20 July 2009

I am because You are

Would it be possible that people in rural areas of Africa connect with people in urban areas around the world?

That one can walk into a scene and meet someone who walks into the same scene, even if it is geographically separated? That we explore and connect rural and urban worlds worldwide without anyone being forced into cultural suicide? That we meet around the globe and relate, embrace, love, and build meaningful relationships? That we find ways to be of significance and support to each other and together shuffle poverty and disease into the abyss? That we encourage each other to withstand drunkenness and drugs, bullying, self harm, and greed? That we share spiritual nutrition to deal with wealth, loss, alienation and pain in this generation?

That we unite through social networks overcoming divides and separations? That we share ancient, tested and new resources, opportunities, visions, and dreams that lead to knowledge, understanding and wisdom?

That we collaborate cross-everything to discuss, and make tools to balance the way toward, taking into account integral health of all systems? That we together, South and North, build capacity and accountability, and progress, for justice and fairness?

That I am because You are?

17 July 2009

How DO you?

What do you do? That question is proposed to me mostly by people from western snit. It tends to be part of a line of questioning, going like what do you do?, what do people say about you?, what do you have?. Answers to these questions supposedly lead towards the assessment and subsequently guides the measure of commitment of association. Thus challenged, I diligently write reports - both formal and informal - answering that question for many audiences. And still I will have to write many others, as the hunger for answers to this question is huge. Hence twitter.

Fortunately, I am privileged to sit in a hotel room in Cape Town, taking time off while my wife Janneke attends high level HIV-related conferences in this remarkable city. Intentionally I take time to reflect on what do I do?. I can state that I wander rural African lands, champion the poor, provoke people, and implicitly and explicitly call the international community to account, however, upon reflection all this vanishes in view of the question who are you?

I am grateful for being in Africa, where the question who are you? is the most important question and main course of every interpersonal interaction. The answer thus fuels collaboration and inspiration and guides groups of rag-tag and seasoned visionaries, dreamers, and hands-on load-carriers to implement its consequences into every day living. And as such fuels thedoing.

Well, who am I? The answer needs study, interaction, and, of course, is multi dimensional and to be discovered daily. However, it incorporates aspects of 'a broken person, crushed by, seeing the consequences of death through AIDS and other poverty related deceases, the profound pain and struggles during the uphill battle for sustainable progress by the poor, and, the many other extreme challenges that disempowered communities of this world face'. Also it contains 'a person, inspired by vision for empowerment of those in disease ridden communities, awed by the magnificence and strength of the poor, and, who has chosen to believe to be able to be together and seize opportunities that our amazing world provides to build bridges between cultures and circumstance over which we can interact and support one another'.

So, what do I do? Aiming to build relationships and communities, trying to conquer the challenges of relating. In that programs, platforms, projects and meetings are instrumental only, part of the arsenal of means to. I seek solutions and innovations that are more complex and less rationalistic than mainstream Western worldview seemingly dictates.

All in all, let us BE before we DO.