Let us think while we rest

Let us think while we rest

In the darkness of the night, there are stars to guide the way of the traveller in the night, and if there be clouds, there is the innately acquired instinct of following those paths one knows, or can in spur of the moment see in the faint lines traced by nature, time, and creature across the landscapes the road to the destination follows; the night is in actual fact not totally dark, or, so dark that no paths can be seen: even the dark clouds reflect the light from the stars in the night sky, and in a storm, the flashes of lightning are bright enough to point the way to he or she that wants to reach their destination despite or in spite of the prevailing impediments or predicaments in the way of the traveller.
We as the human race travel the long paths of history, and we follow the long road of life with its varied stops or destinies.

The path of the society begins in the heart of the individual, for the community travels at the behest and through the guidance of those individuals that can garner the spirit of the pioneer or the traveller that knows as fact that the achievement of a goal and the reaching of a destiny is the result of varied pilgrimages into the unknown; human progress is birthed in the minds of those that know as a reality that knowledge that leads the individual and the society is often begot of the will to go out on quests for knowledge: we have to travel long distances to gather the experience we need to progress, to improve our current status, and to ultimately reach the desirable condition of contentment, a kind of contentment that one gets from knowing their basic needs are covered, that there is peace of mind, or if not in its totality, at least a feasible semblance thereof.

From time to time, the weariness of the road of life demands that we rest, if only for a while or for a long moment of repose. We rest to gather strength for the road, or to review the maps which we follow to reach the desired destination.

The lull is the period in which we gather our thoughts, and eke the bits of inspiration necessary to lighten the load on our shoulders and to ease the tread of our feet across the rugged landscapes of history and time.

The mystic Credo Mutwa spoke of the wisdom of travelling and the acquisition of knowledge systems previously foreign to the individual that encounters them. The main reason for this is:

Africa’s education system is hands on. You cannot simply read a lot of text books and get a handle on indigenous knowledge. As Amadou Hampate Ba states, “It is a living tradition.” Nature is the text book and there are certain things you can witness in nature in one location that you cannot witness in another. This is why one must travel to experience the phenomenon in its natural environment.

We travel the landscapes of history on the shoulders of the modes of production used to sustain the economies that feed, clothe, and shelter us.
We maintain law and order necessary for harmonious human interaction through the various monarchic, capitalist, and communist legislative and political systems devised for the sole purpose of keeping us focused on the main goal that is human progress.

All of these and other methods of maintaining peaceful human interaction for the sake of progress are necessary, and their necessity stems from the need to have a world that can sustain the human race and other creature and plant races well into the future.
No system should infringe so much on the others that it renders them ineffectual and impotent.

What the state is experiencing in political terms at this moment in time should not mean that we cannot interact as neighbours, as civil servants and citizens naturally bequeathed by history to see to the progress of this land in economic development and other necessary terms.

The political lull offers the opportunity for the state to review the fallacies of the past, and to look to neighbours and allies for support in implementing systems and strategies that will at the end of the day benefit not only the citizens of Lesotho, but also prove Lesotho a beneficial ally to countries it shares common and varied global development visions with.

The mystic may seem different from the medical doctor, but both heal the ills that plague members of society; the similarity between what was previously deemed different can only be found if the previously seemingly different are put to the task: one task that demands the solution of one problem through the use of varied contributions from individuals with different backgrounds and experiences. We have to be hands on to know the root to the problem, and we have to be hands-on in the provision of the solutions to such a problem.

From a citizen’s point of view I have always known that there was a problem with the way we view political rule and governance; victories after elections are celebrated as one would celebrate the win by a local team against its archrival from a different district or village.

This kind of view makes sense to people with individualistic tendencies that have so far only managed to run this beautiful country and kingdom into the rut we now seem to be in.
Political rule and governance is not a game where one side stands to benefit just because they voted for a given political party that won the polls; this is the old way of viewing politics of ‘divide-and-rule’ as taught by the colonial master to the native.

The understanding we should all have is that government of any kind and sort is there for the benefit of the harmonious running of the state and not the satisfaction of a few individuals with divided interests of dubious nature. That one should proclaim themselves to be the patriot when they are absent when the poor and the unemployed in certain sectors of society add numbers at alarming rates on a daily basis is to me hypocrisy of the worst kind.

That some individuals treat a seat of political power as a bullet in a magazine that grants them the power to do as they please is deplorable behaviour and weakness of character.
The seat of power in parliament or any other house of governance grants the elected the power to deliver on the promises they made during the long campaigns to get elected into office.
Elected into office and resting on the laurels of victory just means that such an individual did not have the right intentions in the first place, that is; they proclaimed concerns at the poor state of affairs whilst they were in actual fact only interested in the facile benefits that come with the ascendancy into the given office of power.

This lull should have us all reviewing our intentions, for out of those intentions will come the actions that will either save or sink this state when next we choose to “elect” someone into the offices of civil service.

If the intention is, on the part of the voter, only to please one party and snub the other on some purpose other than the progress of the state, then it is an intention whose actions we might come to rue. Forced by fate and circumstance, the mother hen scratches the ground from day to day in search of the worm or the nub of grain that guarantees both its survival and the sustenance of her brood.

It is a seemingly tedious travail, but to the individual that has allowed themselves to take of the lesson of the scratching hen and the foraging ant, it is the timeless Afrikaans poem of the hen scratching the ground for food; “Laar hier, kiep, kiep…laar daar, kiep, kiep!”(Kick here, dump, dump… kick there, dump, dump!).

Our struggles to survive are only struggles if we only see them as such, we only hear them as songs if we do not fall into the trap of drowning in self pity and look to others (our oppressors) for salvation.

In a period that marks the changing of the guard in political terms, it would be to our advantage if we listen to the words of such prominent figures as the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping:
We have to beware not to fall into the snare of division or Westernisation. We cannot . . . we cannot use the excuse of reform for our own interests.

The Basotho were united as one as a nation, and despite being from different tribal and ethnic backgrounds, found the will and cause to stand together to defend their country.
Even better, they found common songs in battle, or whilst at work in a Letsema (communal work); they sang in the face of the challenges that faced them and whatever activity it was they were engaged in, the song/s they sang were common to all of them engaged in the processes that guaranteed their progress.

Division was never an occurrence, unity was the reality before the maladies as taught by western cultures of individualism came along and scattered the seeds in the granaries of Moshoeshoe oa Pele to the winds of division.

The government that follows this one will surely come with reforms, but they should be aware that those reforms are to the benefit of all, and not the pipedreams of old whose compositions sang with pride how bright the diamonds we dig are while the majority of the population lives in the darkness of poverty, or, how full our streams are while the people suffer with thirst, and the water bills are so expensive that we might as well have been nomads living in the Sahara or the Kalahari. Political divisions give birth to nepotism (a virulent form of self-interest), corruption, and under performance.

While we rest for a while this time, the paths forward should be clarified. What Asian countries have achieved is a lesson we perhaps should now learn to follow; the old ways have served us none except open us up to exploitation and servitude, even though we are rich in resources natural and human that can lead to us being economic development contenders of high standing.

Letsema . . . Letsema . . . the term comes several times, and the meanings thereof are as bright as the stars that point the way to progress. I am not talking of the kind of Matsema (the plural form of Letsema) where one benefits from the efforts of many as is now fashionably used by exploiters posing as saviours.

I am thinking of the old way where the community would unite as one unit in the solution of the problems of one of the members of society, or of the society as a whole. Whether ploughing or building a house, clearing weeds or digging a well, we were united; then, we understood that the stars in the sky were there for a purpose: we understood that common problems sought united effort to be solved.

The illusion that help would come from somewhere and not from within ourselves was not as popular as it now seems to be. The solution to the problems we face lies in our believing that the answers we seek can be found in our midst; within ourselves and not from somewhere beyond the hill. In search of knowledge, I came across the quote by the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping:

Happiness does not fall out of the blue, and dreams will not come true by themselves. We need to be down-to-earth and work hard.
We should uphold the idea that working hard is the most honourable, noblest, greatest and most beautiful virtue.

Being down-to-earth not only means that one is humble, it means that one is prepared to go back to the drawing table and get down to work as a hen does to solve prevailing economic development problems.

Cultivating a culture of working hard will grant one the opportunity of passing down the knowledge to those that need it, that is, the next generation.
Mudslinging is the same as throwing stones in a glass house, meaning that there will be no house at all tomorrow, and teaching the poor that they should learn to employ their hands if they cannot find employment should be paramount.

Giving in to the problem and not teaching each other ways of getting out of it and fighting over meagre resources will only lead to the state being a perpetual waif.
Poverty and underdevelopment have their roots in the minds of the individual citizens, and that is where we should first start the process of excising them. Let us think while we rest. Forget the political wars . . .

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