CAPE TOWN – The launch by Independent Media of the campaign #My Promise, is indeed, an admirable thing, to come into our dark spaces, in this time. It calls on men “to speak aloud a promise to the women and children of South Africa that they will work together to make it a better place for everyone".
I, unreservedly add my voice and unconditional support to this initiative, not so much as former Commissioner for Gender Equality, but purely, in my capacity as a man, husband, father and grandfather in this country.
I have been reading a very interesting book, I borrowed from Dr Iqbal Survé, as I am wont to do, periodically, drinking from his well, as it were. It is written by Jim Warner. There is a part where he discusses the importance of understanding the soul, on the part of each of us, positing that we are all an energy conduit, and energy is flowing through us, both positive and negative energy. On the one end is an opening and an outlet, either of which can be closed off.
The penny has dropped for me when I realised that aliveness, awareness purpose and the flow of life is determined by what I allow to go through this vessel that I am. When I allow positive energy to enter me- the same positive energy flows out on the other end, flowing to others. Similarly, when I allow negative energy, the same negative energy flows through me and flows out on the other end to impact others negatively.
Warner says the energy comes from a source outside ourselves, for example, love and grace, say from our parents, in childhood, and these contribute to our aliveness, awareness and purpose. When we have this positive energy, naturally it flows to others. The reverse is true when we have been deprived of it, which somehow explains some of the inexplicable conduct some people, men, in particular, exhibit, such as a father hanging four children, three of whom are his own biological children, just to spite his wife, who is divorcing him.
Examples of negative energy could be untruths, secrets, duplicity, any fear, anger, unforgiveness, unexpressed grief for any loss, vengeance, pride, pretence, selfishness, greed, lust, guilt and shame, sense of unworthiness.
For us to be able to know and understand the needs of others, like women and be able to support them, it is also critically important for us men to know ourselves, and be conscious at all times as to what are drivers of our conduct. Where we are aware that we were hurt at some stage and could be harbouring vengeance, we must be quick to seek help, before that negative energy overpowers us, and find ourselves committing acts we will only live to regret. These negative sources of energy are destructive and toxic to our own souls. “ Beyond just inhibiting the flow of positive energy through us, these negative energies spew out onto others, polluting the lives of people in our realms ( loved ones, employees, co-workers, clients, congregations, constituencies).
As we come out to support this initiative, let us also realise that those among us who have battles of the soul within them, they must come out and be men enough to say they are battling so that help may come their way. For it is said that “ Out of nothing comes nothing. “ if no love or grace was not deposited in them, they will have nothing of it to give to others, but only the negative and destructive forces that have taken residence within them.
I hope this will contribute to the debate on enhancing the efficacy of the campaign, #MyPromise.
Dr Wallace Amos Mgoqi wrote this in his personal capacity.