Posts Tagged ‘Choices’

The Power Is Yours

I’ve been watching a lot of old Captain Planet episodes lately. That program was truly ahead of its time: environmental hazards and global warning, 20 years ago… But as a kid the phrase that got stuck in my head was always: “The power is yours!”

I was raised to believe that I can do absolutely anything and that I can change the world in whatever way I choose. Now I’m sitting here in Zim talking to guys my age or even guys 30years older than me and they are only just realizing that the power is theirs. Something I’ve known since I was 3years old it has taken them an entire lifetime to figure out…

Yes, I have always been very fortunate and my parents seemed to have done everything right when it came to raising me but even if we don’t compare these guys to me and my perfect little life, only realizing that the choice is yours when you are 45 is pretty rough! It’s definitely not like these guys are thick or something, it’s just part of their culture. You can say a lot of bad things about Robert Mugabe but one thing you have to credit him with is the fact that he has given a lot of young farmers their power back. Actually he’s given a lot of career farmers a choice for the first time in their 60year existence…

See, when you’re born as a farmer’s son, it is expected of you to take over the farm. If you were of the female persuasion, you were expected to marry a farmer who could take over the family farm and continue the tradition. Even if you have older brothers the farm is still ultimately your responsibility too and that’s it. That is your whole life planned out before you even learn how to say your own name. No choice; no options and no power… The strangest thing is that most of these farmers never even realized just how trapped they were until the government took their farm and all of a sudden they had options and a chance to do whatever they wanted.

Yeah, they have absolutely nothing in the monetary compartment and the home they’ve grown up with is no longer theirs but for the first time in most of their lives, the power is actually theirs. This land redistribution bill has a lot of downsides but nothing is without a silver lining! Zimbabweans who would never have considered leaving their country before have managed to scrape up the courage to go explore the rest of the world, something they would never have done if it wasn’t for the unintended push from their government… A quarter of this countries office workers and IT admins would have stayed on a farm even though they knew deep in their hearts that it wasn’t meant for them simply because they had no choice in the matter. No power to say no!

Having your entire life planned out before you’ve learned how to walk isn’t always a bad thing but when you can’t say no to the plan and you are powerless in your own life, it’s not much of a life. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely NOT defending the hectically enforced redistribution bill but I’m not blind to the accidental upside that came as a consequence either. It’s amazing to see a 50year old who has been struggling on a farm with very little resources and practically no rain his entire life, wake up the morning after his farm has been repossessed and actually breathe a sigh of relief because for once he doesn’t have the weight of his entire family heritage on his shoulders. To see a man who has been conformed to walk in his father’s footsteps realize that he has the right to walk on a different path. When you no longer have a farm to be responsible for or an entire legacy to uphold, you get a shot at freedom and a shot at dreaming again. Actually having the power to say: “I’d like to be a doctor” or “I’d like to live in Brazil” or “I want to manage a mine” or whatever!

Most of us take the fact that we can dream for granted but when you have never had the power to dream, it’s like discovering a whole new spark. My friends and I have this saying we live by: “People who don’t dare to dream, scare me” It really is that simple… If you’re afraid of dreaming you don’t have much to live for. While you’re busy wasting your life too scared to dream, remember that there are people out there who simply don’t have the luxury of believing that The Power Is Yours!

Sharing my view,

AM

Hope our choices meet…

I’m warming up to this blog-thing… [Wow that sort off makes me sound really old] Anyway, I have some choices to make and I have no idea how they will turn out or even if I’ll actually have the courage to make them.

If you read my previous entry you’ll see that things change pretty quickly here in Zimbabwe and there really is no telling what could happen tomorrow. So I need to keep my options open, which is pretty ridiculous because I just don’t believe you can fully commit to something unless you convince yourself that this is your only option. Well, at least in my experience I’ve discovered that in a way, I need to trick myself into making the really big decisions.

So my options are pretty vast, which ironically makes this a whole lot harder. Staying here in Zim is the easiest choice but with the elections only happening in the middle of next year, I fear that political tactics might translate into a lot of changes on the ground. In that case, I need to be prepared to leave without even a second thought.

The logical place for me to go is South Africa, but SA is a pretty big place… I have family scattered all over the place but most of them are still in the Western Cape. However, I would prefer not to go back there permanently. I prefer a city on the other side of the country called Durban. I think London may have influenced me more than I originally thought, because the idea of not living in a city bores me to an extent. Durban is pretty large and has dramatically improved over the last 4 years, especially with the new stadiums they built there.

The tourism industry is booming and with the prospect of being the hosts of the Olimpic Games in a few years time, it can only get better. The other huge bonus is that it’s situated on the east coast which means the Indian Ocean currents keeps the ocean water pretty warm. People there are obviously very relaxed- I mean, how could they not be with a view like that? Ok, I must admit that seeing the shark-nets from the beach is concerning at times but it’s a minor detail I will easily over look.

The other plus side to living in a city is that there will always be work for IT consultants. In case you’re missing the link between me and IT consultants: the man of my dreams has discovered a passion for the art of binary-code and things that end with RAM. So where I go, hope he will go.

This probably seems very clear-cut but it’s not. Leaving the country you were born in is never easy, even when it makes perfect sense. Starting over isn’t easy either, especially when your parents have to start all over too and they are no longer spring chickens. I doubt that his parents would go to Durban, simply because they know little of it and feel more comfortable closer to the Northern border. I want him to be with me but I will not make him choose between me and his parents!

As much as even the fleeting thought of not waking up next to him in 20years terrifies me, I cannot follow him to some random place in my country. I will not ask him to turn away from his parents for us, which means I’ll just have to trust that he makes a choice that makes him happy and that somehow our choices will end up meeting…

Have faith,

AM