The most difficult thing can be for a sane person to co-exist with insane people. This describes an environment where the abnormal would be normalized and what is abnormal being accepted as normal. The normal person would most likely succumb to also become insane. There is no liberation struggle that can correct a condition of mental illness, described in that level of insanity.
The world is divided between right and wrong, but there is confusion in choosing what should be acceptable from what is unacceptable. What is wrong is expected to be viewed as abnormal, while what is right is expected to be accepted as normal. Imagine a nation where those standing up for the truth are regarded as traitors, deserving to be incarcerated.
Can there be any worse condition than where a person who blatantly tells lies is labelled a patriot and handsomely rewarded, accordingly? Imagine also highly promising students at colleges being pushed to corners of insignificance, where nonperformers would be elevated on political expediency.
This includes known criminals being granted freedom and brandishing protection from authorities. After stealing from government coffers, they would then be hailed as successful businesspeople. After all, acquiring large sums of unaccountable monies would not be a crime in a land of corruption.
Those unable to make money, under those circumstances, are considered unwise. The time to make money is considered to be when criminality would be allowed to thrive to unprecedented levels. The one reporting a crime to the law enforcement agents would be incarcerated, while the perpetrator would be granted freedom. Living in a land of criminality is considered most beneficial and proves to be ideal for independence.
Men are converted to be treated as women, while women are also treated as men, in a land said to portray independence. Everything is changed so that what is supposed to be white is made black and what is black is changed to be white. I am reminded of how strange it was to observe a driver overtaking from the left, in the early eighties.
The practice that had started off as being of crazy Combi drivers has since developed to become accepted as normal, in Zimbabwe. Ordinary drivers have now awkwardly adopted wrong driving habits as if normal. The traffic police are no longer there to instil order in the roads, but specifically to take bribes from traffic offenders.
A friend, after retrenchment in early year two thousand, bought a Combi, intending to engage in commuter business. But within three months he had surrendered. On asking him what had happened, he revealed the abnormality prevailing on the roads. The traffic police resented ethical commuter transport businesses, in favour of the unethical ones.
Ethical drivers were not regarded as good fellows. The darling of the traffic police were unlicensed vehicles and drivers. The traffic police would protect them, as long as they would pay the stipulated bribes. Ethical Combi drivers were much of an inconvenience to the traffic police. As to whether such corruption was regularized from the top, or not, remains unknown.
No one benefits from such kind of behaviour. Those collecting millions out of corruption might appear as enjoying the good life, but the opposite is true. That behaviour projects the effects of insanity. The projected happiness can be likened to happiness in a mental hospital. Normalizing the abnormal is observable across Zimbabwe, as in political violence.
The citizens of Zimbabwe consider themselves helpless, expecting that other nations would come to their rescue. However, this is a problem of insanity affecting the general populace. Regardless of how small an irregular condition can be allowed to prevail, it snowballs into a real catastrophe.
There is a proverbial analogy of a frog, left in a water container, connected to a heating point. When thrown into hot water the frog would be able to jump off the water container, to survive. However, when allowed to remain in that condition before the boiling temperature, the frog remains oblivious to the increasing temperature towards death.
The frog would eventually die without noticing the incremental process of the heat towards the boiling point. This explains how the entire populace can be affected when criminality is allowed to normalize in people’s lives. Everything would have started off small, appearing as insignificant violations of the law.
Lawlessness eventually deteriorates into rampant anarchy. Apparently, Zimbabwe has reached a stage where even law courts have ceased to be effective. One can murder another person, but be released after paying bribes. The Bible describes that condition of sinful, as a transgression of the Law.
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be, has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:2-6 NIV).
The effects of lawlessness in Zimbabwe are frighteningly scary, as also create unpredictable conditions for ordinary people. There is no one to feel secure in a country where people are allowed to take law into their own hands; dictated by political machinations.
We have reached a point where remaining quiet, under the circumstances, should be regarded as criminal. One would be complicit with criminality when allowing lawlessness to prevail. Another armed struggle looms, in Zimbabwe, where sacrificial undertaking appears necessary. It is now a question of what people can do to secure their freedoms.
Three possibilities are open for consideration. The first is to remain peaceful, but vote wisely in the next general elections. However, this appears unworkable, under the prevailing lawlessness in the country. Campaigning and advancing manifestos is necessary for elections to produce the wishes of the people.
Peaceful elections cannot be possible, under the prevailing lawlessness in the country. The unmitigated violence that took away many people’s lives in year two thousand and eight appears inevitable. That is scary. I, personally, would not advocate for the electoral process, under such conditions.
The second option is to appeal for international intervention, like SADC, or the United Nations. I find this still unworkable when considering the failings of the GNU of the year 2009. Putting responsibility on foreigners also invites unnecessary propaganda, where the opposition is labelled as the puppet of the Western, for instance.
This can, also, encourage possible foreign enemies to detect the pace, rather than Zimbabweans detecting the pace, themselves. The idea cannot be persuasive, as well. What is necessary is pushing Zimbabweans to appreciate that the condition we are in is a result of failure to take responsibility.
The third idea is an armed struggle, considered the only language that suppressive people understand. This; can be validated after assuming to have exhausted all possible ideas to break the logjam. This appears similar to going to an election and risking being killed.
The armed struggle is the worst of all options. Shooting one another for the sake of attaining peace is as wicked as having produced the status quo. The armed struggle is barbaric and can be classified as another way of perpetuating the existent insanity. The last one, appearing as the only workable idea, is confronting the system for electoral reforms.
The first call is to exhaust all legal channels, necessary for having this matter resolved. This includes keeping the Minister of Justice busy twenty-four hours a day until all concerns are addressed. There is no need to be apologetic about pursuing such matters twenty-four hours a day. What is necessary is to remain civilized, when confronting survival matters.
Communicating, one-on-one, or through social media, is also vital. It takes normal people to address issues of insanity in their environment. If observing the wrong behaviour of one’s neighbour, why allow it to go? Any positive communication, whether posted on Facebook or any other media channel, makes a difference.
Communication is ideal, as long as reaching other people. This could start with relatives, but spread to other people on Facebook and other media channels. The most important point is to appreciate that we are our brother’s keepers. Thinking about our own enclaves, without considering other people, whose conducts affect us, is also evil.
As long as positively impacting on others; little things fulfil the purpose of living in this world. Communication can be most effective, as material resources cannot always be accessible. Much time spent talking can change someone’s life. At times, even arguments are better than not communicating, although listening to one another is encouraged more.
The only people to avoid are the propagandists, who I consider to be the most dangerous in this world. The only reason why media channels are to be avoided by ordinary people is that they are good at misquoting people. The mainstream media serves to fuel the already insane environment, through propaganda.
They come to an innocent person with an agenda so that after giving an innocent statement, they would manipulate it for their agenda. The idea is to either promote their propaganda or tarnish the other party. The safest is general communication with friends.
One can convince one’s own brother or sister of what one considers to be right, as also affects common survival. For instance, those in the Diaspora could use their communication lines to influence proper thinking. This does not necessarily mean taking a partisan approach. What is good has no partisanship.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you”(Philippians 4:8-9 NIV).
Insanity cannot be addressed by a partisan approach. It requires the ability to be cool and concentrate on doing the right things all the time. Each person ought to realize that he/she carries a responsibility to be an agent of peace. Causing discord is not necessarily by other people, but includes the person who decides to keep a distance from other people.
“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth”(Psalms 34:14-16 NIV).
An insane environment is chaotic, making it impossible for any normal human being to feel comfortable under such conditions. As long as able to make up your bed in the morning, you are probably the right person to start communicating with other people. It takes a person who understands order to instil order in an environment.
But if having friends or relatives who are unable to make their beds in the morning, it is important to remind them. Each of us has a responsibility to make things work, in an unworkable environment. Zimbabwe is our only country; for which we are the only people responsible for its workability.
Let us collectively confront falsehoods, even by taking to court those who report falsehoods. Understandably, we have an unworkable system, but something can be done with the minimum resources available. It is a question of what can be done, with limited resources at our disposal.
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (Peter 3:8-12 NIV).
Being angry with another person is insanity, just as harming another person is insanity. Zimbabwe is a country, that has not had peace for a long time. But let us thank God that, while others have pursued the path of violence since the armed struggle, there has not been any retaliation. That madness must come to an end, by the peace-loving citizens.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the 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 relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99