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Price tag — language and cultural proficiency

Written by Webmeester on . Posted in Ander bydraes

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There are two pressing aspects omitted from church to church, organisation to organisation, house to house thinking on South Africa’s future — learning each others languages and cultures thus embracing mutual histories.

Pre-liberation thinking focused on dismantling apartheid in favour of inclusive democracy  with little attention to the challenges of post-liberation.

Today we are living with the  tensions that have arisen from the ‘development’ processes of missionary, educational, economic and commercial colonialism. The positives became swamped, the negatives oppressive for those perceived as undeveloped.

To achieve needed reconciliatory interaction mistakes made must become our tutors, we need to learn from what was not done. Required unity and justice need more thorough language and cultural understanding. Voices that brought about change need to be echoed now and their volume increased to ensure our many strengths resonate further.

Faith and service organisations that have the ear of millions collectively are particularly well placed to achieve this. Multi-racialism must be pro-actively explored.

Inclusiveness necessarily involves personal and interpersonal concerns regarding, physical, intellectual, psychological, spiritual and mental health. What has been and is already being achieved needs to take on tsunami proportions with a person for person search for ways to equip ourselves to relate to communities totally different from our own.

Active engagement with each other would reduce fears of the unknown.

Voices of concerned rationality and patience need with ever deepening empathy to continue answering the frustrated voice of liberation.

Integrity and trust will only come through genuinely treating each other as human beings — leading to emancipation of us all and the freedom of true humanity.

We  must implement a social process to make bilingualism a household “word”.

The call of the Belhar Confessional thinking within the Dutch Reformed Christian community for instance must come with such a process not before it; then held high as the beacon of progressive hope among all peoples together.

Freedom for us all remains the clarion call. Freedom from traditionalism and its negative practices. Freedom from partisan convictions and concerns.

The impetus is there in many faiths and philosophies. Individuals and collectives can re-emphasise and actualise it.

In the lived experience of ‘liberation’ we can bring this language and cultural focus into the realities of service delivery, low wages, closure of major business enterprises and mines, retrenchments, wide-spread unemployment and growing poverty, crime, fear, emigration, and farm murders.

The social reality faced in South Africa challenges to the utmost the credibility and liberating power of all ways of dealing with life.

In achieving this we relate with what is the most humane in ourselves and in others.

This the price tag.

It must be paid.

by John Murray

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