As the opening gambit for my first column for 2024, I wish to thank the Almighty Giver of Life and Love for mercies to all, past and present. May the coming year be kind to us all. To all my loyal readers, thank you for staying with me all these years.
What does one write at the beginning of a year that promises to be momentous in so many ways? Like dozens of other countries, we will all be going to the polls for elections at the required levels. Least said, soonest mended. But we pray that whoever casts a vote, that reason and fairness prevail, and that the dark forces that assume they are ascendant are crushed in the truth of our convictions as human beings.
I would like to underline some urban myths and distortions that have overwhelmed us for so long. Buzzwords like service delivery, sustainability, the touting of fiscal data with so many noughts that I become cross-eyed just trying to see them in my head, all this mish-mash has distorted our sense of what is fair and write.
First, we are taxpayers. The collectors of tax forget that they are merely that: collectors. Just like the other touters of service who give themselves titles and depend on our gullibility which causes them to elevate themselves beyond their real worth. In this lot, I include accountants, brokers, drivers of medical aid, home safety and so forth.
We have come to believe that they are doing us a favour in all transactions. The truth is, these are services we pay for, which keep their wheels rolling and food on their tables. That goes for state-owned entities, government agencies, institutionalised services like hospitals, even churches, and shops that have Black Friday and sales whenever it suits them.
We must buy into our legal citizenship, into our right to be served if we can pay, and our inviolable right to question prices, mark-ups, poor service and the general psychic bulldozing called free enterprise.
Ask the questions. Do not skulk around in the country of your birth with your head bowed. Lift your head, whether it be physically, spiritually, psychically or whichever way. But into the unquestioned truth that each of us is a child of the universe and that we have a right to be here. You will hear me skirting closely to the first version of the empowering poem called “Desiderata”.
No matter who says what, we do not seek to move mountains or reroute rivers to wash away the troubles of the world. We just ask to be treated fairly and given the same chance as anybody else. This positional adjustment transcends the categories of race, gender, faith-bias, social standing, formal education or any of the other false mantles we don to take the poorest of the poor to the cleaners.
This does not require aggression. It does not include confrontation, attrition or vengeance. It is a simple issue of “Who do you say I am?” Or as in the seminal scene with Robert de Nero in Taxi, “Are you talking to me?” And at the first sign of aggression or unwanted strife, you reorganise and ask another question which is seminal, pivotal, vital, organic and unignorable: “Do you remember what we voted for in 1994?” ‘Nuff said.
The above redefining of your relevance does not depend on any category. Not gender, size, aggression, mulishness, recalcitrance, intransigence, pig-headedness (and I am talking shape here, people) or any other form of intimidation or coercion.
It depends on how far you are prepared to go to take that which is yours by simple virtue of the fact that all men (and women) are created equal. It's just so hard to assert or establish this in the face of the years of layering, screaming, bulls ******* , contriving lies and general mayhem that is the only gruel we are fed by those in power.Time to get up, power up and speak up. Who knows what can happen next?
* Alex Tabisher.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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