Monday, July 24, 2017

Make Do

There is something very empowering about releasing anyone from all their obligations to you. Entitlement is a passivity trap. It stops you from taking responsibility, and accountability, for whatever happens next. No one owes you anything. So what are you going to do next?

This is fun story to tell to create wiggle room to get out of responsibilities. Particularly for things we feel bad about, but don't know how much it is 'our fault' or what to do about it. It is easy to trot out forgive and forget, or starting from a blank page, if you have the tools to move forward.

As Trevor Noah pointed out, there was nothing Common about the Common Wealth. By moving forward, Jamaica just has a chance to win their gold back one medal at a time. 

I am not a Nationalist. I don't believe in the concept of sovereignty of The People. In order to create a The People, you have to create false boundaries and differences. You can choose language, sport, music, heroes, wars, skin colour, toe size, nose shape or any other form of common distinguishing mark. Then you can reinforce those differences. I grew up in Apartheid. I can smell its stench a mile away, and so sorry. I'll pass.


The truth is The People only exists by agreement, and that agreement is constantly renegotiated. The best agreements are transparent, clear and enforced by trust.

Looking back at the past as if anyone owns the fault is missing the point. What we know is The People never existed. Stories were told to dominate and compete. Our history is dark. Our agreements were weak or non-existent. But we have learnt a hell of a lot. We learnt it painfully. If we want to move forward, honest eyes and ears are necessary in the way we look back.
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