Humiliation. To be deprived of honor and dignity. To be disrobed, to be cast out by the flock. That’s the worst punishment; it’s akin to being buried alive. And the only consolation is that the person will perish fairly quickly.[What is the worst thing?]
There were those who asserted that sons always became, to some degree or other, disguised variants of their fathers, that the experience of breaking out was never more than an illusion; you returned; the gravity of blood was not only stronger than your willpower, it was your willpower.
That was what life was: a process of destruction, a disintegration from what at the outset was perfect. The only suspense involved was whether we would be destroyed in one sudden act or slowly.
No, of love. It’s the same currency. Everything starts with love. Hatred is just the other side of the coin.
No one is as they seem, and most of life, apart from honest betrayal, is lies and deceit. And the day we discover we are no different is the day we no longer want to live.
Incidentally, I really agree with those who say that the capacity to forgive says something about the essential quality of a person. I’m the lowest grade.
I think it’s possible to learn. The problem is that we learn so damned slowly, so that by the time you’ve realized something, it’s too late.
Humans are complicated. We want to do things that are complex, that mesh, where we control our fates and can feel like rulers of our own universes.
Everything in Africa goes in cycles. Rain and drought, night and day, eating and being eaten, living and dying. The course of nature is everything, nothing can be changed; swim with the flow, survive for as long as you can, take what’s offered—that’s all you can do. Because your forefathers’ lives are your life, you cannot make a change, development is not possible. That’s not African philosophy, just the experience of generations. And it is the experience that has to change. It is experience that changes mind-sets, not the other way around.