Our parish priest gave a phenomenal homily this evening. In it he recounted a conversation with Mother Teresa in the 1980’s where the troubles in South Africa were being discussed. I forget now quite the words he used, but I have paraphrased her response in my own mind as ‘Leave the craziness to Christ.’
That isn’t an abdication of responsibility to do the best that we can.
I watched ‘Spotlight’ last night, which recounts the uncovering of the story of physical abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests in Boston in 2002. The overwhelming message seemed to me to be about the ease with which so many in the community were effectively complicit.
South African higher education (the sector in while I am employed) is in turmoil at the moment. There are very real tensions which exploded into the burning of paintings last Tuesday evening. From a small faction, there is a very strong anti-white anti-establishment cause. It is unsettling.
For better or worse the system in which I work is currently seen as being problematic and exclusionary. I know it is unlikely I will ever have a conversation with those who are at the heart of the transformation movement. I am no activist and I am relatively junior as far as academic power structures go.I don’t see that any attempt on my part to insert myself into any of those spaces would be particularly helpful.
All I can do is to commit myself to observation, and to call out any person regardless of rank who behaves in a way which is derogatory or exclusionary of any other. I commit to doing this privately where possible. I have no desire to shame anyone.
The rest I leave in the hands of God – I trust that those who need to negotiate and make decisions in the long long road we have ahead will have promptings to act in creative ways. Some choices will be good and some perhaps not quite so good. But overall I think we have some inspiring leaders in our universities and among the younger generation who are truly trying to affect change.
I am choosing hope; stepping up to do my part as I see it; and leaving the craziness to Christ.