We were like a fish in water. A fish does not know that he swims in water. It is what he has experienced his whole life. He was born into water, it is all he knows.
We were born into the Apartheid system, we did not know anything different. Black people lived in townships, they did all the slave work and we did not socialise with them.
It was in 1978 and we were living in Windhoek, Namibia. We had settled into our respective jobs, when Anton, my husband, became aware of a different reality. He had to visit young black men in prison and he connected to them as a person to another person and the light went on – he suddenly was made aware that they were in prison not because they were criminals, but because they had a different skin colour. In Namibia, a country first colonised by the Germans and then illegally occupied by South Africa, it meant that they were not regarded as people or human beings and that they had no valid identification documents to travel to other countries.

He was appalled, he was shocked – now that he knew! What was he going to do? He told me about it and I was outraged. I felt ashamed and guilty that I was white. I was not aware that shame and guilt are two emotions that do not serve anyone. Guilt and shame caused me to believe that ALL white people were bad and ALL black people were good. This had severe consequences and led to great heartache – I did not recognise the good white people around me and I did not recognise the bad black people in my circle of friends and acquaintances.

Eventually I learned that anger, hate, jealousy, disregard, disrespect, resentment, ignorance, rage, laziness, greed and lust for power knows no colour or culture. Therefore kindness, empathy, gentleness, generosity, patience, regard, respect knows no colour or culture either.
The good news is that each person can transform reactive behaviour into proactive behaviour and each one of us has the power to choose an action for the good every moment of our life. We alone, each single one of us, can transform this planet into paradise. It is ALL up to US. NOBODY will do it for us. WE HAVE THE POWER. – it’s ALL a matter of CHOICE.

To exercise this power of choice we have to prepare the soil and create a harmonious educational environment in the first six years of a child’s life.

5 thoughts on “WE CAN DO IT

  1. Gabrielle. As a black person, I have gone through virtually the experience as you have. Before going into exile I was made to believe the Israelites are all God’s people including their government.

    That perception greatly changed when I became a Swapo soldier in Zambia bush in 1974 where I was made and started to believe that the Russians were actually the ones who are God’s people.

    That view of Russians all changed entirely during my civil and military training in former Soviet Union.

    Yes, as you have experienced. Injustices are injustices. They have no color or race!

  2. Gabrielle, thank you for sharing your experiences. We have had ample discussions and I totally agree with you on both points.

    I have started reading your book “On Solid Ground” and had to take a break from it. It hurts !!! I thought that those wounds of the apartheid era has healed but just recently the scab was ripped off.

    I pray, I have confessed, that I be strong enough to forgive, just as Jesus forgave those who betrayed and murdered him

    I have always maintained that the stereotypical portrayal of being a mother, is damaging. Being a mother is difficult, scary and you not sure that the decision you make is the correct one. It is even more difficult when your child is diagnosed with a medical problem.

    I fully support Gabrielle in her quest to educate parents on having children. There are too many children “emotionally damaged” by parents unintentionally or intentionally.

  3. Human weakness such as greed, lust for control and power, lack of integrity knows no bounds in relation to colour, creed or any other dimension which can be used to differentiate us from each other. Each of us has a choice to exercise every moment of our life. What we choose we will have to account for on judgement day

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