Possibly, ninety-five percent of problems in this world come from failure to take trouble to verify things believed—whether true or false. This includes information coming from our own biological parents. The tendency is to believe everything said, without verification. Where did all this folly come from?
Skepticism also has a role, in causing people to put faith, only on the so-called trusted sources. But such trusted sources are, actually, also laden with falsehood, as equally susceptible to deceit. African children are, taught to avoid asking questions, but trust everything coming from their parents.
It takes only the intelligent—but considered rebels—to ask questions on issues of survival. Most of the adolescents succumb—taking comfort in whatever comes from the so-called authorities. The state of captivity in this world comes from false information, assumed as true.
Even though appearing as harmless—any information taken as true without verification is still detrimental. For instance, most people assume that former president Mugabe was most educated, in sub-Saharan Africa.
The conclusion being based on Mugabe’s ability to speak English very well, and a high number of graduates from Zimbabwe Universities. However, that information is false. The problem starts with inability to know what being educated implies. Most people associate education with holding some university graduate certificate.
Nevertheless, in its correct definition, education implies acquiring knowledge and skills, by means of careful study of informative material. True education, in a country, ought to be viewed as helpful in solving problems. True education aims at achieving the ability to apply what is learnt, for purposes of solving problems.
The educational level of any country, ought to be measured by the capacity to solve problems. This is the only standard by which the educational status of people in a country ought to be qualified. If churning out unemployable graduates, that country’s educational policies are skewed.
Those graduates are not educated, though misrepresented as educated. Colonialism may have had its share—as most black Africans associate education with the ability to speak fluent English. But the purpose of education ought to be aiming at establishing the truth, measured against problem solving.
The ability to speak a certain language, fluently, can be good and acceptable, when linked to the purpose of solving problems. In Zimbabwe, the former President spoke English so well—perhaps more than the English themselves. Yet driving the entire country into a shambolic condition.
He created more problems than solving them. That reality confirms truth in that the ability to speak English cannot be associated with being educated. When considering the correct definition, our former president was, probably the most uneducated President, in sub-Saharan Africa.
The meaning of education is justified by the ability to solve common problems of humanity. The statistical graph ought to positively show the up-ward trend on solved problems. If revealing more problems than solutions—obviously, that exposes our former president as having been the most uneducated in the region.
Mugabe’s incapability is also confirmed by presiding over the uneducated graduates, for approximately forty years. Currently, Zimbabwe is languishing in serious problems, including lack of electricity in the entire country. Where are the annually churned out graduates from our universities?
Of course, this is provocative, against those boasting of PHDs, etcetera. But what is that education, if unable to solve, the simplest of problems in a country? Others may point at doing great works in foreign lands. But, that alone, confirms another sign of being uneducated. A truly educated person knows that charity begins at home.
There are people, capable of convincing the gullible with historical precedents. But, without statistical evidence, no-one should be fooled. When ignorant of how a stone looks like, one requires education on the components of what a stone comprises. This is essential—before being convinced of what a stone is used for and why. This sounds crude, but essential in establishing facts.
Dictionaries can supply basic information about word usage. But they cannot always be a hundred percent correct. Especially, those dictionaries without word derivation—for purposes of establishing the originally intended meaning of such words. What is unknown to most people is that there is more lies out in this world than can be imagined.
Let us pick on the word, independence for instance. The word means freedom to organize one’s own life, and making own decisions—without needing help from others. For a nation, this refers to a time when a country gains freedom from political control by another country. This implies empowerment.
However, the same word may mean something different, for the people in rural districts, for instance. The governing authorities are known to instruct traditional leaders to order everyone to support the ruling party, even against their will.
Those people religiously observe independence celebrations yearly. But, for different reasons—other than appreciation of what the word independence implies. The villagers appear as uncertain of what independence means. The apathetic condition that they are in appears as having been imposed on them.
They are not, necessarily, illiterate, as unknowing the meaning of the word independence. After all, their own children have been among those graduating from tertiary institutions every year, since 1980. In Zimbabwe very few people can be viewed as insufficiently literate.
It seems as if what emboldens their apparent uneducated state, are traditions, anchored on cowardice. According to African culture, children are not expected to ask questions. A child is considered well-behaved, when not asking questions on matters of survival. The children grow with the trepidation, up to the point of graduation.
Influenced by such culture, the lecturer automatically becomes an authoritarian, insisting that students do well, when not thinking independently. The advice for students is to always please the lecturer, for purposes of acquiring the esteemed, but turning out to be a useless certificate.
The lecturer, on the other hand, is one also seeking to please those above him—but not the student. This could be another reason why graduates live in shadows of other people’s rather than their own lives. The children get recognized as good graduates, only when behaving like those who trained them.
This is a curse that appears as difficult to disentangled, in the entire African continent. It also spells the only reason why it appears as impossible to establish truth, independently. This gets even more complicated when religion is brought into the fray. Religion serves to incapacitate the mind faculty of any individual.
There are stories of Indian businessmen, who take advantage in exploiting the culture of polytheism in that country. Some young women offer their beautiful hair to such treacherous businessmen—assuming to sacrifice their hair to some unknown gods. Those businessmen then sell the hair to the equally duped African women—believing that long hair is necessary to be recognized as beautiful.
The businessmen—making a lot of money out of such dubious activities—assume that accumulation of money is necessary for dignity and happiness. Yet, a person becomes happier, only when his or her conscience is clean—regardless of whether in possession of money or not.
We have rich people committing suicides, for whatever reason—just like those without money commit suicides. It is well-documented that true happiness cannot be in material things. True happiness becomes possible, only when fulfilling other people’s survival needs—not necessarily taking advantage of their ignorance.
Consider, the scenario, where the duped black women—buying long hair from the duped Indian women. To them, the outside appearance is important. In turn, those fascinated by the artificial hair get duped into associating beauty with outside appearance. The whole facade is based on apparent falsehoods.
A person can look so beautiful, as to win the beauty contest without question—yet being a witch. Those duped by the appearance, would be oblivious of the beautiful person being a witch, for instance. But this cannot be possible, when willing to verify issues, in order to establish the real truth. Conversely, one can also be deceived into assuming that ugly women are not associated with witchcraft.
Everything is summed up on the axiom that truth is established by verification. There are many examples that can show proof of people falling into being hoodwinked, due to inability to verify. Of course, nothing appears wrong when dressing properly—when extremely necessary to be presentable before other people.
But when born black—as I am—there is no reason for me to avoid being black. Ideas to improve my outlook, should not include changing my skin-color, because that is what is real about me. It is equally wrong for anyone to copy my ideas of how I intend to project myself, in my skin-color.
I expect others to be real about themselves, as well as I should be real about my personality. This helps, especially in finding ways to be of service to others. Character should be the only factor that degrades or upgrades an individual. Although a person’s true personality should not be hidden.
The purpose of a person’s existence on this planet is providing service to other people. It is therefore paramount that the person’s true personality should be known by others, as reflecting what is true—whether considered good or bad.
There are services that one can give to other people. Just as there are services that the same person cannot give, but receive from other people. People easily access a person’s services—when truly informed of who the person would really be.
We are our brothers’ keepers. But it cannot be possible for each of us to fulfil that role, when not telling each other truths. It is only the truth that sets us free. This includes exposing truth about what makes us feel embarrassed. Keeping those things secretive does not, in any way, remove cause of embarrassment.
Falsehood, at times can make a person appear as dignified, but true dignity is impossible, when hiding one’s true personality. It is impossible for others to really distinguish people needing services—when such people project falsehood.
Others love religion, yet it is in religion where failure to project truth is most manifested. There are many people who go to Church, only for reasons of receiving respect from other people. For instance, Jesus was livid about the Pharisaic worshippers who assumed that Godliness implied outside appearance:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean” (Matthew 23:25-26) (ESV).
This is just as fake bank notes, result in problems associated with failure to verify the truth. This projects the fact that the most important thing of all time is establishing truth at all times. Without truth, humanity remains in dungeons of slavery. This is as, all problems come from failure to establish truth.
Being free implies certainty of what a person adopts as truth. This depends on verification, which requires careful analysis, before concluding. This is what Jesus implied, when talking to the Jews—whose superficial knowledge of scriptures had not been based on verification:
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” (John 8:31-33) (ESV).
Unfortunately, we live in a society that makes us feel good, when highly regarded by others. Producing resumes, or CVs, hides everything negative—project only what is considered good about us. However, the best CV is one that hides good, but projecting worst things about us.
Good things about a person should be exposed by other people. Exposing the worst, creates the opposite of what currently exists in this world. The scarcity of truth is caused by hiding negative things, when preferring to expose only what is positive. This is why wrong people hold wrong positions of authority.
Self-gratification, rather than gratifying other people causes all the known problems in this world. To make this world better, there is need to reverse behaviors. What is not right, is inability to adopt truth—established in extending value to others—rather than to oneself.
Failure to verify issues, was started at the Garden of Eden. The serpent tricked Eve—yet humanity had been created to have dominion over every creature. How could she be tricked by the snake, meant to be under her authority? Humanity continues in such follies.
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.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
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