July 26, 2022
Featured image for “PRIMITIVE PROVOCATIONS – P. Ogbaje”

From conception and thereafter, certain hardwired predispositions are imposed upon us. Within these are varieties that nonetheless make us human. In the subconscious quest for our differences, we almost always arrive at facts that make us quite similar, to put it mildly. Even the inanimate are subject to dynamic laws, whether terrestrial or extraterrestrial, as the case may be. Aside from this natural way of things, there exist determinants that essentially allow for a tweaking, a readjustment, as it were, of ourselves if we care to. The absence of this refinement in certain quarters has kept most of us in a sort of identity quagmire and self-bondage. This type of mental poverty, if you may, transcends individuals, and entire groups, and has become somewhat a borderless citizen of all nations. We tend to forget that our true worth should emanate from within regardless of what nature features externally. It is often too difficult to discern what our contributions to humanity should be without this realization amongst others.

Children or social blanks as well as adults imbibe or absorb the elements of our peculiar environments and are oftentimes burdened with the values and certain primitive provocations of our ancestors. Like software updates, studies and research try to uncover and hopefully correct misconceptions, and misunderstandings and unearth entirely new revelations. Trouble is, there’s always hidden malware, much to the circumstantial limitations of well-intentioned minds and hearts. Can we discuss these freely without bits and pieces of prejudicial selfishness, greed, costly ignorance, or sheer arrogance? Hardly! Some are even ruthlessly convinced in their superiority complex and perverted humor for those who are somehow disadvantaged. Others simply fail to come to terms with actual or perceived hurtful situations and sadly prefer unhealed wounds, sometimes unconsciously.

In the prevailing system of things, some were only responding or adjusting to tough situations while others were proud hypocrites. Still, some were not open to any agreement as foretold, while yet others’ attitudes simply lack description. Endless justifications abound and revolve around self-preservative ideologies, once upon a number of times. Some gave in to hardships and changed their beliefs due to oppression, sheer hunger, or a longing for materialism added to faulty calculations. Others were merely born into relative comfort and privilege that any values passed on dare not be questioned no matter how obsolete. Such slavery, limitations, and myopia must be addressed and totally abolished. Yes, it is like the error of reasoning that all wealthy persons are the smartest or that the poor are not materialistic.

In present days, the reasons why we have not really questioned our beliefs or analyzed them leave holes in our convictions of enlightenment, in the way we understand things. Mere superficial searches for substance in humans of varying backgrounds easily reveal our hasty choice of defining why we are different from one another as if variety is a curse.  Granted, some of these provocations were often phenomena beyond patient control. Instigations occurred. The good, the bad, and those somewhere in-between dispersed to sometimes unknown geographical locations and relatively adapted, for wherever you find peace and contribute to it is where you should call home. We eventually become circumstantial products of our environment and era. Deep within dwell unsettling opinions that can be likened to debates of gender discriminators where all that is needed to resolve ancient and present dishonor to womenfolk, as well as the continuous and growing disregard for the role of men, still remains private self-scrutiny and open-minded dialogue. Or, let’s hazard a thought on a less controversial topic the role of a court jester who, when not forcefully coerced and is content, provides much-needed comic relief to powerful rulers of entire empires and kingdoms. Can we honestly assert that he plays less of a part than the nobles who spent and wasted valuable time brainstorming problems in comparison to his ability to immediately provide them clearer heads and less blood pressure which, in turn, enables them to look at and run things differently? We need one another.  Many only want to prove self-worth, most times unnecessarily. We mostly fail to reason that our individual perceptions of self-worth are often feckless and of no substance or useful contribution to the human family. “Lovism” dies a tortuous death and as a daresay, many of us are carried by existing in the most advanced era yet but fail to peek behind the façade and see how moral decadence and rot is being fabricated. Some of our forebears messed up some of their homework for us. Unfortunately, we maintain certain outdated variables.

Then imaginary lines were also drawn. The art and science of war took hold. Our disagreements were projected into skin type, choice of this and that, which parted the ways of some of our common ancestors, as earlier mentioned, who eventually found themselves in what remained of that Eden while others eked their livelihood from the more punishing landscape. Things did not balance up. The latter had to think more, survive more. Their needs pushed them into the boundaries of invention, more so than the former. On both sides, sages were shamed amidst moments of temporary heroism. Temporary because we can now question the past, the present, and where humanity should be heading more than ever before. Self-emancipation and purpose have never been this crucial even as our common mother, the earth, weeps for herself and her children. She is constantly vandalized, raped, always nursing, sustaining us, and tending to her wounds in resilient fashion.

With these brief tales of primal blunders and of the beginning, we need to assess and reorganize, self-scrutinize, and select from every corner of the earth, things that enhance our collective future wellbeing. Our honey needs lemon from other cultures. Useless forbidden barriers will be broken. Our offspring will choose and pursue their own happiness, regardless. And, yes, it will go beyond, above and far beneath social media shows of apparent bliss. Borders will crumble. Our progeny may likely fall in and stand in love with the progeny of those we begrudged. They might quite literally intermarry on burial spots in posthumous honor and arrears of reconciliation. To us is left the proverbial shifting. People will keep moving, adoptions will continue to occur. Resentments may persist for a while but love will outlive us and we cannot do anything permanent about this no matter how long and hard we try. We must start to alter the narratives because we will always need one another.

Very well, moments of ponder and attempts to rein in our prejudices often result in sobering discoveries of intelligence in all societies. On the DNA journey on one hand, people once considered naïve and backward have shown unexpected comprehension of technologies they once considered magic and occultic dabbling. Self-defeatists can and have excelled beyond the seemingly impossible. Even within a lifetime, ancient cultures have changed. We quietly realize that old solutions within our very own traditions that suited the times of our forebears are now possibly repugnant. We only need to be open-minded. The circumstances that trigger change are shockingly unforeseen! On the other side of the fence and complex immigration regulations are those who are somewhat trapped because they cannot really exist without the assistance of those on the other side, those whom they may be looking down upon. At least, both sides do wallow in this predicament and need something that the other can offer because our common and basic needs for sustenance remain unchanged. Our guesses are inexhaustible.

Muse this. It is really not always a victory of the strong. Even powerful people struggle. If we eventually choose fair enlightenment that comes from true self-examination and juxtapose peoples, our differences along the lines that became walls will continue to fade and suffer ignominy.

8. Feb. 2022