Love is a verb – not rhetoric

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - THIS WEEK YOU’RE SAYING ... -

WHEN one watches and lis­tens to these end­less press con­fer­ences and court cases which have be­come the South African ver­sion of “re­al­ity TV” . . . [it] is a rude awak­en­ing and a con­stant re­minder that this is South Africa and the stakes are high al­though the means to ac­quire them may be ques­tion­able.

You be­gin to ques­tion ex­is­ten­tial mat­ters such as love or power. If power is the ul­ti­mate, then our en­ergy and re­sources will be in­vested in lever­ag­ing the force field in our favour, per­haps to come out on top but cer­tainly to en­sure that we don’t land up at the bot­tom.

How­ever trust be­comes dif­fi­cult, fear is key mo­ti­va­tor, power abuses be­come fre­quent.

Re­la­tion­ships be­come trans­ac­tional and the best we can hope for is a fair con­tract or eq­ui­table laws of the land – which stark ev­i­dence [in­di­cates] are con­stantly, even sys­tem­at­i­cally, un­der­mined at ev­ery turn by those who suf­fer from an acute men­tal­ity of ex­cep­tion­al­ism and sense of en­ti­tle­ment.

So no won­der so ob­vi­ous a per­son would have the nerve or gall to ask . . . what it is they have done, when asked to take a hike by those who have had enough.

In a land that still is not rec­on­ciled to the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion no­tion of the fa­ther of the na­tion, love is a much-lauded virtue or de­sire politi­cians love to em­bel­lish their talk and speeches with. So if love is the ul­ti­mate for coun­try and peo­ple, then re­la­tion­ships should be pri­mary, not just a means to an end.

The con­nect­ed­ness be­tween my well­be­ing and oth­ers should come into clear fo­cus. Words like ser­vice, car­ing, bless­ing, flour­ish­ing and trust be­come rich with mean­ing in­stead of be­ing dis­missed as phi­los­o­phy of ide­al­ists and losers.

Power flows out­ward more than it is ac­cu­mu­lated. Power dif­fer­en­tials are han­dled with care and re­spect flows both ways, not just up­wards.

Im­por­tantly, it is pos­si­ble to have love­less power but not pow­er­less love – and if we choose only power, love will be in­ci­den­tal but if we choose love our coun­try will sur­prise us with its rec­on­cil­i­a­tion traits and ves­tiges.

Begs the ques­tions, what is love, from whence does it em­anate? And if God is not that tran­scen­dent be­ing of ref­er­ence and ori­gin, then love emerges as an ac­ci­den­tal prod­uct of bi­o­log­i­cal forces and is re­duc­ible to some base in­stinct and at best it be­comes an il­lu­sion – be­cause love re­quires a real re­la­tion­ship be­tween or among real peo­ple.

So please, don’t you guys try to kid us: love is a verb, a do­ing – not a rhetoric as you are known for, and are good at.

PAT THANDO KONDILE, NEW BRIGHTON

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