Every culture, every nation, every people is responsible for what they have made familiar. The truth has been its most tragic casualty and everything else is seen and interpreted with its head and not its heart, making invisible all that it is does not wish to see around it. Eventually it limits understanding, thereby contradicting the human conviction that humans are capable of an understanding rooted in context and conscience. It reduces change as a continuous process to a series of disconnected events that is unable to offer a life giving pathway. In essence, rather than leading towards a positive and healthy direction of human development, it takes small insecure steps, afraid of its own shadow.
The idea that progression means moving from a lower to a higher state of being has been problematic in human history and is derived from an old Euro-centric view of life. It is marked by a dichotomy in the same way that it has been responsible for dividing humankind into two perceptual categories – the individual and the State, by negating all other forms of human life and human organization. The exclusive dualistic understanding of humankind is contrary to non-Euro worldview, but nevertheless they continue to languish from this legacy that came along with colonialism.
Human experience and empirical knowledge raises the question, is the Euro-centric dualistic perception of humankind an erroneous illusion that has done more damage than good? This directly challenges the notion of progress which centers on materialistic progression in which the lower must succumb to make way for the higher. Appalling sacrifices have been made for such relentless materialistic progress, trampling over everything in its way and justifying all the sacrifices made in the name of progress. This is driven by the idea that only the strongest survive and where the end justifies the means.
Humankind has been reduced to objects of history and systems that suppresses and denies the basic human worth and dignity of people are upheld and legitimized in the name of progress. Only those capable for producing and consuming are seen as potential resources for use, but if they show signs of resistance, they like those that challenge the status quo are seen as hindrance to materialistic progress and are alienated and marginalized in a sophisticated way. These systems that perpetuate structural oppression and push people to the margins are what stand in the way of human development.
It has resulted in a disorientation that has usurped common sense and perhaps it is time to reflect and discern upon not just others culture, but also one’s own culture and honestly identify what the heart is saying. It is reassuring to know that when knowledge and wisdom listens intensely to the heart, it will reorient itself to the truth and upon discovering the realities, the human mind will be persuaded to do justice by finding purpose in creating an inclusive culture of respect and dignity through life-giving systems.
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