Loss of humility Part 4/4: ‘Domestication’ of the grasslands [Living Planet, David Attenborough]

This is the last of the ‘gory’ flashbacks from history. I am perhaps more relieved than you are, but thought it worth sending nevertheless. While we might not be as savage towards animals today (whatever are left!), we are still by and large removed from nature, the major inflection point in human history that led […]

Loss of humility Part 3/4: The spear in the forest [Elephant Song, Wilbur Smith]

We also plundered our forests, as we rose above nature. We have modified a third of the Earth’s surface (due to deforestation and urbanization), and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide by 30% in just the past 200 years. Here is an extract from Wilbur Smith’s novel “Elephant Song” [1991] that recounts how international conglomerates exploited Africa […]

Loss of humility Part 2: Native ‘Boarding’ Schools

And this elitism manifest most apparently into racism, defined as the prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. The ‘boarding’ schools were a horrifying manifestation of this, mostly unknown to most. ‘Boarding’ schools were set up across Australia, North America, and […]

Loss of humility Part 1: Of niggers and injuns [Roots, Alex Haley]

Much more recently ‘we’ adopted elitism (and arrogance), which is the belief that certain people have a right to have their opinions heard more than others. We became individualistic (and hedonistic), and ‘civilization’ imposed itself on the world, through the annihilation of all that preexisted. The Pine Bluff service over, we took Dad to where […]

Of empathy: ekila, moadjo, mosambo, and massana [Mbendjele pygmies, Jerome Lewis]

A long time ago, we used to be egalitarian, based on the principle that all people (including genders) are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. Empathy (and simplicity) was intrinsic to our way of life because “I” did not exist. This is a slightly longer story of the Mbendjele people, of which Emeka was […]