A mirage of progress


My mother delivered some infuriating news at the beginning of this week. A tale of people who, in their quest for 'progress' betray their origins. 

Exhibit A
It is common practice where I'm from, for a man to name his first son after his father and his first daughter after his mother. It is a sign of respect and pride in who you are, your people and where you come from. In this case, a man's daughter is named after her grandmother – a beautiful name which makes me think of strength, dignity and beauty. A name that this man gave to his daughter and is now effectively taking away with claims that it is primitive. Since when have you heard of a name being primitive? An idea, maybe, a practice, yes, but a name? Such is the story. And the girl, an adult I might add, who I've known by that 'primitive' name since the day she was born, has apparently bought into this shunning of her own identity.

Exhibit B
A party, thrown by somebody to celebrate a significant life event. One would assume that this would be a time of merriment and thanksgiving, surrounded by family. Yet, the host purposely does not invite his mothers*, women who have been there for him throughout his life. Why? Because they are apparently 'primitive'. I won't even get into how hurtful that must have been for the ladies in question – to know that you have been excluded from something because of who you are, the decade you were born in, the place…

It all makes me angry, sad and amazed.

Angry that those amazing ladies were insulted like that. Sad that people do not seem to realise that such actions are really attacks on their own self and actually achieve the very opposite of what they were intending – to appear progressive. They only act to expose the holes. Amazed that people can go on so long with these illusions. 

I guess it all boils down to an obsession with appearances due to lack of self-love and appreciation. It's crazy how much time we spend on crafting appearances. What would happen if we spent all that time, energy and resource on discovering and genuinely improving our true selves?

What's your observation of self-loathing? Ideas for recovery?


*where I'm from, your mother's sisters are your mothers just the same (and the same goes for her brothers being your fathers).

Image: primitive or paradise? Photo taken in Zanzibar by Lulu Kitololo.

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