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Grounding and Centering Ourselves: Chosen to Bring Good in the World  – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Ethical philosopher, author, two doctoral degrees and professor and chair of the Department of African Studies at California State University, Long Beach, Maulana Karenga (File photo)

In these tragic, anxious and anxious times, it is still important for all of us, soldiers, civilians and supporters, to constantly pause, reflect and renew. So, I share again some thoughts on how to ground ourselves and focus on our constant pursuit and struggle to bring and maintain good in the world.

Sometimes it is good to stop in the midst of the hustle and bustle of every day and sit down, remember and reflect on the people we know and know; places we have been and are now; positions we have taken and are occupying now; where we come from and go; and what we have done and want to continue to do, regardless.

I cultivate this as an experienced and constant soldier of Us, Simba, a lion in both winter and summer after being on the battlefield and front for more than half a century, and one who has no intention of retiring, changing course or receiving a revelation that makes me minimize the importance of the Black Liberation Movement, which we helped build in the 60s and 70s, or that directs me in every direction except forward in love and struggle on the ascending paths of our revered ancestors.

But even in the midst of battle, it is good to think about who we are and what we are really fighting for, to explore and affirm the essence and strength of the land on which we stand. Thus, in the context of the encouraging and expanding struggles of Ferguson, such a pause for remembrance, reflection and reaffirmation becomes a way of inner strengthening, cultural and spiritual centering, which protects us from disorienting doubts, disabling despair and resentment caused by a sense of failure, imaginary complaints against others and undeclared insecurity in ourselves and ultimately abandoning the struggle when obstacles, crises and devastating blows come. Indeed, this is one of the things that sets Our members apart from others who have strayed from the struggle, embittered, offended, and blaming imaginary enemies and hated opponents for failing to achieve and endure.

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The key to our continued commitment, courage, strength and struggle is a deep-rooted sense and understanding of our identity, purpose and direction as individuals and people. And as an African people, we have an infinitely rich and rewarding treasure trove of sacred literature with spiritual and ethical teachings to give us a solid foundation to stand on and provide us with a comprehensive concept of ourselves, our mission, and our righteous ways and means. to achieve it.

This is a basic teaching of our revered ancestors in the sacred text, Odu Ifa, that we “humans are divine selected to bring good to the world ”and that this is the basic meaning and mission of human life. Odu (78: 1) says, “Let us do things with joy, for men have certainly been chosen by God to bring good to the world.”

This is a unique teaching in the moral and theological thinking of the world, as it makes all people God-chosen, not one group chosen above or above and against all others. Rather, it assigns to every human being the personal and collective responsibility to bring good to the world. Moreover, the world for man (s) is the same word for “chosen (s)”, i.e. ениянwhich makes us unable to say “human being” without saying “chosen,” and we cannot claim to be chosen in any divine way except as a close person among and with other human beings. in the shared task of bringing good to the world. Of course, this requires and requires “racial” and religious modesty, which is not always accepted or expressed.

Now Odu 78: 1 also tells us that if we want to bring good to the world, we must achieve certain basic goals: complete knowledge of things for all; happiness everywhere; peace inside and out; harmony with nature; health; security and well-being. And in order to achieve these seven overarching goals, Odu tells us that we must have at least: “wisdom; an irresistible desire for good character and inner strength. ”

The sacred text then extends the list of necessary attributes and practices, saying that “the things necessary to achieve good fortune in the world are: wisdom suitable for governing the world; sacrifice; character; the love of doing good for all people, especially those in need and those who seek help from us; and the impatience and struggle to increase the good in the world and not allow the good to be lost. “

It is important to recognize and respect the emphasis that our ancestors placed on knowledge and wisdom, not only as a key condition for a good world, but also necessary for the real achievement of a good world. The balance between spiritual / psychological needs and material needs is also important – the body or the needs of good health emerge as the end of fears of various kinds, especially death and disease, and material well-being is described as the end of poverty, misery and devastating loss.

The idea of ​​our need to “love to do good” is also beautiful, especially for those in need Aleni, literally “having no”. In this way, the love of doing good takes us beyond doing things simply as a burdensome obligation or reluctant responsibility.

And he tells us that it is the love of doing good that makes our giving and doing good extremely good. In fact, we all know people who give with a negative attitude or spirit and therefore undermine and deny the good and make us want to refuse the gift or the given good or return it.

Also essential here is the constant stress on the need for victimsgiving valuable things, giving our heart and mind in the struggle to bring good to the world; our time and effort; our material goods; and finally, when we feel good about it, integrity of ourselves. The concept of struggle is also beautiful, not only to increase the good in the world, but also to “not lose any good.” Indeed, we have been taught to hold on to what is valuable and to keep it safe.

So, we give of ourselves in the good deeds we do and in the struggle we bring to bring, increase and maintain the good in the world. And we should not limit our goodness to our immediate family or even just our community. For Hell 124: 2 says, “Those who limit the good in their home will never receive good outside.” Indeed, Hell 166: 2 says, “Doing good on a global scale is the best example of character.

Anticipating the feeling that people sometimes feel that people do not appreciate or will not appreciate the good that has been done to them, Odu reminds us that nothing good is actually lost. In this way, he continues to say that we give good so that recipients can care, care and share with others.

But the scriptures teach us that although Ophun, who gives, does good all over the world, “part of the world will not thank him for their kindness, and others will not even acknowledge his worth.”

Yet our sacred text teaches us, even as fathers and mothers, “they cannot but give and do good for their children,” so that the giver, the conscious, and the devoted are compelled to do good in and for the world, independently. Here the ancestors teach that we must practice sacrifice, ie. to devote ourselves entirely to doing good in and for the world, “so that all the good things we give to people, if they are wasted by the world, they still return to us in the righteous order of things.”

Because truly we, doing good, build the moral community and the good world that we all want and deserve and long to leave for the brave and beautiful who will come after us and continue our shared ethical duty to repair, renew and rework the world constantly. .

Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor and Chair of African Studies, California State University-Long Beach; Executive Director of the African American Cultural Center (USA); Founder of Kwanzaa; and author of Kwanzaa: A Feast of Family, Community, and Culture and Essays on Struggle: Position and Analysis, www.AfricanAmericanCulturalCenter-LA.org; www.OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org; www.MaulanaKarenga.org.

Grounding and Centering Ourselves: Chosen to Bring Good in the World  – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Grounding and Centering Ourselves: Chosen to Bring Good in the World  – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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