|There is a part of us that we should guard jealously; a part we should leave untainted, a part we should leave to ourselves and to God. This is the part that we use to evaluate ourselves and our actions; a place to which we invite no-one else, not even our better halves; the place we run to when we realise that we are an entity unto ourselves, responsible for our actions, accountable for our decisions — a place free from turbulence.
It is that part from where our inner eyes choose to blink while looking at the world as we step outside the realm of reality into the dimension of thoughtfulness. It is at this place that we stir up the reservoir of proactivity; the well of deposits from our many years of gathering.
This is a place where answers abound when life takes on the likeness of a circus or when the sounds around us begin to resonate in unrecognisable shrills and words like stand-offs begin to take an irritatingly monotonous tone.
US preacher T.D. Jakes calls it a place of exclusivity that one leaves for God; a place no-one else should go into or touch; our sanctuary; our altar; a private place of worship; a place with no addictions and where we release all our cares and worries.
It was to a place such as this that I recoiled when confronted by a tough-talking female of the species that sought to explain her hardline stand on issues pertaining to rights, wrong-doing and outcomes. As the veins in her neck stood out in agitated protest, I dug deeper into my internal home, unfuzzled and looking for just the right answers to counter her fast-spilling points.
Looking for perforations and inconsistencies in her arguments, my inner self boiled over with an authoritative delivery of answers, which I did not know I had, but which I knew had been implanted through years of life, years of living.
Our divisions are clearly fuelled by the talks that we engage in. Hatred is woven in the dens we inhabit, talking ill of people who do not share our culture or our skin colour. A monster is thus born out of a people united in hatred against another. Spewing venom against those that do things differently from us — the hideous monster gains life infecting our minds with its poison.
And even as we pretend to share our offices, our roads or our public facilities with people with different beliefs and traditions from us; the monster lies smoldering in rage and vindictiveness, feeding off our partisan talks as we retreat into our dens of viperage.
We might even be seen in pews bent over in fervent prayer, but if the teachings of He who gave us life cannot be practised, then we remain hypocritical in our praise and worship. If we cannot be the bigger man or woman and extend a genuine olive branch to our perceived enemies; if we cannot delve into that place occupied by our greatest values, that place where answers are cosmic, where bad will never be substituted for good; if we cannot stir our subconscious for the best alternatives that embrace humanity, that preach love and forgiveness, that show the way; that place where our hideous monster must be stifled for our survival, then all that we have upheld becomes naught.
We remain our own worst enemies; endowed with answers but perceptually challenged, stereotypically inclined, educated but foolish, enlightened but unassertive. And even as the discomfort, loss and helplessness of the displaced evokes no emotion in us, it remains to be seen how much we will be able to handle the pain when we become the wearer of the proverbial other person’s shoe.