What many people are actually doing presently is drifting through life. I should know, I was an expert at this at one point. I believed that I had latched on to the secret of how to make it in this world and I followed my belief faithfully to its inevitable end. Nowhere. I got nowhere very quickly because God had mercy on me and made me very tired of the things that were going on around me. I understood that they had no meaning or real value, and made no sense for the long haul. That’s what saved me.
I could suddenly see very clearly that there was a pattern to the things that mankind wanted. All of them revolved around the satisfaction of some sort of desire: to pay rent in a fine apartment or house, to buy the latest car or gadget, to be seen at the trendiest club or pub, to have an attractive spouse, to travel to some fancy hotel in an exotic location and then tell everyone about it, to spend money on the best and most expensive bottle of alcohol, to send one’s children to the finest schools, to be seen to be rising through the ranks of the corporate establishment, to be some kind of shining example at church and on and on. Along the way, toss in some good deeds like charity to a children’s home, or something equally heartwarming, and you were set. Conscience appeased.
I realized that all that the world had to offer was one long list of purposeless dreams and aspirations that would ensure that people would remain caught up in a quest for what did not matter at all in the grand scheme of things – but they sure would be kept busy, like little ants set on building a massive empire that will at some point be at the mercy of the raining season. All this activity would be sustained by regular rewards (promotions) and gifts (pay hikes and awards) that would keep the people motivated and moving without investigating the invisible, yet discernible, structure that was around them that was designed to keep them in place and the system running… and them drifting aimlessly through life. Quietly accepting the status quo. Not paying attention.
And just what were they missing as they diligently applied themselves to the task of global empire building? Everything. And the worst part is it is not that they were missing the gradual/or rapid overextension of governmental reach into their lives and those of their children and loved ones; or the increasing toxification of their environment, food and drink; or the bizarre things that are attached to health ‘care’ these days; or the corruption going on in the education system; or the systemic ‘herding’ of humans into national and regional containment pens; or the eradication of actual freedoms and liberties and their replacement with restrictions that boggle the mind. As bad as each one of these things is, they are not the worst part. The worst part is that they have missed the gradual eradication of their identities and purposes, in the quest to please and appease the system of the beast and to receive their daily bread from it. That’s what they have missed and they are not aware. They just are not paying attention to the global shift, even while they chase after new trends and stuff.
Do you ever think about what happens when the identity of a human being is erased? I was thinking about it the other day after watching one of the most dehumanizing fictional stories I have seen lately. Something that converted a well-read, highly capable human being into a desperate and compromised individual, willing to do anything to ensure the survival of her son. She is a medical doctor who could not help her own sick son because the system says she is an illegal immigrant. Watching it caused me to imagine a separate hypothetical scenario. Picture with me, if you will, a highly skilled individual in an Afrikan country, who is working and earning sufficient income to take care of his family and ensure all their needs are met. He has studied, he knows his stuff, and he is taking his children to school. Then, suddenly, his country experiences a horrible interruption in its trajectory that comes in the form of civil war or any of the others stuffs that happen. In an instant – a literal instant – his once safe homeland is a place of fear and terror, and the only thing on his mind is how to get his wife and children to safety. Quickly and urgently gathering every resource that he can get access to in a limited amount of time, he and his family flee their land, leaving behind all the property that they could not travel with, and cross over an imaginary line to a ‘different’ land where they are no longer citizens with full rights; and they immediately acquire new identities: refugees.
As soon as they make that transition, all the man’s skills, all his knowledge and experience are virtually worthless. They just suddenly disappear. He and his wife and children are confined to the boundaries of a plastic tent, within a compound that contains a sea of plastic tents. All the comforts of their home are now behind them and at the mercy of the people who are busy fighting over some selfish and mindless thing and those who did not flee.
Now, fully dependent on the goodwill of the nation that is hosting them and the supply of the United Nations, he – suddenly – is nothing, nobody, and has nothing to offer anybody because the land that he is in does not recognize him, his skills or qualifications. He could have 20 or 30 years of experience under his belt but all that means nothing. And, if he is unable to find someone to vouch for him in this new land, or help him cross another imaginary line into a country that could give him an opportunity to return to some semblance of what he was… he remains a nothing. His entire life that he built with so much dedication and diligence is utterly insignificant.
Such is the world that the global system has created. Where a man, a fully-fledged man, with identity, skills, beliefs, responsibilities can be totally wiped out, even while still alive and all in an instant. Because of papers. Because of imaginary lines denoting ‘territories’. Because of an inhumane and machine-like world that we are all expected to conform to. That illusory world is what many people cling to and drift around in, never once considering that what has happened to this gentleman is but one foolish decision away from impacting their own lives and rendering them as useless, valueless and helpless as he to the system.
The story I shared is a fictional one, yes, but you and I know only too well that it is actually a reality for many people around the world. They only hope and pray that it was fiction and that they could return to the lives that they had that were so comfortable and seemingly ‘safe’. Meanwhile, those who the horrors have not touched directly read these stories in the newspaper or watch them on television, regarding them as a far-off reality. They shake their heads in dismay, tut a few times and then move on to the sports news. Too bad, so sad.
Too bad, so sad? Really? Is that what we have become? It sometimes seems that way, in a society where individuals are more eager to record the horrors they witness around them on their mobile phones and post them to social media, instead of actually intervening and saving the victims of these attacks. They would rather have the views and say, “Yes, I was there”, than do anything to remedy what is going on. A grown woman would rather tell another woman and her little child to their faces that they will die because they refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine. But why the increase in indifference and the inability to empathize and to sacrifice oneself for others?
The erosion of one’s identity allows one to fall away from their purpose and from the ability to really see what is going on around them. And when real sight is lost, what do you have left? No humanity. No type of moral compass. No discernment about or understanding concerning the consequences of the decay taking place in the society around them, nor their role in preventing it. No life to give. No ability to sense or desire to fight corruption and evil. You just become a blank mold into which any form of foolishness can be poured, formed and live through.
Leaving you to drift along aimlessly for the rest of your days – unless something changes.
You see, I know that what is happening with people is that they are deliberately ignoring the voice inside them that is urging them towards a different direction. I know it because that is the voice that rescued me from oblivion. It was accompanied by physical experiences, some of which I wish I could have avoided and walked away from, but all of which have contributed to the overall story. Everything has its usefulness somehow.
I know that what is happening is that voice is calling into question things that people have invested in and outcomes they have pursued for years and yet they simply do not want to face the possibility of doing without them. They are afraid of what it could mean for the comforts they have acquired and longed for and they are safeguarding them as much as they possibly can. Unaware that this choice to leave untraveled the road that they are being invited to access is robbing them of who they really are and why they are really here. Ignorant of the fact that as they continue to make the choice to abandon their true path and calling, they are contributing to their own enslavement and to the empowerment of the world system that is encroaching on them and their families.
Worse yet, they fail to see that what they have done in turning away from that calling is to spurn their inheritance, thereby disqualifying them as heirs of a destiny far greater than they could ever hope to purchase for themselves by compromising to the world system. It’s a great and miserable tragedy.
They refused to pay attention. Therefore, they simply drift aimlessly and pointlessly through this realm and are useless in the prevention of injustice and the fight for righteousness. Sincerely speaking, how can it be that we would be aware of the problems that are going on in the world around us and we would not take pause to examine their origin and consider their possible trajectory and its impact on the society in the short, middle and long term. How could we not then, having considered the possible impacts, not acted in order to offset or prevent the ones that are destructive and negative to the welfare of the society around us? How can we just sit there and let things rot or fall apart around us? Then cry and complain that the sky is falling on our heads when all along we were the ones who were meant to be the solutions to these issues?
Injustice doesn’t just thrive by itself. It is provided with an environment that allows it to take root, grow, blossom and reproduce itself in sector after sector of society. It does not just suddenly manifest itself. It grows in the humid greenhouses of our collective disregard and finds its strength in the neglect of those meant to uproot and destroy it.
Let me call out those who claim to be of the Christian faith here for a minute. Those of you sitting around navel-gazing and waiting to be raptured from all these ‘problems’ in the world. Trying to keep your hands clean like Pilate all the while saying to yourselves ‘it was foretold’ that all of these things would happen and refusing to do anything about it. Shame on you!!! Your laziness and ineptitude are part of the reason why injustice is thriving on earth. You refuse to deal with corruption in your heart, in your home, in your church, in your office, in your schools, governments and then you sit around waiting to join Christ Jesus in the heavens to come and fight the same things on earth that you were given dominion over? What kind of stupid reasoning is that? Even the scriptures speak of faithfulness in the least attracting a greater responsibility. How will you be able to deal with injustice in an eternal reality if you leave it untended while there is breath in your body? Or were you not told in the Bible that you will judge angels? If you won’t pay attention to injustice on earth, then with what capacity will you judge angels whose faces you cannot even look at?
You have allowed the corruption on earth to flourish by your desire to not rock the boat. Going to church every Sunday – and sometimes during the week – to assuage your conscience, as you drive past the brother or sister who is being treated wickedly by the system you pay your taxes to support. Claiming you hear the voice of God and telling your brethren, “Depart, be ye warmed and filled” and doing nothing to resolve the issues around you. Let me tell you something, there are those who may never even have heard the name of Jesus who are doing more to transform the world into what He wants it to be than you are. And He is not unjust to forget their works.
The same goes for all those who know they are meant to step up and resolve issues in their societies yet they shrink away from the responsibilities they know in their hearts are theirs and leave it to others to address. This world needs people who know that they are meant to act and who move forward to take the places and positions that they are meant to. That laissez-faire kind of attitude is not going to get Afrika to the level she needs to be at. It will not. If we do not, as brothers and sisters, come forward to put into practice the things we know in our hearts are right to do and are needful right now – the battle is lost. Enough talk.
It is time to answer the call in our hearts and become the people that we are meant to be. It is time to take responsibility for our mandates and to live out our purposes without fail. It is time to restore righteousness in our hearts, homes and communities. It is time to examine the contradictions that we are sold and to reject the lies that are being spoken to and over our societies. It is time to call out the negative and counter-productive politicians, heads of corporations, heads of churches or mosques and temples and other bodies in society and to show them the door. It is time to replace them with people who have the good of society at heart. It is time to clean up our homes and neighborhoods spiritually and bring people back to an awareness of what is needed and how to achieve it.
Ignorance is not what suddenly happens to someone. It is actually a reward for ignoring things for too long and thus creating a set of humans that cannot see beyond the deadness of their hearts and minds.
But ignorance can be cured and the madness of our world can be resolved. This however, can only happen if we pay attention.
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Chioma Phillips is the Editor of Msingi Afrika Magazine and the host of Msingi Afrika Television. Her hope is to see the Truth shared, with all who will listen, for the transformation of the people and the continent of Afrika - and the world. She believes passionately in the critical role that Afrika and Afrikans have to play on earth right now and hopes to ignite the spark that will cause them to see and believe who they are, so that they can live out their Truest lives for the remainder of their days.