourselves in, the talk continues. We engage in intelligent debate, in argument, in conjecture, in gossip, in plain speech, in criticism of our rivals, in friendly banter or sarcasm. Reassuring ourselves of the accuracy of our deductions, the rightness of our convictions, still munching on hope and optimism as we sit back comfortably in our deep armchairs as the politicians of the day.

When reality dawns, the armchairs feel lumpy, the birds of aspiration are wingless and the tigers remain toothless. The dregs of our beverages turn cold, the conversation buddies lie in a drunken stupor. It has all been a mirage, a dream in a matrix of virtual reality, nothing more.

We are our own rescuers, our own heroes, our own catalysts of change… break our addiction to sunshine promises, handouts, and narcotic hope. Disperse this hallucination of better tomorrows with single-mindedness to regain our truth, freedom and independence.

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