The recent reports about old people suffering surrounded by many children and grandchildren who all depend on old age pension grants, left a sour taste. Many people continue to blame the past for their place in life, giving up responsibility and control. Blame and self-pity is used by many of us as a defence for our laziness. Self-pity is described as a form of selfishness that makes us less aware of the needs and suffering of others. Our own suffering is all we think or care about in our self-absorbed state.
Growing up, self-pity was less existence, but it has become the norm these days where able bodied people both young and middle-aged sit and expect manna to fall without any sweat. Years before South West Africa was baptized Namibia, many people find a way to survive by doing something to put food on the table or took education seriously despite the situation, which prevailed.
We were taught how to fish and construct a proper hut using the natural resources, which are in abundance. Today, many of those who took responsibility and control of their life are surviving with little assistance from others. I have observed people especially the youth who are less skilled craving for collar-type of jobs and if it does not come starts blaming external forces or self-pitying self. Doing dirty jobs for survival is not in their dictionaries.
It’s so easy to wallow, isn’t it? It’s a choice we make and it’s the easiest. Let us start to shun blame and self-pity mentality and start to take responsibility and control of our lives. Giving responsibility and control of our lives to others will continue to make us crybabies forever.
It is through giving our lives to others to be controlled that many of us are abused or used for their own interest. It is for us to choose to beg and be victims of circumstances or stand up and take control of our lives. So many people appear to have less and yet have so much more in spirit and purpose.
Why is it that some who are ‘disadvantaged’ in some way always strive for more, when others who are able bodied can wallow in self-pity? I guess, it’s our beliefs and with that, we choose which direction we want to go in. It can take over and control us but at the end of the day, it’s all down to us. It is common these days that some people suffering from self-pity do that to deflect criticism of themselves and they are usually incapable of self-reflection.
They usually blame their bad situation only on external factors. Unfortunately, life is not fair but sitting idle without doing anything will never change our situations but will make us continue with the blame and self-pitying game. The recent achievement of Christine Mboma should serve as a lesson to many that despite her circumstances, she defied the odds and achieved something many dream about.
We can whine and feel sorry for ourselves. We can choose to spread our misery, or we can choose to rise above our circumstances. Time has come to shun blame and self-pity mentality to rise above our circumstances. Let us shake off the dreadful circumstances of the past, let go of the past, and choose to not let it consume us entirely but learn from the experience and move forward in a constructive way.
On a final note, it has become a common trend in Namibia for young mothers and fathers to dump their children with their parents for them to be free from responsibility.
This creates so much pain, not only for the parents but also for the children and even for society. If these young parents could just put themselves in the shoes of the poor parents and genuinely feel the pain of a child who, through no fault of their own, has been dumped, they will change their attitude.
The cries from these many young parents come with blaming their situation and the past please stand up and take responsibility and control of your life.
*Faustinus Shikukutu is a resident from Kavango East region