Monday, April 14, 2014

Inspiring the world was never easy: Don't put God to sleep ! Leaders chose China over the Dalai Lama

JP II and Mandela. Source CNN Mag
If you thought that John Paul II was a superstar you have to closely watch Pope Francis today. Did you see him take that cup of traditional Argentinian tea from a person in the audience? 

Last year he already got a mate gourd and a straw from Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, President of Argentina and he kissed her. She was excited and spoke about this. Who would not be? 

Nightbird was kissed by John Paul II in her own days. So the that Pope already heard the song of this Nightbird from her own lips. Nightbird used to sing in an orchestra and sang to him more than once- but that is another story. 
Pope Francis starring

Pope Francis is at ease with selfies and almost all that you can say makes contemporary times and yet he does not cease to reflect the poverty of Francis of Assisi, it seems. What makes some leaders work much harder than others?

Pope Francis is fast on the Internet and I am sure he knows that FOMO was Internet slang before it became the not so attractive formal abbreviation to be found even in the Oxford Dictionary. Fear of Missing Out.

But is it really fear? John Paul II's first words to the people after his election and knowing fully well that people looked at a Polish man as a stranger to the Papacy were "Do Not Be Afraid!" He stepped out on a different path.

Years after John Paul II sent the first e-mail from the Vatican and even earlier, he had told the world that to be missing in the media is not to be anywhere. What is called a very traditional church, apostolic for being founded on the Apostles moves with the change of the times and they do it with originality.

What there is to fear is not to be wise and original. Well, most leaders know that there is nothing that makes you get there than beating your own path. If you copy as an artist called Elimo Njau of Kenya has on a big board at Paa Ya Paa, you put God to sleep. 

Original is what artist Njau is, he and his wife Philda Njau. He has a new perspective for everything you know!

Njau and Philda at Paa ya Paa
But long before that, you can put God to sleep, you bore everyone else to death. So Pope Francis coming too from a far country like John Paul II has kept his originality alive despite all those dogmas one hears about. And many in the world, it would seem love to find and meet someone who stands for something. Someone who is or was but who sang his song out loud for all to hear.

Yes, Pope Francis' virtual life is way up there as his own is so down to earth. Washing feet of the sick on Holy Thursday and last year of a group of prisoners that included a Muslim woman. Headlines blared: Pope washes the feet of a Muslim woman His tweets   get worshippers and admirers clicking in faster than the speed of light. And they are little sermons!

John Paul II (Between the two Popes Benedict XVI who in his own way did the untraditional, what might add up to much more than Tweets and visibility for greatness in the church) was unique in so many ways. 

Even if he was often called the Pope of Sorrows for he had much suffering in his life, all said when he smiled, it was as if the sun rose. 

And yet his predecessor was the smiling Pope John Paul I who broke another kind of record, not intentionally of course, dying after a month in office. The smiling Pope was Italian.

Polish John Paul II was at first looked down by some for being a man too immersed and only belonging to his country, Poland. There had not been a non-Italian Pope for years before he came along. He astounded his critics by taking the globe by storm not only physically kissing many airports grounds but also revealing a man who espoused a most profound intellectual take on the world. 

A poet of his times and would have been a great film actor were it not that he chose the robes. He is canonised a saint pronto in April 2014. The call Santo Subito, saint quickly or fast, has been heard by the church in our times, normally it takes years. John XIII who gets canonised along with him, another cheerful man knows that. Yet his process was even faster. There are others that have been lost to memory. But there has been a change in speed on this since John Paul II. Speed.

With these few strokes it looks like running on the beaten tracks is not what the Church is doing. Every leader knows that it is best to be cordial with the Pope. Take tea with him if you can. All leaders meet the Popes and the Popes like to meet with them. They only do not go where they are rejected otherwise they want to be everywhere. I remember when Lithuania would not, in the 90s have John Paul II as a guest. 

Taking a stand even if it conflicts with others and why should there be a chorus in every view is original and it marks one's own path. However, positions that diminish one's moral authority are not viable. They just are not original. To be original in this case means to break barriers. 

Pope Francis and Fernandez Kirchner differ on gay marriage. They agree on the good treatment of all people regardless of their sexual orientation.

The world's influentials today

Nightbird likes to feed on inspiration. Recently it has come from poet Rabindranath Tagore. One could say that despite the greats, there is a vacuum of leadership in the world. There are racial, ethnic and religious diversities that need management at a positive level. A gush, not a dash of fresh ideas is needed. New people pronouncing them. 

Most of the secular people in whom we invest hope for the interpretation of meaning are fast failing us. Nightbird does not easily criticise women for it knows the efforts thy make. But sometimes one has to. 

Differences seem not to have towering figures who speaks to them for healing. The high hopes pegged on Aung San Syu Kyi seem to fail when we think of the killings of the Ruhingya Muslims. She was and remains rather quiet on their deaths.  This Syu Kyi could talk about as a Nobel Prize laureate not as a Member of Parliament. I hear that is her dilemma, that she will be marginalised. 
The Popes cannot say everything about everything to the world. Speak!

But are there not times when one has to take the risk of losing a podium one has by throwing in their lot with a people who suffer? Can one not leave fate to decide how one's action will be judged? 

Nelson Mandela's moral authority would probably have been lost if he had stayed longer than five years as President of South Africa but now he had power until the end, and yes, his death led the world to troop together and the words of leadership there spoken need to be heard again. 

Yes, there is the Group of Elders that I see often on FB The Elders words of inspiration and every village must develop its own leaders, but this is limited and we need to hear strong voices in more channels. 
Graca Machel is still in mourning. We wait.

There is a man whom everyone is refusing to meet these days. Nobel Prize winners are refusing to meet him too and he is one himself. Obama did. Now the President of the Norwegian
Dalai Lama
Parliament has also said he will not meet with this man, the one Monk that shakes a superpower called China. Olemic Thommessen would rather have China's blessing and the sales of Salmon fish to China rather than meet this 'Solomon' and have Norway sidelined by China. The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Oslo in May 2014. 

Doesn't the world need to see all these teams playing together in fact, in order to benefit China? Be sure the Popes are keen to have more Chinese converts as of any other group. In Easter the Catholic church prays for the conversion of everyone, everyone to the Catholic faith.

But now again, if we emphasise differences and therefore the need for conversions what are we saying? Yes I know there is a tremendous inter church and other group dialogue always going on but what if we looked at what we share more in common than what divides us? There you go Nightbird idealising again? You by the way were already offended that Kenya's Moody Awori then Vice President would not allow the Dalai Lama to visit Kenya. He was denied a visa. 

Desnond Tutu has an infectious laugh! Heals!

And that children could not see him do a simple thing like sing with Tutu and friends around many candles representing all peoples: Happy Birthday to you....! 
Happy Birthday... 

...and if you come from my part of the world poke fun at where you were born too and laugh till your ribs crack when they tell you where you were born! Oops.. I better say barn!

And of course it is clear that women are missing in all this leadership of the world and own paths. Perhaps they are busy writing stories, leading their nations but honestly Lema Bowie and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the world still waits for your voices? Are you on Twitter ala @Pontifexs or WAZ UP? I heard more from you before you joined the Nobel Prize League! Come on LOML, let's have more COED!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The elephants sings her tragedy, how many elegies have you read?

I the elephant have died again
She the elephant that did not resurrect, died again

and again as presidents talk about mini skirts
for Afrika and forget the mini shirts that steal
with only skin on. I saw no girl
come to her, our dead elephant but only men
with knives of fear and no tears for her rear
Don't help the elephant carry her tusks, do you hear?

Some people behave as if

they never heard that I the elephant
never gets tired of carrying my own tusks
my own sweet burdens they are, not your ivory
so greedy you, since you started
building houses that rivaled my size
and became sky scrapers forgetting their African tongues
had no name for State Houses,
An elephant never tires of carrying its own tusks did you not hear?

Her children have been left alone
no elephant mother stares with two slowing eyes
they have pushed her into the bush and taken her big
thighs leaving them one upon the other, a people 
so afraid and in hatred of their Mother Tongue 
For mother
she is this elephant and memory she never borrows but
they want her only to remember her death of pain
We cannot bear her sorrow so strong: An antelope is not big enough to carry the tusks an elephant bears...
Who will hide her precious ivory where greed has grown wings and feet?

Politicians will not protect me when I am peaceful on the land
they like to be big and to be big they make war and kill us
They like to swat us like flies and to be in power they take ours
They like to be big like my tail so that nobody can catch their deeds. They may call me a wall like the third man of Hindustan
They may even pretend am a fan and that all I am different things
for me but one fact is real they only know me money and none of
them weep my cause as they ride in jumbos free and I.. count my votes in vain
"An elephant does not die from one broken rib" It dies
when lawmakers are persistent lawbreakers

They say that their brains are big and that rationality is theirs
but I remember so many times the thoughts of pain and wonder
When an elephant kills a rat is not a hero we say, what heroism is
is yours when all you do is aim and pierce taking my ivory to land
distant? It is your children you starve when you kill me, what wisdom is there in that?

I am pregnant for twenty two months and I do not bring my child to you who steals my life for the sake of ivory. I stay where I belong I do not come to your towers, why then do you come to mine, hiding behind trees, trapping and shooting me and taking my
tusks from me and for me as if I asked for help. I still have my memory it is you who loses yours. Why do you think I should not multiply when you are going everywhere in this world?

Have you heard that I flew to space to look for a new place?
Have you seen me crossing rivers and deserts to take your parts
to other lands? What have I done to kill your conscience of nature
I the elephant who knows what value an ant has for none other
can scratch my hooves or eat the generous droppings of green kilos
I give back even after I eat? 

I allow the nightbird to perch on me so she can see far and keep me safe when I doze in the heat of the night and the afternoon stillness of the day waiting for night. Watch out for me, watch out for me alive. Feed your hungry and remove all those poachers from my way. I am the keeper of every park and jungle and without me rocks will cry and I never forgetting cry at every spot of death and robbery of my tusks.

An elephant is never burdened by its own tusks why do you take mine? You should know my dung better. Think about my dung. Worry about my dung the home of many seeds I scatter. Think how I make food for others and even if I eat trees, I plant seeds galore. Think me and think you who robs my tusks only to dry them. I have them to keep and you can wait until I die after I spread my seeds for the generations that have loaned you this land for now. Think many African proverbs about me the elephant. I cry not only for myself. 

When two elephants fight, since you fight me you pretend to be elephant, it is the grass that suffers. You injure me, I lie there dying and so many trees die with me, and there goes your rainfall.
Generations suffer dryness when you kill me. I have my role to play, play yours with me. You just can never seem to know and acknowledge. You can find me in the desert following water and keeping people watered. I tell you, you have no idea how connected I am to your gas, oil and even, computers! Think my minerals. Think why the best and most important are found in the stomach of this land so vast and others. Think. Just think. 

And let live