Ignorant people assume that dignity is enhanced by acquisition of wealth. Sadly, it is mostly, the poor people who get exposed to this misplaced assumption. On attaining their independence, black Africans are mostly entangled in this fallacious reality, more than other races—possibly, due to colonialism. This is why corruption is pronounced more in Africa, than it is on the rest of the world.
The current civilization is sustained in the belief that this life is meaningful, only when one is physically wealthy. Even with clear evidence of what happened to Zimbabwe, the land issue is topical in South Africa. Out of the inferiority complex, the blacks view whites as more privileged than blacks, in terms of material wealth. The advocates of land acquisition and black empowerment assume that the life of a black man becomes better, when rich.
But the empirical evidence of how that theory produces the opposite of what would be intended is right before them. Of course, experience ought to be regarded as the best teacher. With Zimbabwe, serving as a perfect example of how dim-witted that assumption is, South Africa is seized with land acquisition for black people. The heroism of the late former President, Mugabe—-regarded as the great champion of black empowerment—is ensconced on this assumption.
However, if truth be told, the former President was a champion of black dis-empowerment, rather than empowerment. His major problem was centered on assuming that wealth enhances the dignity of an individual. While appearing as if true, this results from the ignorance that permeates across humanity.
Interestingly, while no other book can come closer in matching the popularity of the Holy Bible, most of what is written in the Bible is ignored. The story would be different, if the Holy Bible was to be taken word for word. For instance, the Holy Bible reveals stupidity that comes with assuming that wealth determines the value of an individual:
“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” (James 2:1-5) (ESV).
Making a distinction that favors a person who is dressed in expensive clothes, comes from evil thoughts. Anything regarded as evil, is exactly what is associated with stupidity, which includes irrationality. When value is committed to wealth, rather than the person owning wealth, it is a misplaced value. The inanimate physical properties, being lifeless, cannot be more valuable than human beings.
Physical properties are of this world. At death, the Pharaohs wanted to be buried with their wealth. But such historical records, should serve, only as lessons for those living in modern generations. Value implies quality—measured according to the degree of importance, as given to it, by others. Anything is valuable, only when improving human survival. The important question ought to be focused on what enables the enhancement of human survival.
The apple-tree analogy shows that one places value on things beneficial to him. An apple-tree provides delicious fruits, for the person’s consumption. The person does everything necessary to nurture apple-trees, hoping they would produce sufficient fruits for his consumption. Other plants may not be as valuable as the apple-tree, in terms of producing what the person desires.
A rich person is not valuable, unless willing to share with the poor. James clarifies further, the folly in judging according to evil thoughts: “But you have dishonored the poor man. “Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?” (Verse 6).
What is strange is that the exploited majority appear as enjoying exploitation by the rich. They envy rich people, instead of being disgusted by their conduct. For instance, the true colors of our formerly exploited blacks was exposed by stampeding for relocating to the exclusive white suburban areas, immediately after independence. That behavior could not be right, when considering the prize of independence. Colonialism had been symbolized in white-men’s penchant for exclusivity.
If that was unacceptable, why envy it? The candid question that needs answering is: Was colonialism bad for Africans, or good for Africans? There is no middle ground. If good, there ought not to have been any need to fight against the colonialists.
However, if colonialism was, indeed, bad, why should Africans adopt the life-styles of the colonialists? Common sense dictates that one cannot love what he hates, or hate what he loves. Such foolishness can be compared to a husband who constantly beats his wife—stating that to be proof of loving her. Evilness implies always doing the opposite of what befits reality.
When focused on amassing wealth, what would be the motive? Perhaps the fairest question ought to be: How can one be valuable, in this life? We used an analogy of an apple-tree being adjudged as valuable, due to its provision of delicious fruits, to the farmer. The value of the apple-tree is conferred on the apple-tree—not on the manure and other plant nutrients. Apple-trees do not feed on apples.
The one enjoying the delicious fruits, produced by an apple-tree is the one valuing the apple-tree. Through using the apple-tree as analogy, we can conclude that a person becomes valuable, only when other people receive beneficial value from him. In other words, one is considered valuable, only when others extract some benefit, emanating from that person’s services.
Zimbabwe is currently languishing in serious economic challenge. Those who are superstitious believe that the gods need appeasement, for things to become right. Christians—considering themselves as not superstitious—equally view God as causing all sorts of troubles. Christians may not be different from those assuming that problems are caused by angry gods, or by the ancestral spirits. The reality that comes as effects of violating natural laws—being sustained in cause and effect—is rarely suspected.
Many of such laws are manipulated in producing sophisticated scientific ingenuity like atomic bombs—capable of destroying every life on the planet. God is not involved, in such sinful engagements. But, the same sinful humanity was given superior mind-power—capable of choosing between what is right and what is wrong. What is right justifies consideration of human survival. Therefore, what should be considered as wrong is that which causes misery on humanity.
Only those, equipped with intelligent minds, are capable of deducing between what leads to destruction of humanity and what saves humanity. The source of intelligence itself is the one who created the Universe with its unbreakable natural laws. Therefore, foolishness has always been associated with assumption of being intelligent without the involvement of the Almighty God.
When using Zimbabwe as an example—one can clearly see what it is that brought the country to its current challenges. Whether most people like to believe it or not, Zimbabweans were proud of a leader like Mugabe, at independence. He assumed being intelligent—without the involvement of the Almighty God. All activities were shaped, not according to the intelligence of the Almighty God. But according to the leader who, apparently, assumed being more intelligent than God.
The wrong footing, was in idolizing the liberation struggle, rather than appreciating that God had been involved in leading the country to attain independence. The uneducated majority believed that fallacy and still believe the same fallacy of putting faith in human leaders, even today. It is, therefore, not surprising that we have most people still stuck in assuming that our challenges are caused by sanctions, imposed by former colonizers. Such people jealously defend their own stupidity.
They, cannot even see such thinking, being what gives leverage to the people they assumed as having defeated at the liberation war. In other words, according to their analysis, Zimbabwe is yet to attain independence. When the current leader, goes all over the world, telling everyone that Zimbabwe is open for business, he perceives wisdom in that kind of behavior. His hordes of supporters ululate for such chanting.
But, a careful analysis reveals lack of wisdom in that behavior. He is, actually, telling those whom he assumes to have defeated at war, to be wiser than Zimbabweans. But that is not true. All humans were created in God’s image and God is not racially aligned. The source of wisdom is accessible to whoever desires wisdom—but not accessible to the proud who assume being wiser than God.
The current leadership seems as on the verge of surrendering independence back to the former colonizers. They cannot believe that there can be anyone capable of ruling this country, when not coming from ZANU PF. Right there, lies the source of stupidity. The hordes of their party supporters also believe in that, totally myopic, if not idiotic viewpoint. This is why the axiom “Pride comes before a fall” will forever stand.
All problems of humanity hinge on what has become the curse of Zimbabwe. It is a matter of time before our SADAC neighbors succumb to the quicksand of this stupidity. This can equally affect anyone in the world—as only the backgrounds of each person affects behavior. The levels of either stupidity, or intelligence, is what makes some difference. It goes without saying that all stupidity lies in assuming being wise. Yet all wisdom lies in assuming being ignorant—thereby opening up for Godly wisdom.
Everything starts with assuming there is wisdom in accumulating wealth for self—rather than in being of service to other people. Most of our people find value in accumulated wealth for self, rather than generating value for other people. When using our apple-tree analogy and its fruit, a person is considered valuable, only when able to do things for others. It is other people who confer value on a person—from whom they get things of value.
A person is valueless, when focusing on things that benefit self, alone, instead of focusing on what benefits other people. A person may own the most valuable assets, as matching wealth consideration. But as long as other people would not benefit, that person would be valueless. The cancer of rampant corruption in Zimbabwe, stems from assuming wisdom in accumulation of wealth for personal gain. There is no easy way out of this quagmire.
Doing what benefits other people is considered foolish by many people. Yet that is where wisdom lies. The Zimbabweans were encouraged to take land—viewed as status symbol—by the recipients. However, that took away value from them and placed it on land. Economically, Zimbabwe is dead, notwithstanding the considered fair distribution of the same land among the indigenous people.
Currently, the most valuable people in Zimbabwe, are the money-changers in street corners. The entire country looks to street money-changer, rather than production of consumable products. Instead of addressing causes of lack of production, the government plays all sorts of monetary policy gymnastics—making empty promises to the restive populace.
The government seems blind to the fact that there is no production in farms. Having corruptly received vast tracts of land, the government Ministers are dodgy on the question of failure to produce in farms. The misplaced reality is in that the acquired farms hold more value than those occupying such farms. If those occupying land are less valuable than the farms they occupy, how can it be possible for the country to move forward? Without valuable people occupying those farms, the farms also become valueless.
One becomes valuable only when educated to appreciate value being what one does for other people and not for him/herself. Unfortunately, we have an educational system that is also focused on ostentation, more than what the scholar should produce. Everyone feels honorable when holding some educational degree, of some sort. That person is not bothered much about what he/she does for others, as long as holding an honorable educational degree.
The same applies to those occupying valuable land—though unable to produce anything on the same land, for other people. This includes those owning valuable fifty-bed-roomed mansions—yet unable to do anything for others. Such behavior portrays stupidity, permeating across the entire populace. This is why our people are so gullible as to be tricked by the religious conmen—who peddle falsehood rather than truth.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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