• April 4th, 2020

Breaking the cycle of generational pain

I believe by now, most of us know Albert Einstein as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. However, what most of us might not know is that back in 1895, his teacher told him “You will never amount to anything”. Fortunately, as it seems, Einstein never believed his teacher was the custodian of his destiny or that his opinion mattered.

 We often hear about successful or influential people who were once told the same thing as Einstein – or worse. What we hardly hear about, though, are stories of people who were told so, believed it and truly never had a shot at anything and lived with regrets of not pursuing their dreams – not because they couldn’t, but because they believed and fell for it.  

There is no doubt in my mind that some of us might have had first-hand experiences of such belittling verbal utterances or witnessed others being subjected to such emotional atrocities. What baffles me, though, is whether those who part-take in such actions are unaware of the possible devastating impact their actions have on others, or are doing so to cause deliberate harm. We have witnessed, for example, classrooms where sitting arrangements were made in such a way that one side of the class was for the slow learners and the other for the fast learners. Or homes where some children were treated as favourites – no matter what – while others got branded as villains and held responsible even for crimes they did not commit. We can also probably make out how such events determine how our lives eventually turn out – depending on which side of the aisle we stood.

What we probably have not realised is that harsh words, repeated a hundred times, may become permanently engraved in our subconscious minds – keeping in mind of scientific evidence that 95% of our thoughts and behaviours originate from the subconscious mind – I  mean even Hitler’s propagandist once said that a lie repeated a million times becomes the truth. So, as a result, the repetition of harsh words may have serious negative effects on the individual’s self-concept, self-esteem, confidence and more – not to mention their general outlook on life.

I, however, have no doubt that somewhere in the world, some people are talking about this on public platforms or even going as far as writing blogs and books about it. But why not in our immediate communities, churches and schools? Unless it might be happening in our midst on some other platforms that I am unaware of. 

Now, one may think I might be writing about this lightly or with less care, but I am writing with the highest awareness of its sensitivity. The sensitivity about the fact that this may touch on some of our unhealed wounds or bring about suppressed anger, but what other better time is there to start this conversation than now? 

And as it has now become the norm, let me now express my most profound disclaimer – that though I may seem to play the devil’s advocate by bringing up issues I have no remedy for, my sincere agenda is no other than to spark a dialogue on basic and fundamental issues affecting our societies at the core. And I am extending my invitation to all for a dialogue of forgiveness and healing to break cycles of generational pain in order to pave a way for better mental and overall wellness for all and for the generations to come.

OSHIMWENYO will be published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka.

By Karlos TheGreat


Staff Reporter
2020-02-21 13:46:42 | 1 months ago

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