“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting the great battle”

The title is a quote by Philo of Alexandria or Plato depending on your source. It is one of my favourite quotes and I try my best to meet people with this in mind. To try to remember it and to attempt to listen to their presence knowing that they do have a story and a cross to carry.

One of my best friends wrote me an email as a response to this post I wrote about inheritance. The inheritance I spoke to was not of the material kind, it is more of the intangible kind. Read it and see if you can relate.

I asked if I could post her thoughts as a post of it’s own because it touched me deeply and it was a string of precious truth. I think it’s valubable to share it. Here are her thoughts.

“…the real reason for my email is just to share my thoughts with you after I read your blog about inheritance.
I was overjoyed when I knew that I’ve found a person I could open my heart to about my own feelings.

I too feel like I’ve inherited something. Guilt, that I dont want or need in my life. It is not mine,
but now I am bearing the cross. I am angry, so angry that because of the mere lack of pigment in my skin
I take on that guilt. Maybe I’m angry at myself for allowing it in, maybe I’m angry at others for making me
feel that way.

In my class of 45 sutdents, I am the only white person. I dont feel any different to my fellow students.
I get on the 3rd class carriage of the train and ride with them to wherever I go, because thats what I would have
done anyway if I was alone. But somehow they see me differently. They think I get treated better by the college<
they think I have perks. And that hurts. They think I do well in my test because of what I look like. They think I have
it easy. When topics discussed in class visit the past, i feel horrible. And guilty, and ashamed. But I also feel alone.

I see amazing relationships between people which just restores my faith in humanity.
I want to drive to the middle of the desert, stop along the side of an abandoned road,
take the cross of my shoulders, and leave it there. I want to watch it disappear into dust in the rearview mirror.

I guess all I wanted to say to you is, i know how you feel. We carry heavy things because we are thinkers
and because we have open hearts and we care. Thats a good thing. ANd that makes the load a little lighter.

I love you my dear friend Didi…”

What are your thoughts on inheritance? I think in South Africa it is a deep question which opens raw wounds. It’s not a subject that we as a nation are really ready to face (with all its pain and truth) and therefore allow ourselves the forgiveness and right to move on. I wish us the bravery to go to that uncomfortable place and work with it. Feel it and then come up for air and move forward in a new way.

It’s delicate.

(Source of image)


What have you inherited?

The last couple of weeks and days have felt like I have been a circus performer, juggling all kinds of tasks and thoughts, while performing multiple tricks in the kitchen including illusions (part realities depending on your perspective) of abundance.

So writing has been on my mind but not quite coming out in the form which I would like it to. But here I am finally; letting the words occupying my mind free.

About 2 weeks ago we had the pleasure of having Charles Eisenstein as a contributor. He was and is phenomenal (In case you have not read or heard about his work yet, look here). During his week I took the opportunity to be really honest with my community about something that has been weighing heavily on my shoulders, head and heart. It is a heaviness that follows me everywhere I go and is constantly there, it just sleeps sometimes, but it is always there.

What is this weight I speak of? Well, I have a lot of ANGER. An anger about the pain I carry, anger about inequality, anger about race relations, anger about South Africa and the situation my generation and I have inherited.

This anger does not always feel like mine, to be really honest, it feels like something built into my DNA, engraved into my bones. Something I have no choice about carrying and dealing with. Something which has been passed down to me due to the fact that it was unresolved in years before my arrival on this earth. I can’t quite put my finger on it. But I feel it so strongly sometimes, that it feels like the gall bladder in my body has burst and the bile is contaminating my internal structure, poisining my every cell, my every organ and affecting my thought patterns and actions. I hate it. I feel so bitter. Unbearable. Unloveable. Unable to love.

Coming to YIP has been a challenge in allowing this anger to be, in a constructive way. A way that can bring enlightenment and awareness instead of darkness. I still feel like I need to consciously reign it in – not always in the healithiest ways. Clearly, a long journey lies ahead of me in working with this heavy sandbag. Sometimes I feel ready and up for it and other times I fear going there because it is so exhausting.

I do want to work with this anger. I want to explore it, examine it closely and understand it. It is here to bring some sort of truth to me and others. It in necessary. Although that is hard to swallow.

There is a part of me that feels that this anger (more specifically about racial inequality in South Africa), wants to give birth to something beautiful, something transformational, it wants to be the mother to something easier to pass on to those that come after me to continue working with. A lesser anger perhaps, a more pleasant truth. I’m not yet sure what it is exactly and how I will bring it into being. It will come, I know it will and it will be beautiful and it will buid and not destroy. on second thoughts it may destroy, it may destroy in order to allow a new foundation and a new reality to come about.

This makes me think about what legacy we leave behind…

What habits, actions, words are you releasing into the world today that are going to affect those that follow you on this earth? Long after you have gone, turned to dust, what precious treasure or ugly truth will you leave behind for someone else to walk on this earth with, engraved into their bones, sprouting from their DNA, being carried on their shoulders?

What have you inherited due to those that came before you? I mean physically (offcourse) but also emotionally and mentally – even spiritually, those intangible yet very real aspects? What are you walking around with that does not feel like yours, that which now belongs to you but feels inherited?

(Source of image)