Locked in this Room, We are NOT Fully Free (Part 2)

Posted: August 11, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Thiik Mou Giir

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

Thiik Giir

Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

August 11, 2017 (SSB) — We are locked in our small rooms which are in a big room we called South Sudan.  These are spaces that our tribes and our political parties we are affiliated to, have provided us to live in.  These spaces are increasingly becoming narrower and narrower as the food to eat, water to drink and air to breath are becoming more and more scarce.  This is certainly not the best way to live.

This has directly and indirectly robbed us of our dignity and of our common humanity.  So many of us have become used to living in these little spaces.  The few among us, who showed their rejection of the existing walls of their particular rooms, are reminded again and again that those rooms are the only spaces within which they can move and that those walls are the only limits they can reach.

Unknowingly, we are telling our son and our daughter this: “You don’t have many people who you can call your own, my son/daughter.  Your space (world) is this small room and your people are only these people you see here.  The people in the other rooms are not your people.  They are different from us.  Those others, over there, are your enemies.  Although they also belong to this bigger room, they are not your people.  They are your enemies.  Keep your distance from them.  You got it?”

What a depressing message we are instilling into the innocent minds of our son and our daughter!  Because we have allowed the situation of our children being influenced by the environment of the small rooms, they will likely grow up thinking small.  We deserve any amount of blame leveled against us, the adults.

It is an intolerable situation.  Out of frustration, some people among us have tried and will continue to try seeking the intervention of the international community.  They see members of the international community as if they are God-sent with life-saving message while, at the same time, those same frustrated individuals look down at the people in the other rooms with growls.  It is a pity that our people have become like that.

Their behavour is like the behaviour of a person who, having dropped a needle in a dark room, has gone out where there was light in order to search for the needle he dropped.  Anyway, although the international community’s intervention may somewhat succeed, the success may be only temporary.  As it often happens, their intervention may cause other problems sooner or later.

These problems may include the following: first, members of the international community could become exhausted; secondly, their intervention could place our people in the harm’s way for the fact that our people could be exploited.

Finally, our people would likely get used to wanting the international community to intervene every time the country is in crisis, thus making the people become perpetual dependents of other people.  Our people will hardly grow up and learn to handle their own affairs.

If we wait for things to happen by themselves, and if we do not work very hard to solve our problems ourselves through peaceful means and not through the barrel of guns, we will be waiting for a long time.  Suppose the person who locked us in from outside has got the key but has no intention of opening the door; suppose the key has malfunctioned and would not open the door.

Suppose the key has been lost; suppose the person who locked us in has died and no one else is going to open the door; suppose another person who has taken hold of the key has decided to keep us locked up because he thinks he is no better than the first person who locked us in, in the first place;

Suppose a number of people are now fighting over the key and none of them is able to overpower the others so that he can open the door; suppose one case or the other is true, does it make any sense at all that we wait in the room and day dream and hope for the things to turn out well in the end?

No.  We have got to make our own light and find our own needle.

All that we should be thinking about, now, in this locked big room, is whether we can make an alternative key which we will use to open the door and get out as free people.  It is pointless for the people like me to be asked to engage in the blame game and to make the blame game a central part of our lives.

We resist these attempts for two reasons: first, we have no power and tools to investigate the “root causes of the conflict”; secondly, our people, the people we love so much, may run out of time, food, water, and air in these locked rooms.

Big room-minded persons, who are locked inside the rooms, must make an alternative key that may open the locked doors.  I happened to have been one of those individuals.  I have made a rudimentary key (vision).  The key is – Construct Our New Identity (CONI).

The question now is whether our people are willing to accept it or not.  The key is designed to be used by any South Sudanese in the areas of his or her influence.  Out of my personal experience, I can now say with confidence, “It works!”

This key (CONI) works when a person who is applying it ignores the existence of small rooms’ walls and reach out to the people in the other rooms.  (CONI) inspires the person to seek opportunities for constructive discussion, constructive dialogue, with those who have different views.

(CONI) inspires the activist to be tolerant to the harsh language that the other person may resort to.  For it is not what people say that sets us apart but that which remains unsaid.  Although people who are open to each other may not necessarily agree on every matter of their concern, they will, nevertheless, go away better people than when they started.

The space for more future interaction opportunities has been created and will remain open.

Since dialogue is an on-going thing, people will ultimately reach good level of understanding, acceptance, and respect.  On the other hand, when people of one room deny people of another room access to their hearts and minds, they are not only denying them a greater sense of freedom, but they are also denying the same to themselves.

Hatred and distrust then persist on and people will continue, unfortunately, to remain miserable and hopeless.  We must break this generational cycle of hatred and must think, instead, of how to make a better future for every one of us.

(CONI) is a vision that enables communities to expand their space of freedom further and further because it makes the walls that divide people fade away.  Subsequently, the creative ideas that unify people become like food for the mind, those practical ideas will flow from one community into another community like water.

The energy that the creative ideas and work produce will then blow us, like people blown by strong wind (air), towards a direction we will all desire.  So, the more we work to implement this vision, the sooner we will realize that our communities, in South Sudan as well as in Diaspora, are being positively transformed.

We will all become one and of the same identity.

The process of this working key is a sure way to open, not just the small rooms, but also the big room.  After this last stage, as someone said, “The sky’s the limit!”  No longer a small room; no longer a big room; rather it is a sky, the world, that will be a limit.  Is it not that wonderful?

We will have more than enough food to eat, more than enough water to drink and more than enough air to breath.  We will be rich in every way and the earth, the South Sudanese land, will reciprocate whatever we will be doing with her riches.

We will say, in Martin Luther King, Jr’s words, “Free at last, free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”

Although our people said similar words on the day South Sudan became independent from the Arab domination, our people will find it fitting to say those same words once more.  Our people will feel that they have defeated another enemy, the enemy that is within us – corruption, greed, ambition, nepotism, tribalism, etc.

(CONI) is a key that requires a long time before its usefulness is realized.  Two hundred years, or more, from now, our people will look back and say, “this is the day it (CONI) all started.  Today, we have opened the door of the last room.  We are all free at last!”

Thiik Mou Giir, Bachelor Degree in Education from University of Alexandria, Egypt; Post Graduate Diploma, from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.  He can be reached via his email contact:thiik_giir@hotmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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