This is a direct follow up to post one of my publications on mental slavery which can be read here. Soon after writing that piece I felt some type of shock waves develop in my stomach and knew very well from that point that it is definitely going to send shock waves around because there’s so much to what I had presented so let’s take this piece as one of which I unpack some of these “things”.
In the very same publications as mentioned above I spoke about the state of “mental slavery”, which basically implies that in every effort made to break through, we seem to condition our thinking and ultimately ourselves altogether — to a limited path. The point I tried to make there was that in order to be seen as valuable, you must be seen in light of values, as being valuable or possessing value, as opposed to asking or fighting to be valued.
It’s pointless to fight the other person (especially if they have no interests in you or your well-being), and so — it is utterly a must that we fight a different battle. This battle is the one which is far fetched, and greater or even noble for that matter. And in so being, it takes a certain few to know well that in order fight such battle, new set of thinking, operating systems and “apps” needs to be in place.
This article (As part 1) I try to explain why it is actually difficult to get to a point of being seen in light of values, as being valuable or possessing value and also highlights why most South Africa, blacks especially, fall into the trap of fighting for the “limited path” or dreams that “condition our thinking” to a certain limit “a slavery state of the mind like” — “Equality, transformation, Economic freedom etc.”
Let’s capacitate your thoughts for a minute.
Let’s first talk about prosperity.
My first self-published book, The Paradox of Prosperity (2014) — which can be freely read here or downloaded for later use. I presented a prosperity path, or a paradox as the tittle says. The theory, not only I think it is powerful and the most practical but also it is the most basic social science theories that we need to put into play if we are to truly prosper. It is just common sense. On the paradox side, the contrary that is — or the lack there of such “Prosperous Thinking” lies the many reasons why economies shrink, jobs get lost or the classical, why we demand so many things we see or feel entitled to; transformation, economic freedom etc.. The theory pretty much sums up why we tend to fight for things, instead of working hard for shit!
In nutshell The Paradox of Prosperity theory goes as thus:
“Economies stagnate in real human terms; a tiny few get very rich; life stands still for most; economists call it “growth” and declare it success. Stagnation sparks anger: extremists stoke it; and so the world is ablaze in a new age of extremism. All as predictable as the sunrise. Extremists are hucksters: alchemists of prosperity. They promise us something for nothing; plenitude without peace; taking without giving; that all is a zero-sum game; that we must bully and bluster our way into human possibility. And so we are worse than fools if we are seduced by them; we are cowards.” Umair Haque
“The paradox of prosperity is this. Imagine a lush field that goes fallow. The tribes begin fighting over the last few dried, cracked stalks of wheat. They fight one another tooth and nail. Until, at last, one is victorious. The field is theirs; but there is no longer any wheat; just handfuls of dust. The others starve. They will do anything for the dust. Until one day, a man says: “Why, the dust! It is rightly ours! Let us take it from them!” And so they do. And the spiral of violence and impoverishment never ends.”
Umair Continues: “One day, generations later, the starving tribes wonder: Why didn’t our grandfathers plant another field?”
“The paradox of prosperity is this. It is at times of little that we must plant the seeds of plenty; not fight another for handfuls of dust. And it is at times of plenty when we must harvest our fields; and give generously to all those who enjoy the singular privilege of the miracle we call life. (Nope, extremists; that’s not communism — not government redistribution of dust) It is, as Keynes foresaw, just common sense.”
To break down what Umair points out, the concept suggests that it is in the time of lacking, in times of despair and uncertainty that we need to plant more seeds of plenty. It is in the time where darkness surrounds us that we need to plant and expand fields. There is a saying in capitalist thinking “You can’t distribute wealth by dividing it” yet, that very same path seems like the only logical way forward for most political leaders. Prosperity is having a large pie in the family, and instead of sharing, we all learn how bake one instead of depending on one person. Maybe then, after sharing among us we even start selling it.
What happens when that one person dies or decides not to bake anymore?
We can’t go far, In SA and Africa, most people, want a slice of a pie from companies through “dividends” to benefit all — so in essence the economy is not and will not expand at all, even if all the members of the society can get a piece of the pie. This is because to grow something you have to add more instead of doing the mathematical division. Yet that, this adding thing is the problem.
If you ask me honesty, it’s a job of a thousand soldiers and ain’t nobody got time for that! This is why our economy is expected to develop at a 0.1% rate.
To build, to create and have world state of the art enterprises requires time, efforts, blood, sweat, tears, pain, ambition, and most of all — an advanced mental capacity.
You have to read that again!
In a South African mind-set, the Paradox of Prosperity — the theory if well adopted by a few that understand its requirements, especially in leadership and entrepreneurship, solving this nation’s problems could be as easy as eating a pie.
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs: PSL giants, Soweto’s finest teams.
One must look at teams like Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, SA’s biggest football clubs and realise that once upon a time in history a “Pirate” and “Chiefs’” seeds were once planted with a passion for soccer. Surprisingly, this took off with a greater momentum than anticipated and over a period of 15 years, both teams are South Africa’s best soccer teams to date.
15 bloody years! 15 years of passion, commitment and work in a process we find today what we call the best teams in the Premier League. Let’s blend that with my generation that lacks loyalty, commitment and believe in anything far greater. Achieving prosperity takes a lot more, it requires more than a thousand soldiers, it requires a sick dedication to one’s cause and this ladies and gentlemen is the reason why some of us would best work in low paying jobs and live ordinary lives. You wanna drink to that? Be my guest!
Is it not time for change maybe, a time for one to stop whining and commit themselves to a cause they feel strong about and will stick to, through it all — for more than 15 years?
Multichoice or DSTV: Africa’s leading pay TV Network.
I’m one fan of probably Africa’s biggest entertainment network, not the channels or the repeated TV shows per se, but the business. It looks all gloomy and beautiful when you pass DSTV’s headquarters, their stunning offices, their technological infrastructure, in fact — even their office kitchens have Supersport TV screens mounted to the walls, so your coffee is served with that dash of Supersport on a daily basis. It’s like a heaven for sports fans.
When you read their financial report every year too, you will realise the stunning offices and the cool kitchens are a part of a billion rand business. Go read them. These guys are good but that’s not all. If you ask the CEO of Multichoice like I did (No guys, seriously I did ) — He will tell you that it took them 20 plus years to get where they are today. Yes they are backed up by a financially sound holdings company and, and, and, but notice the trend here.
Longevity, Dedication, and Passion.
Remember when EFF marched to the JSE?
EFF as a prime example — a prominent political party that stands for the good of the people’s economic freedom.Iinstead of planting more fields of property, they are after handfuls of dust, the land that was as apparently taken from our ancestors. This mentality is due to the lack of prosperity thinking, the lack as such devalues society and thus needs to be eradicated with a new thinking, new operating systems and apps needs to be instilled in each and everyday person.
A BIG WHAT IF.!
What if the EFF members turned the economic fighting passion in parliament into a more productive movement and use its grounds in the government to roll out business opportunities to its members so to plant more seeds without corruption deals or fights, just what if?
What could go wrong with that?
It’s simple, no hard work required. It is easy for EFF to march and demand transformation of major companies is it not? There’s no real “hustle” there. Sure, companies need to transform, industries need to open, but they will not do so if we’re not going to put our skins in the game.
15 years or more of PSL giants, 20 years of Africa’s leading pay TV network, all of this explains why having built, to create and have world state of the art enterprises requires time, efforts, blood, sweat, tears, pain, ambition. In the same light, this explains why it is easy to fight for transformation, economic freedom etc. No one is willing to put in the time, the efforts, blood, sweat, tears, pain, and ambition. No one is willing to put their skin in the game.
“Creativity and Innovation are top of the best pick, those who possess entrepreneurial skills stand a very good chance of implementing and achieving the prosperity mandate.”
Nelson Moropana — THE PARADOX OF PROSPERITY
Power thinking is having the capacity to realise and accept that perhaps we have to work a little harder and longer to prosper.
Power thinking is understanding that it will take more than a thousand soldiers, time, efforts, blood, sweat, tears, pain, and ambition to build world state of the art infrastructures, businesses and industries.
Power thinking is having the capacity to appreciate that fighting ourselves for a handfuls of dust will not get us anywhere but planting more fields will.
Perhaps we may even not get there, or enjoy the fruits of prosperity as yet, but the point is, we create, we plant and wherever we give in, the next generation will look and say wow, the foundation has been set, and they too must realise that every generation needs to stand for something and they too need to pioneer and march on building.
Through all of this as you’d expect, we shall be enabling us — to be seen in light of values, as being valuable or possessing value, as opposed to asking or fighting to be valued.