Thursday, July 31, 2008

Becoming an Independent Thinker

I was pleased to read a few days ago that both Botswana's president, Seretse Khama Ian Khama, and his foreign minister, Phandu Skelemani, have been taking a principled stand against President Mugabe and the sham election in Zimbabwe. Responding to a reporter's comment about Mugabe's 28-year reign and his desire to hold onto power, Skelemani replied, "What power? Power to run the country into the ground?"

This reminds me of a study I read about a while back (I can't remember where) that explored the differences between people who sacrifice their humanity during episodes of genocide and those who maintain it. The researchers concluded that the people who were most likely to speak out and/or take action, either overtly or subversively, against oppressive regimes were those who had made a lifelong habit of being independent thinkers.

Many of the aspiring late bloomers I've heard from via my website and this blog confess that one of the things that holds them back is worrying about what others think of their choices. It is my belief that only when we cease to care about such things, can we hope to blossom into our unique, beautiful selves.

Note: To read an article from the Botswana Gazette about Skelemani, click here. The photo above is of me sitting at a bus stop in Botswana last year surrounded by other people's luggage. (The blue and brown bags are mine.)

No comments:

Post a Comment