A+ R A-

Slavery's Predisposition to Today's Juggling

E-mail Print PDF

Share this article with a friend

Imagine in the setting of late 17th century Africa that the two of us, who do not know each other, have sound minds; are solid citizens; and share the African philosophy of being spiritually connected. Suddenly, a fishnet is thrown over you in one place and me in another place. With inadequate clothing we are marched from our homes over hundreds of miles, with little or no food and water, to a dungeon. Once there a cup of food for our daily ration is thrown at us and out of desperation for self-preservation we fight each other for the tid-bits. Aboard the Middle Passage ship bringing us to the Americas we are chained together and packed on top of each other so as to not even be able to turn over- -like being in a coffin--and in the extremes of heat and cold--for 6 to 12 weeks. Once on an American plantation we are completely defenseless while face-to-face with the most evil, sadistic, destructive, self-absorbed, and heavily armed brute people the world has ever known. These captors care no more for us than they would a mosquito and our only purpose is to make money for them and to provide entertainment (dance, sing, fight each other). By this time our minds are in chaos; our spirits are shattered; and our bodies are wracked with pain. Though linked together by our spiritual connectedness, by chains, and by pain and suffering, the captors have told you that I am out to cause you harm and have told me that you are out to do me harm. Hence, you should not trust me and I should not trust you. Instead you and I should tell them if the other is planning to do anything for self-improvement or for escape. The idea is for us to completely dependent on them.

Meanwhile, "Time" on the plantation means nothing to us because "What difference would it make?" In doing back-breaking work (as in bending over all day to pick cotton) in terrible weather conditions and with overseers cracking the whip on us to motivate us to work faster, we get no benefit from working hard or fast or well. Besides, we have no desire whatsoever to do any more than is absolutely "necessary" to make money for these devils--and "necessary" is almost to the point of getting whipped. Thus, we do things as slowly as possible and that establishes a "new normal" slow pace compared with the pace we had in Africa. Furthermore, on the plantation we are totally dependent for survival on what the evil captors provide and that has naturally crushed our self-reliance and ability to solve problems--as had been strong features of our African Ancestors. What this created in us is a desire to soothe each other with talk and to take advantage of every pleasant diversion-- "seed" desires culturally transmitted as "zombie" habits (the practice continues but its "Why" has faded) to thereby infiltrate most activities of our today's daily living.

In short, the Slaves' attitudes about time, working at a slow pace, and desiring to take breaks when much work is to be done could be Slave Survivals contributing to today's Jugglers. So what do you do to survive? Would you have tried all sorts of things as, for example, "going along to get along"--as in catering to the captors while wearing a mask to hide how you really felt. By this time would I have given up all hope for a better tomorrow (what is worse than that?) and developed a "What's the use?" attitude toward life? Would I have fought back or tried to escape--realizing I could be killed?--yep! The former attitude would have caused me to consider Black American style Masochistic self-justification of "It's my fate!"- -that God is causing me to go through this hell as a means of purifying me for the Afterlife. But if I believe God is Love then pain and suffering would never be part of God's plan and thus "It's my fate!" is never a "Right" excuse for "giving up." Otherwise, "It's my fate!" is passed down to my children and my children's children without them ever knowing I locked them into the status quo and forced them to desperately "juggle" throughout life. The point: to imagine myself as being my Enslaved Ancestors is to know much about myself today.

website: www.jablifeskills.com

Quantcast