#seedsmustfall

We will never see a unified and prosperous South Africa without sacrifice. Blacks will be quick to point out that they are the one’s who have sacrificed the most already! My gut instinct is that it is true, but then I wonder about the distinction between sacrifice and suffering. Black people have suffered. Sacrifice implies voluntary laying down of comfort and privilege. I look around me and I wonder what black sacrifice, not suffering looks like today? Sacrifice is when you want to sacrifice, not when it is thrust upon you. Pertaining to biological relations, I see a lot of sacrifice and the idea of black tax certainly includes the ‘burden’ of looking after biological family. When it comes to kids, parents and siblings I see a lot of sacrifice. Why I don’t include this type of sacrifice in the definition under discussion in this specific writing, is because it is natural, almost an animal instinct for us to look after our family.

The sacrifice I’m calling for is not suffering due to lack of means, nor is it based on natural affinity. I am talking about giving away comforts and security in order for strangers to benefit. I am talking about giving without an immediate feedback loop. The sacrifice I refer to impacts the type of whisky I drink and the brand of shoes I wear, it impacts the car I purchase and the house I live in. The sacrifice I speak of gives up an expensive holiday so someone else can study or it takes someone along on that unaffordable holiday.

Due to the suffering black people went through, their call to sacrifice is mostly not material today, although it is also not uncommon. Some black friends have told me they sacrifice their violence, not killing or chasing us whites. That type of ‘sacrifice’ sounds to me like the rightwing Afrikaners who think they ‘sacrificed’ in 1994 by allowing democracy without putting up a fight. Threats of violence turns us into animals, ruled by survival of the fittest and there is no place for moral discussion and neighbourly  love in such a dog eat dog competitive world. Hence my refusal to entertain such self-righteous threats; from both sides.

While black people will indeed not ‘catch up’ as a group without letting go of certain constructs, white people, soaked in privilege are the ones who really need face the mirror of self and history. There are poor whites who do not have money, they don’t have education, they don’t have confidence and they don’t have style. Even they have certain things they need to sacrifice in order to be free. It might be false notions of superiority or it might be booze. Still, my writing is aimed at those wealthy whites who call themselves middle class. I am one of these whites and what I write for my brothers and sisters, I write for myself.

We need to firstly sacrifice our tendency to be smart ass. We need to sacrifice our need to always be right and that implies learning to change our minds. Our thoughts are well protected by our emotions.  And that makes us stupid. We are trapped by our own fear and hurt. When considering topics such as BBBEE, land reform, Afrikaans at state universities, quotas in sport and many others, we need to lay down our de facto stance and defence. We will gain more by exploring context, history and answering the why questions. As whites, we tend to cling to things gone by, and that clinging is what stops us from moving forward. Anger and resentment, despite being misplaced has the power to literally destroy your life and your happiness.  Who are you angry at? What makes you angry? Welcome to your prison.

Jesus was very smart. He said that #seedsmustfall. Jesus told us that something’s gotta give. Paul reiterated that we will gain our life after losing it; a mystery few of us have discovered. We cling. How and where can I allow things to die in my life, things that when sacrificed will produce an unexpected harvest.  We are trapped in cycles of selfishness, schooled in consumerism we became addicted to laagers of comfort and security. Sacrifice can break open these laagers as others are invited in. The first thing to sacrifice is the idea that you are in a war, the us vs them battle is an illusion. Where we see enemies we should be seeing family, not biological family, but human family.

Afrikaner Leerwerk

Ek’t ‘n stelletjie gereedskap gekoop om met leerwerk as stokperdjie te begin. Vir diegene wat van dag tot dag met mense werk, sal dit nie verrassend wees om te hoor ek wil iets met my hande doen en ‘n eindproduk wat tasbaar is kan vashou aan die einde van die dag nie. Maar leerwerk is ook ‘n lekker metafoor. Die letters l, e, e en r langs mekaar geskryf is ‘n goeie voorbeeld van hoe dieselfde ding verskillende betekenisse kan hê, afhangend van konteks. In ons land word ‘n groot bohaai gemaak oor dekolonialisasie en ek hoef niemand te herinner dat, ten spyte van ons stryd met die Kakies, ons as Afrikaners die kolonialiste is in die storie van Suid Afrika nie. Nietemin, is ons verhouding met die souties gereeld vir my kosbare stof tot nadenke. Party Suid-Afrikaners dink dit is teenstrydig met swart bewussyn om goed te leer Engels praat. Ons Boere weet al te goed dat taal ‘n stuk gereedskap is en dat taal in mag vertaal. As jy nie ‘n domkop wil wees nie, moet jy leer. Die eerste keer toe ek ‘n Engelsman in ‘n groepie hoor sê iemand is ‘condescending’, toe kyk ek vir water en kondensasie! Net so lyk dit my party van ons, wanneer daar oor restitusie gepraat word, verwar die woorde ‘constitution’ met ‘constipation’ en alhoewel die twee soms verband hou in ons ervaringsvelde, beteken hulle iets heel verskillend.

Ek werk deesdae met leer en ek leer om te leer. My eerste iPhone sakkie lyk maar gehawend, maar ek is seker die derde of vierde pogings sal mooi genoeg wees om as geskenkies uit te deel.Ek moet leer reguit sny met ‘n skerp messie, sonder om oor die lyne te gaan. Soms sny ek waar ek nie bedoel het om te sny nie en soms maak ek ‘n groot gekrappige gemors waar ‘n kliniese lyntjie gesny of getrek moes word. Ek leer stik met die hand. Soms stik ek aan nuwe idees en woorde, veral gespreek van onder ‘n rooi kappie op ‘n kwaadkop. Met my nuwe stokperdjie leer ek om mooi goedjies te maak en om goedjies mooi te maak. Die byvoordeel is dat ek dinge skep wat ander dinge beskerm. En dit is dalk my voorbehoud in Suid Afrika in 2016; nie om weg te hardloop of terug te trek nie, maar om iets te skep deur kreatiewe toepassing sodat my pêrels nie êrens lê waar iets of iemand daarop kan trap nie. Met ‘n leeromhulseltjie kan ek steeds reis en op avonture gaan, want daar’s ‘n lagie dikvelligheid rondom dit wat vir my kosbaar is.

In my groeiproses en gespartel met Engels, moes ek uitpluis wat ‘homogenous’ en ‘impasse’ beteken en in my groeiproses en spartel met my land moes ek uitpluis dat ons deur die ‘impasse’ kan kom deur uit ons ‘homogenous’ groepies te beweeg in politiek, ekonomie, kerk en sosiaal. As mens leer natmaak, buig dit makliker en ek besef hoe ryk metafoor water is: water wat stort en water wat doop; waarin moet ek my onderdompel of deurdrenk om toe te laat dat ek ook gebuig en gevorm kan word, sonder om my krag te verloor? Ons ken van genadereën en ek besef ek moet toelaat of ooplaat, sodat ek deurdrenk kan word met ‘n naasteliefde wat ‘n baie wyer naaste insluit en innooi. 

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