Thursday, 16 February 2017

SAWBONNA: POLLSMOOR PRISON and THE COLOUR OF JUSTICE.

Not one of us is independent. Each of us is forever in relationship. The tenor and tone of each relationship is as a hue, a shade. Each hue and shade speaks to us via our emotions i.e. the emotions of the heart and the emotions of the intellect, engaging us in a vast array of conversations. Some conversations simple and gentle, several cumbersome and challenging. When I knew that my colleagues in South Africa worked diligently and succeeded in getting me into Pollsmoor Prison, where Nelson Mandela lived for a time, to share with a group of pre-release young offenders, I was filled with gratitude. And, I was filled with fear. I began to doubt that sharing my journey of powerful and authentic healing with Glen Flett, who killed my Father, Theodore Van Sluytman, mattered. I began to question what I have lived and believed for most of my life, which is, stories can and do save and honour lives. It was in those moments of deep doubt that I did what it is that continues to nourish and free me. I contacted my trusted and respected community of friends, allies, colleagues. I told them my fear. They reminded me of what I had momentarily forgotten about my vocation. They reminded me that the colour of justice is hope. That the hue of hope is our shared-humanity. That shared-humanity sits in the crucible of relationship and resilience. And, further with their love and support, they reminded me that hope does not have a specific locale, does not wear a particular mantle, does not take sides. Hope, I began to remember is sitting in companionship whereby I and Thou speaks. Sawbonna is I and Thou. Sawbonna is not Us vs. Them. Sawbonna is the gift of reminder that not one of us is independent. That each of us is forever in relationship. The ripple effect of relationship, is often resilience, reaching far and wide and deeply into our shared-humanity. And Sawbonna is about: respect, responsibility, relationship. Sawbonna is the colour of hope. The colour of justice.

6 comments:

  1. Margot, Beautifully expressed truth, truth for all of us. You are a blessing.

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    1. Thank you for your kind & and deeply appreciated words, SRai.
      Sawbonna!

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  2. The colour of justice is definitely hope. I am reminded of an insight by Raymond Williams (1980)--our task as human beings is to "make hope practical and despair unconvincing". In terms of colour, I think of any secondary colour--a colour made up of two primary colours. Orange--YELLOW (primary justice-honours the inherent worth of all and is enacted through relationship; exists in all relationships when no on is wronged/harmed. RED (secondary justice--the response given to harm or crime, a way to make things right.) The colour of justice is the need to deeply understand especially primary justice (Wolterstorff, 2008; Evans & Vaandering, 2016)

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    1. The dance of yellow-orange sifted from red, is a salsa of hope, fired with the tenor of the beauty of relationship. And ripples of resilience. Thank you so, Dorothy, for your post.
      Sawbonna!

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  3. Beautiful post Miss Margot. Your message resonates with me as I am coming to learn the same. The truth is there are no sides; just a circle. We are all connected, impacted, blameworthy and responsible. It is only through coming and being together that we foster hope and change. With Gratitude, Elizabeth Leenheer. <3


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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Connecting with you in Canada, the day before I went to Pollsmoor, is in essence the reason for this post. Relationship = Hope = Sawbonna. Sharing our journeys. ox
      Sawbonna!

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