Sunday, 20 May 2012

African Whisper Column: The Existential Crisis


Rochelle Jacobs - Stellenbosch
all comments will be forwarded on to Rochelle for reply


The Existential Crisis


The wind blows outside like a maniacal witch on a quest for destruction.

Or retribution.

As though the earth protests its abuse and demands justice, as though the injured souls of the damaged cry out for vengeance.

And, closeted behind rattling doors, with glass panes and wood panels, I sit and contemplate my life. In painful moments I recall the stupidest decisions I have made; the way I have let myself be abused, and the way I have abused others. For agonizing hours I relive the most painful of my memories - the nights I have cried myself into fitful sleep, and the nightmares that still haunt me. And then my own self-pitying thoughts turn to thoughts of other's pain - of the world and the hell we've put each other through.

I imagine my beloved country - my beautiful Africa - as she should be... as she COULD be.

I imagine standing and telling the world what the world needs to hear - my voice cracking with emotion, my eyes filled with tears. Mostly, I imagine what would happen if the world actually LISTENED. I imagine what I would say - what ANYONE would say, if they had the guts and the opportunity to say it...I imagine standing and shouting out the anguish I feel with the passion I feel it! I imagine saying: "ENOUGH! Enough rape, enough murder, enough hardship! Enough pain! Enough blood has been spilled to stain our world red and enough anguished tears have been ignored to fill our depleting oceans! Enough of the tragedy: that has become the human condition.


I am a living, breathing soul such as any on Earth. I have the same blood in my veins, I breathe the same air in my lungs, and I feel the same sadness and love!


What does race, country, colour matter?

What matters is love and passion and hope - love of your family, passion for your country, hope for our world!

What are we without love?

It separates us from monsters and gives us the ability to better ourselves.

Who are we without passion?

It gives us our purpose, our drive, our will to continue bettering our actions.

Where are we without hope?

It gives us a dream, a future and the determination to better our world!

What is one without the other?

What is love without the passion to fight for it and the hope to help endure it's hardships?

When did mankind become self-reliant, self-sustained and self-absorbed?

When did we trade compassion for selfishness and when will we wake from the delusion that it will get us anywhere?

When did pure cruelty become acceptable and kindness laughable?

When did true love become only the topic of bad fiction and lose it's raw power and possibility?

When did cynicism become the way of the wise and optimism a foolish dream?

When did family become a second option and money a requirement?

When did these problems cease to be seen as a problem?!

When will the world awaken from the nightmare it's been caught in and realize the truth?


The truth that it doesn't matter how much money you have if you've never loved; the truth that it doesn't matter how much work you do if it only betters you; the truth that mankind is not isolated but intertwined - looking after others is looking after yourself!


The smoke that pollutes America floats over Africa too. A person is not a person without other people! Look at yourself and examine YOUR truth!

Are YOU happy?

Are those around you happy?

Has your life been fair?

Have YOUR ACTIONS been fair?

Are YOU all you can be?

Have YOU achieved all you can achieve?

Have you helped OTHERS achieve all they can achieve?

Is the world a better place because you existed?




And I imagine how, if I really said all these things and the world really listened, she would remain silent. She would look at me and have no answer. And maybe, just maybe, she would take to heart what I said and change her ways. And maybe the cries of the injured souls would no longer require justice - content in the knowledge that good now prevails over evil - and maybe the world would begin to regenerate, recuperate, and rejoice.


And maybe, life would go on with love and passion, and the wind would stop howling about pain and blow with soft whispers of hope instead.

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