Winning the War Against Self
We are at war both with things seen and things not seen. We are at war with things and people set in place to destroy our identity, our hope, our history as Afrikans, our brotherhood, our dignity and our future. But woe to him who is at war but does not know it. He thinks everybody is his friend and by that he is destroyed.
Sometimes, some of the daily battles in this war are lost because those from among us are giving room to their/our enemies to undermine our dignity as Afrikans and our Afrikan heritage, by their selfish and ungodly attitudes and behaviors. I will use a few rebukes and much more love and correction to bring home my point in this article.
The WAR on self
In all of the wars that we face each day as Afrikans, both at home and in the diaspora, the greatest among them all is the war that we don’t often pay attention to. That is, The WAR against ourselves. And because the war against self is always the most intense and most dangerous, this article will be solely about winning the war against self.
If there is what 2020 has taught me and the team at Msingi Afrika Magazine, it is that we all have the opportunity to be the best we can be and that no one really can stop another man (the Afrikan) from becoming who they were meant to be and no one can make another man change their stand or stands on any subject. We all are painters of our own portraits and whatever each one paints of themselves is what men will see. Especially, if they (the Afrikan) do not relinquish their lives and destinies into the hands of modern day slavers. It is therefore of utmost importance for every Afrikan, wherever they may be in the world, to begin to look inward and begin to see and truly appreciate the war of identity raging inside and the inferiority complex which that war created and which has left behind an internal chaotic situation like a battle torn city. And by wisdom, now begin to make new adjustments in mindsets and attitudes and approaches to life and the Afrikan narrative, if truly we want emancipation.
The Afrikan problem, in as much as it has a lot to do with external influences, has much more to do with self influencing decisions and choices that are based mostly on self-preservation which has created nothing more than distrust and bad behavior among Afrikans. So the war on self is not about fighting oneself or even others, but about doing all that is required to allow and also bring oneself to become the best that is available. So it’s a fight to remove self-inhibiting thoughts, ideologies, concepts, mindsets, programming and the many other internal and external self-inhibitors towards the place of true emancipation. We have to win these wars and it begins with you that is reading right now.
A look at 2020
Every New Year brings with itself new thoughts, new ideas, new realities, new friends, new hopes and even new challenges. However, none of these new things are meant to become to us excuses for inertia but to give us new opportunities to become our best.
2021 is a mighty walk away from the never seen before 2020, at least in our modern era. But beyond the walk away, 2020 is the year where each person was shown just how much life can actually stop spinning and that it is possible that people can actually pause to think outside the box. That is possible for people to remove their heads from under whatever sands they have kept them and take time out to rethink their lives.
For us at Msingi, 2020 was the best year ever in modern history. However, 2021 is deeper than 2020 in that it is the year where all you have learned about yourself in 2020 and reviewed, can be the basis for living out the best of yourself. Meaning that, if you have learned in 2020 that the life of hostility towards others is not wise, then you now have the opportunity to really live out the reality of that new learning. If you have learned that in the face of a pandemic, your fine cars and fine jets really don’t make a difference since borders can actually be closed and lock-down imposed, then this is the best time to now live out the truth that the life of love, loving, brotherhood, kindness and compassion for others is what really makes us who we are as humans. So 2020 is a beautiful year, but 2021 is the year to bring out that beauty.
No time to waste
Sincerely speaking, none of us have the benefit of another year to waste again on trivial things that do not add to the best versions of ourselves. And none of us have the luxury of time and resources to keep flogging the past and our mistakes in them. It is time to be the best Afrikans that we can be. And the one sure way, among many other ways to do that, is to stop the war against ourselves, the wars against our brothers, the wars against our Afrikaness. Wars of which Afrikan country is better than the other or which Afrikan country has more criminal citizens than the others and the many other mindless things we do against ourselves.
I read a post of on Facebook about the late Mandela. It’s a short excerpt from a book, I think, but one which holds a very strong key to moving Afrika forward. It says:
“After becoming President, I asked some of my bodyguard members to go for a walk in town. After the walk, we went for lunch at a restaurant. We sat in one of the most central ones, and each of us asked what we wanted.
After a bit of waiting, the waiter who brought our menus appeared, at that moment I realized that at the table that was right in front of ours there was a single man waiting to be served.
When he was served, I told one of my soldiers: go ask that man to join us. The soldier went and transmitted my invitation. The man stood up, took the plate and sat next to me. While eating, his hands were constantly shaking and he didn’t lift his head from the food. When we finished, he waved at me without even looking at me, I shook his hand and walked away!
Soldier said to me:
– Madiba, that man must be very sick as his hands wouldn’t stop shaking while he was eating.
Not at all! The reason for his tremor is another – I replied. They looked at me weird and said to them:
– That man was the guardian of the jail I was locked up in. Often, after the torture I was subjected to, I screamed and cried for water and he came to humiliate me, he laughed at me and instead of giving me water he urinated on my head.
He wasn’t sick, he was scared and shook maybe fearing that I, now that I’m president of South Africa, would send him to jail and do the same thing he did with me, torturing and humiliating him. But that’s not me, that behavior is not part of my character nor my ethics. Minds that seek revenge destroy states, while those that seek reconciliation build Nations ′′
(From Echeverría Martínez ′′ Chicali Wall ′′)
The story of Mandela and the way he dealt with his oppressor at the restaurant, is the story of a man who has found himself and the reason for his life and for being here. It clearly shows that a man that can walk away from the things that entangle others is the man who has found himself and his purpose. Such people are quite rare and they are those who have conquered all wars and fears within and are now at peace with life and everything else.
This story of Mandela also makes me wonder about the young Afrikans that like to quote Mandela’s life when they make arguments about how great Afrika and Afrikans are, but always leave out the side of him that forgave his oppressors and by that, laid hold of the truth about himself and by which his greatness became global. They go about life like the worst enemy that they have is the Afrikan man beside them.
To strive to be the best that each of us must be, we must embrace the lifestyle of weightlessness and the beauty – and even challenges – that come with it. For to speak clearly and in my opinion, I think we Afrikans have too much on our plates that we are dealing with and which, if truth be told, is not helping us emancipate into the very dreams we have in our hearts that we want to see in Afrika. We like to talk about the things that are not working, but when someone tries to point us in the direction from where things can be better, we hide behind our trees of denials and falsehoods, waiting for another day to make the same complaint. Let me give you an example.
From the day we started making Youtube videos about Afrika on our MsingiAfrika TV channel, we began noticing something so very heartbreaking. It’s sad to say that, Afrikans don’t really want change, they love the never-ending stories of how the white man enslaved their ancestors, brought a religion that destroyed their culture, stole their wealth etc. But when you give them a hint of what is possible, they turn away. Take for example, we did a video in which my wife spoke a message to Afrikan leaders. Her tone was that of rebuke for the many years of neglect and all that. Within a few days, the video had some hundreds of views on our channel and more than thirty thousand views on another channel that we partner with. It was like the mouths of Afrikans were let loose. See all manner of comments about the state of Afrika and the government! A few days after that upload, we did another video in which we try to deal practically with the issues in Afrika and how best to solve them. You won’t believe that all of that noise of the first video was nowhere to be found. At first we did not understand what happened until we realized that our people really did not want practical change, they just love to talk about the problems.
That was a huge eye-opener for us.
As Afrikans, to be weightless in life, we must not just consider not attaching ourselves to too many possessions, but also free our hearts and hands from many activities that undermine focused productivity which comes through proper alignment of spirit and the outer world.
We must know and understand that we are spirit before we were ever made human flesh. Meaning that the more we load our fleshy human parts with things and activities, the less we have time and space for spirit. Such lifestyle only gives the system of Babylon full control of our lives. And if you ask me, the Afrikanproblem is very much tied to how much we have compromised the Afrikan narrative with the system of Babylon.
Recently, I started growing my dreads and my beard. Now, whenever guys see me on the street, they call me Rasta, even though my wife has longer dreads than me, and I have never heard anyone call her Rasta. Almost all the time, the guys that call me Rasta are guys I don’t even know.
So one day my wife and I were just talking about dread locks and the concept behind the name Rasta. Then she mentioned that the name Rasta has something to do with living outside of the system of Babylon and the influence of material possessions. It was then it dawned on me another aspect of why the Lord will have me carry dreads. I had never seen it from that perspective and to tell you the truth, my journey in life as both a servant of God and an Afrikan has been to live outside of the influence and control of the system of Babylon.
It was a movement towards me being my best.
Are we really paying attention?
Having seen and also known in 2020 what can happen on earth with man, and the things he holds dear ,through the Covid-19 outbreak, it is ok to say many people should at least be a bit free from the encumbrances of life. And by wisdom be able to clearly determine what works and what has the ability to bring them to the place of being their best both in the spirit and in the physical. In other words, we all must let loose the warriors within us. Why? There is no future for the Afrikan story if we do not wake up and realize that there are people, systems that are trying to exterminate us or at best keep us as perpetual slaves to their vain and wicked globalist ideologies. We must let loose the warriors within us and take back our lives.
Why a warrior?
What else does one need to be to deal with a system that is consciously set to destroy anything that does not say yes to them, if not a WARRIOR?
Why? A warrior is not carried away with what distracts others. Focus, discipline, purpose, vision and drive are some of the hallmarks of warriors. And if we, as Afrikans, claim that we come from the lineage of ancient warriors, and if truly we want to change the course of our future then we must take the attributes and characters that make warriors.
Where are Afrika’s bests?
Afrika is a womb that has birthed great and mighty men and women who are doing great and awesome things all over the world and in different fields and spheres of life. But with all these awesome people, why is Afrika still backward? Is it that we have learnt over time to give our best to the world, while we grapple to make ends meet here with the few best and the many other averages left for us here? Without meaning it in any bad way, why is it that some of our finest Afrikan doctors, engineers, technologist, professors, athletes, creators, bankers, actors etc are outside of Afrika and we are left with most of those that cause us trouble?
Life in Afrika can be better
I grew up hearing about the concept of greener pastures and the many other activities that people, especially Afrikans, do to get to such greener pastures. But my question always is this, why do Afrikans think that Afrika cannot be made better? Or why are Afrikans not realizing that the countries they call greener pastures were built not just by the people of those places, but also by the help of foreigners, especially Afrikans. Which brings me to another question. Why is it possible for Afrikans to build other nations but not to build Afrika?
What could be wrong with us?
We need a culture and a mindset shift
When a man or a people have found themselves and their purposes, life stops being just a collection of random events and activities. Life starts becoming a series of coordinated events and activities that are expressions of purpose and vision. Life stops being incidental and starts to be purposeful and beautiful. This is exactly how to be your best and how to create the best enabling environment for such best to manifest.
When are we as Afrikans going to stop this wicked crab in the bucket syndrome where we pull down ourselves instead of helping each other rise?
We really need to think fast and just maybe we will catch up with the lost time.
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Samuel Phillips is a writer, graphic designer, photographer, songwriter, singer and a lover of God. As an Afrikan content creator, he is passionate about creating a better image and positive narrative about Afrika and Afrikans. He is a true Afrikan who believes that the true potential of Afrika and Afrikans can manifest through God and accurate collaborations between Afrikans. Afrika is the land of kings, emperors, original wisdom, ancient civilizations, great men and women and not some road-side-aid-begging poor third world continent that the world finds joy in undermining.