We are in the midst of a time of deep uncertainty, anger and grief over the state of higher education in this country. To say it is profoundly painful is something of understatement. Images of violence and senseless destruction fill my social media feeds. With it more or less masked rage at the other (whichever side is held).
How did we get here? We have to recognise that we live in one of the traumatised societies on that planet. That did not magically get healed with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. And now all the baggage of those years of brutally dehumanising the majority of the population is being triggered in all of us.
How do we find a way through? I have no idea. I only know that if we are going to give the next generation any hope at all we need to face into our own pain. We need to acknowledge the deep trauma.
If South Africa is to survive as a nation at all we need to do what we can to ensure that we don’t perpetuate the violence. Certainly I mean physical violence but I also mean the violence of words and intention.
How to do this as a society? I have absolutely no clue – for today I am doing my own inner work.
A resource I have found particularly useful has been the ‘Sanctuary’ album – a collaborative project between Jim Finley and Alana Levandoski. (You can find the live concert here: https://alanalevandoski.com/) The song which gives rise to the title of this blog can be found on the video around 24 minutes – Do not perpetuate violence against the parts of yourself that need to be loved the most.