Thursday, July 21, 2011
On meeting Ela Gandhi, the Secret, and Reflections on South Africa
A couple of days ago I was blessed with the opportunity to meet and spend most of the day volunteering with Ela Gandhi. Ms. Gandhi is the granddaughter of Muhatma Gandhi. I also met and spoke with her son Kidar and others from the Gandhi Development Trust. Peace radiated from Ms. Gandhi. She was calm, cool, and seemed to extend the same peace to the politicians, volunteers, adults, and school children alike. I asked Ms. Gandhi, “What is the secret to embracing peace the way you do?” She smiled at me and noted, “Peace is something that lives within you. It is something that we are born with.” I smiled. You know what? In actuality she is right. So many times I believe we think we have to be a certain way in society to be accepted, to get ahead, to live, to function in the world. But, the reality is in a sense the light of peace is already inside of us, we just have to tap into it.
Today I watched a movie called the Secret. The movie was quite inspiring to me. It talked about the law of attraction. Whatever energy you focus on or envision is what will actually be manifested in your life. If I believe that I will never live my dream then it will never come true. But if I see my vision, if I believe it, and act on it eventually these things will come to a reality. I do believe this is true. The same goes for the peace that Ms. Gandhi spoke about. Peace, joy, happiness is inside of us and does surround us, we just need to identify it as such, hold on to it and not allow the abundance of negative or hurtful thinking to consume our thoughts. If we do, negativity is what will manifest. I’m creating me a mobile vision list/wall today. These things will come true. I know they will.
I am now at the University of KwaZulu Natal School of Theology in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. I came here to study a model of bible study called contextual bible study. More specifically they have a curriculum called the Tamar Campaign which focuses on using bible stories to focus on liberating people who have experienced gender based violence. They also have a program using the bible as a tool of liberation for people living with HIV and AIDS. On Saturday I will go into a local community to see how this curriculum is put into practice. I start auditing classes on Monday. I am meeting so many students from across the continent: Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and the list goes on. It’s so interesting because though we are all from such different contexts we have so many similarities.
I have a comfortable little apartment here. Other than the fact that I saw a little gecko lizard friend in the bathroom today, I am comfortable. Sometimes, I hear some noises at night which wake me, but praise God that I am always able to go back to sleep. I haven’t ventured out as much here as of yet. But, I hope to explore some sights this weekend. I also hope to visit an HIV and AIDS hospice that is close by in a more rural area.
You know I often wonder what this life is about. I really am learning that life really is about understanding what you love and tapping into those things. Eventually, we can use these things to not only allow us to live a happy life on purpose, but we can also use these things that we enjoy as resources to serve others.
I have been having a lot of conversation with other folk about South African soap operas. There is one soap that comes on every week night at 8:00pm called GENERATION. This soap talks about so many real life issues, while also keeping the drama to keep the audience engaged. The topics go from HIV and AIDS, homosexuality, drugs, domestic violence, etc. One young lady told me that its actually a conversation starter in her home. The family speaks about these issues when the soaps are on. But, when they go off the conversation ends! Very interesting. I wonder what it would be like if we had such soaps in America. Instead of reality television, wouldn’t it be nice to have programming that is entertaining, yet socially informative assisting people with consciousness and social change. Whatever happened to this kind of programming? I remember it once existed on BET when I was a young girl. What’s up now ya’ll?! Maybe one day… oooohh America!
When I’m walking down the street most people think I am from the area and speak Zulu to me. Until I open my mouth and my North Carolinian accent comes out with a smile! I wish I could speak Zulu. The interesting thing is everywhere I have went there has been a different language spoken. There are so many tribal groups and languages here. In Giyani there was Tsonga, in Joburg there was Xhosa, in Durban there was Zulu. There is much beauty in these native tongues. Maybe one day I will be more engaged in African languages. The languages are quite beautiful and a few of them (i.e. Zulu and Xhosa) have a distinctive clicking of the tongue. I have yet to master this (fyi: the children laugh at me when I try! Lol). But, at least I try.
God is good ya’ll. Really! If you ever have dreamed of doing something in your life do not let anyone tell you that you can’t. If God put it into your spirit to dream it, to think it, then you can live it! See it, believe it, and act on it!
In Peace- Kit