Thursday 23 April 2015

We can't blame colonialism or the IMF for 'Africa's' issues.. when all that is required is a shift in mentality

Today is going to be a busy day.

So much so, that I actually couldn't sleep.
So now I'm tired, even before I begin.... and, I'll be honest, slightly delirious lol!

Good job Dawna.. start as you mean to go on

I did drift in and out of dream state on occasion... and ended up having a very weird dream. It was night, I was in a bed at work, got locked in the office not realizing everyone had gone, got scared, ran out, ran home through some dodgy back roads, came across a guy who in reality is my brother but we didn't know each other, and to top it all.. I wasn't even me.

Yep....Sounds like a best-seller.

I'm not feeling very eloquent today, but I did have a very interesting conversation with a friend yesterday.
We were discussing the colonial mentality and the dependency mentality.
Some may argue that the culture that underdeveloped nations have adopted of sitting, and waiting for a handout, is evident in the reliance on the IMF, Foreign aid, The NGO, the remittance.. waiting for the rice bag to arrive at the end of the road for collection (so to speak) ... not asking or knowing how it got there or why.
just.. waiting.

Seemingly powerless

We questioned why anyone would defecate in their own yard..
Why not a long drop?
Why are slums.. so dirty?
What happens to the mind in those instances.

International development tends to overlook the under-developed, or stagnant mind.
Rather it can compound the colonial and dependency mentality

My friend was sympathetic.. talked about western interference in oil/mineral rich countries...
Yet had to accept that government corruption was a choice.. not an IMF loan repayment requirement
had to accept that people have a choice in how they treat each other...

Had to accept that a shift in mindset.. in attitude... may yield remarkable rewards
Africa needs no external or western colonizer any more
It's deeply rooted in the psyche, and reproduced in the systems...

1 comment:

  1. You have deep thoughts even when you're lack-of-sleep groggy, Dawna.
    My only first-hand experience with "colonialism" is what happened in the Canadian north with the aboriginal people. They became hugely dependent on the government dole, and communities degenerated, sometimes into ghettos filled with violence, drug addiction, and alcoholism.

    The "superior" (western) culture came in with an arrogant attitude that it knew best about everything, and the best way to improve indigenous life in the north, was to replace the "inferior" (aboriginal) culture, language, and traditions and move the people quickly from a nomadic way of life to settled villages in the north. The "superior" culture had no understanding of how the natives lived, thought, and behaved or why their generations of life in the Sub-Arctic boreal forest produced the culture it did.

    When the whites destroyed and undercut the natives' way of living and culture, there was nothing to replace it with but welfare dependency. Loss and/or devaluing the life, culture, and traditions of the native people, set them adrift in a downward spiral of despair and hopelessness which helped that stagnant mind-set to develop. Finally, some native people are standing up and speaking out, salvaging what they can of their cultures, and trying to find a meaningful way to live in this century now that their traditional lifestyle has been destroyed.

    Things deteriorated badly over the past decades, so a couple of generations have been born into that "stagnant" mind, and now in addition to dependency there is an "epidemic" of suicide among the young. Situations like this are going to take time to turn around, and it is a very hard thing to do. The people who had the misfortune to be born into this situation have to shake off that "stagnant" mind-set, want to change, and believe that change for the better can happen. No easy task. When your traditions and beliefs are destroyed with nothing to replaces them, and you descend into despair and hopelessness, it seems that you settle into an apathetic lethargy that's almost impossible to surmount. We shall see how it plays out in Canada's north, but I''m seeing glimmers of hope.