Thursday, 4 December 2014

The blind I

Growing up, I would hear people talking about “turning a blind eye”. As a young girl whose first language was far from English, I didn’t understand the meaning of this and I would think, 'what is the point in turning the eye if it can’t see anyway'?

Yesterday I experienced a young woman raising her walking stick to her mother and beating her, in front of her 4 year old son, and if you think there’s something wrong with that picture, the fact that it happened at a shopping mall makes it even worse. As though that was not enough, instead of people doing something about it, spectators were having a chuckle about it. "What have I missed?" I remember asking myself, when did we as a people stop seeing a need to step in? When did we lose our sense of right? Have we become so accustomed to injustice and abuse that we do not see it for what it is anymore? I remember a people that would stand up for each other, a people who would call out a wrong regardless of who performed it, where did that people disappear to?

Yes, it’s none of my business how they do their relationship, but I choose to make it my business the minute I remember that “the silence of the righteous causes evil to thrive”. See, my business is not what they are fighting about or the fact that they are fighting, but it is that I have not become desensitised to injustice, my eye has not been blinded by self-centeredness and a sense of "if it does not affect me I couldn't be bothered". 

I was raised in a generation when it took a village, a nation to raise a generation. I was socialised in an era where my heart’s eye was trained to see every elder as someone deserving dignity and respect, regardless of whether they were my kin or not. I wonder, where did we go wrong as a people? For a people who are so easily concerned about how the one celebrity cheated on this with the other and make it their business to follow and support people they might never meet, it intrigues me that a mere hand is not stretched to those within immediate reach. How did a gap so wide develop?

If you had seen what I experienced from a distance, you would have been sure that people were watching a comedian on stage or some other form of entertainment that rendered them unable to hold back their giggles. The dismay at seeing what was happening forced me to act, and I don’t know what the end result will be, but I hope that people who were there will learn that it helps to act, that to make the slightest effort possible is necessary.

There is a need for the "power of one" to be reawakened in people. The need for blind folds to come off surpasses my ability to express it in words.

Well, it turns out that my understanding of "turning a blind eye" was not too far off the point after all. I think we no longer turn a blind eye, but we have become a “blind I". I ask myself, is this how we want the world to be for our children, a selfish life filled with no compassion?


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