CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival) asks: “Have you ever seen the rain?" All people experience rain, each one differently.
To some, it may be a metaphor of despair, for others, one of hope. The rain from the sky might curse one nation with illness and discomfort; to another, it may be experienced as the mercy that falls from heaven.
The rain does not change. It is part of a well-documented system of events that follow a traceable cycle. Man has learnt to understand the rain the world knows.
Yet, while the rain is the same now as it was in the beginning, each shower has a different meaning for each human; each human is an individual, and each individual is a new story that can be retold.
What divides us is our reluctance to try and revisit our experiences through the eyes of others.
Man is a social animal, but breakdown in communications do occur. Attributes that elevate man above the animal include the ability to use tools. But this is a moot point, because it contains the explosive potential of certain people protecting higher levels of physical comfort.
One example of such a natural disaster is fighting; another is the wanton and gratuitous exhaustion of natural resources. The worse must be the assumption that certain definable sections are not as badly affected by disaster and cruelty as others.
A quick look at where free water is available in the Western Cape tells a story of pilfered advantage.
Sharing freely is not an option. The “other” people are intruders even though their needs are as real. Thirst is not race- or gender-specific. Politicians extract mileage out of the potential disaster.
The number of extinct species in fauna and flora are rapidly overtaking the numbers of those who manage to hang on. One needs to experience the inestimable sense of loss at the dying of a species collectively. We have yet to experience it on a dimension that sensitises us to put the brake on now.
There are many songs that teach us about rain. We should change the ways in which we listen to the rain. When the storms rage, we should learn to dance in the rain. We must see the rain as divine ablution.
Old William hit the button when he told us: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth like the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.”
And all the time we have strident pontification and stone-walling, apportioning of blame and name-calling while a large section of our country faces decimation through thirst.
What if it never rained again - ever? Impossible? I wonder. Have you seen the rain lately?
* Literally Yours is a weekly column from Cape Argus reader Alex Tabisher. he can be contacted on email by [email protected]
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.