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The right hearts for our history – Part 2

By ‘Deji Kuye
01 August 2019   |   3:30 am
The defeated wanted a second round that they may fight harder and win. Well, victory is often a result of resilience.

The defeated wanted a second round that they may fight harder and win. Well, victory is often a result of resilience. Such vindictive hearts will always look for faults blameable, to aggravate such with comments fit to trigger parties into battles. That is the case between certain Super powers in the world. And that is the case everywhere. Only the hearts capable of forgiveness should master history. Only the hearts capable of peace and love should feed on history. Only hearts of humanists should explain our history. Only hearts that value lives of humans and nature should trumpet our history. Endless retribution does no good to mankind. History should not repeat itself. There is, however, a need to be true to reality. Let us use feminism as an example. On the history of patriarchy many women are fighting back that male hegemony that had made (and many have not stopped to make) women tools or dolls fitting only for prescribed functions of which sex and motherhood are primary –the latter being a result, a relief, a burden, a delight or perhaps a consequence of the former. Thanks to a realist god, Henrik Ibsen, Nora leaves A Doll’s House to become a destiny of her own. One may think as a man reading a feminist work that there is a gradual change –like the comrades in Orwell’s Animal Farm fighting Mr Jones, as spurred by Old Major, assured all animals are equal, and only get to achieve a recreation of the displaced order. It may be like a tilt to transferring of the mythical oppressive hegemonic gender power to the ones once overruled.  It is like a gradual revolutionary taking of power from men and using it against men as men have used it against women. But that is surely a papa’s way of seeing mama’s strides –threatening. And the change may not be worthless after all. Papa’s Eureka moment might be when his daughter is faced with the trauma of rape and domestic violence. How can we ask our warriors to surrender when surrendering does not stop the war or the massacre of our people?

The hearts of forgiveness, the heart of love, of peace and of aesthetics, of not forgetting but of being conscious and cautious of good and evil captured with the lens of history will work only when history is truly historical as slavery in its original form has become historical. But when hegemony has not stopped, when oppression has not stopped, when racism has not stopped, when affliction has not stopped, when raping and choking, destruction and mutilation, killing and spoiling are openly perpetrated in the shades of impunity, when terrors are sainted and prized and saints are TERROFIED, when a people’s voice and being, lives, desires, and dignity are subjected to unpleasantness and agony in shades of perpetuity then we definitely cannot evoke the spirit of letting go or the heart of comradeship. We will only summon the heart of fighting back as we look at history in the face and make it our guide. As Adrienne Rich would say that “love itself is in need of re-vision” I think love, marriage, union of any kind, nationhood, sisterhood, motherhood, brotherhood, family, sexuality, fatherhood, childhood, leadership, followership, membership, citizenship and all relations including religion need a re-vision upon a new condition of sacred humanist ethics of mutualism and not viral vices of parasitism. The affliction that has ended may be forgiven but the ongoing, however subtle, must be challenged and stopped. So, it is not about gender roles or tribal codes or racial vanity. It is all about respect and mutual delight on the solid foundation of a scriptural sacred humanist maxim, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

The word of Alexander Pope is sufficient in itself as he gave his “Essay on Criticism” saying: Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man’s erring judgment, and misguide the mind
What the weak head with strongest bias rules
Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.

It is extreme for a man god fearing and humane to ignore the attacked and robbed man who is bleeding and dying to champion a call for offerings and volunteers to build a mighty temple for Ares. Do not seek to quench a fire by moving a magma into a domain too filled with magma. You cannot appease furious souls by asking them to worship the ones they are wary of. The right hearts for our history are the hearts of a humanist, religion regardless, which shall know times and situations and for which peace of now and peace of the future is primary –knowing what to avoid and when as well as what to accommodate and when. History shall not die and may it guide us into not dying or not dying anymore.

Kuye wrote from Lagos