Once Upon an African Time
The challenges of our time are bringing innovators, scientists, and experts together, all in the hopes of finding solutions that avoid creating more challenges. In The Paradox of Our Time George Carlin wrote the following: “The paradox of our
The challenges of our time are bringing innovators, scientists, and experts together, all in the hopes of finding solutions that avoid creating more challenges. In The Paradox of Our Time George Carlin wrote the following:
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints… We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time…”
But once upon an African time, when Africans practiced spirituality instead of religion, way before the fear of hell and the chains of colonization, the solutions that Africans created were not paradoxical.
You see, the Africans who lived back then understood that behind every single life, every single tree, behind the cosmos itself was purpose. They knew that everything was connected. The moon was more than the light that ruled the night sky, they understood its relationship with the woman’s womb. The sun was more than the giant star that brightens their day, they understood how it relates with the seed of a man. The stars were not ordinary to them, through them, they saw the faces of their children. They were the cosmos, and the cosmos was them. They were able to translate divine sensory experiences into worlds of divine meaning. They understood that they were surrounded by living ecologies, a living cosmos, and therefore they sought harmony, balance, and a relationship with all that exists. They understood protocols, rituals, universal laws, and the sacredness of community.
Once upon an African time, we built pyramids, we created Timbuktu libraries, we were astrologers, we crafted gold, we traveled to other worlds but we did not destroy living ecologies, nor dim the beauty of the cosmos. Rather, we romanced it, honored it and healed it when needed.
If our ancestors who lived once upon an African time did it, then we, the present day children, have within us what is needed to do it again. Therefore, I posit that within Africans are the solutions to restore balance, harmony and health back to this broken world. Is it not the Continent of Africa that most of the world is getting its sustenance from? Why? Because it has been proven by science and history that we are their mother, we gave birth to them.
There is a Yoruba proverb that says “Agba o kin wa lo ja ki ori omo tutun wo.” This loosely translates to, “ the head of a new born cannot be crooked in the presence of the elders.” Our world is getting more crooked by the day. Africa is more than the elder, we are the mother, the lion, the vulture, the sun; we are the mirror that dictates what is reflected when the world looks upon itself. We have it within us to create those non-paradoxical solutions using our eyes, the palm of our hands, our incarnate words, our ability to shape-shift, to access other worlds without augmented reality apps, to use our natural hair as antenna, to diagnose ourselves through our eyes without any x-ray machines, because we understand that our bodies are the most advanced technology in motion. For such a time as this, we came as Africans, to heal this broken world and to usher it into the Christos reality. May the courage to return to once upon an African time come upon us.