So, loss first. Over the past couple of months my life has been going through a sort of spring cleaning. A number of people have exited out of it and for the most part I’m a fair amount better for it.
But there are a couple of people who have left that I thought more of. I believed that no matter what they would still be around. And the reasons they left seem almost trivial to me.
Now, I know that those reasons are not trivial, I am not in any way saying that they don’t have a good reason or that they should not have left. It might have been important to them, it may have been absolutely necessary for reasons beyond what I was privy to, but to me it seems random and unnecessary and in one case hurtful (not that the other case didn’t hurt but that’s because of the loss, not the way it was done.)
The first of those losses I’m pretty sure I’ve spoken of before, a friend who wanted more and who constantly pushed for it even though we had agreed that it wouldn’t happen.
The other I haven’t spoken about recently. In that case it was also because of wanting more that things deteriorated, but in this case we had agreed it wasn’t going to work, at least not in the situations that we were in. And so I thought that we were moving on.
And so I did.
And then that person removed themselves from my life.
It’s a loss that I suspected might come, but it didn’t make it any easier to deal with and I think it might have been one of the things holding me back of late, preventing me from focusing on writing and the like. Keeping me binge watching Criminal Minds and playing stupid games instead of the things that I really want to be doing or playing.
I’ll admit though, the binge watching hasn’t been so bad.
Onto the next topic, definitions.
Recently there have been a number of people on social media in South Africa saying stupid things like Colonialism is a good thing because of (insert reason here). First off, there are a number of things that annoy me about the outcry around all of this, and in many cases I’m pretty understanding of both sides.
In some cases I feel like things are taken out of context and then turned on the people in question, the hyper-sensitivity causing an outcry over a message that has been twisted to suit a certain narrative.
In other cases I feel like people are being truly bigoted and purposefully trying to cause hurt and hate around them.
And then in others I feel like people are being ignorant.
Right, here goes me actually weighing in on something.
Recently Helen Zille made a statement seemingly defending colonialism. She said a number of short-sighted and honestly stupid things about the country, distancing herself from the people she clearly is supposed to be a part of. The article I read was fairly scathing of her, and I think rightfully so, but the comments were mostly either apologetic of her, listing all the things she did in the apartheid era, or otherwise defensive with the whole ‘it’s a problem because she’s white’ line.
Now, the point she was trying to make was that good things came of Colonialism. I feel that yes, there were side effects that were not bad, the ones that she mentioned.
However, that was not colonialism. That was scientific progress.
Colonialism, in my view, is the subjugation of nations by another. Subjugation in any form is not something to be applauded.
Scientific Progress is self explanatory and we see it every day. The computers we work on, the TVs we buy, the mobile networks we use, the medicines we take… all of those things are scientific progress, and we did not need colonialism to get the latest gadgets.
Humanity is about experimentation. Through experimentation we have arrived at systems that work, constitutions, judiciary systems and the like all had a number of iterations before they arrived where they are today. Yes, colonialism spread the systems we now take for granted but it was not necessary. In the end, seeing something working and working well for someone else leads to us trying the same and if it works great, if it doesn’t, adapt or find something different. Again, it’s how people work.
So although her point of ‘Colonialism brought these things to South Africa’ stands, it is not a point that can be used to defend the horrors that are colonialism in general.
Anyway, there’s my little political rant 😛
Comments and debate are always welcome 🙂