In the billowing clouds that are the creation of space and time, we began. The Genesis of cooperative human interaction lies in the clumps of matter we call communities. In that void, made up of two thirds oxygen, just under one fifth carbon and a tenth hydrogen, along with a sprinkling of nitrogen, we exist. I know I do exist, because I am aware that I do. And so I look around in this vast emptiness to find out just who my fellow travellers are. Are there any entities such as me? Are there any who would travel with me? Any who would love me?
There are human communities I am part of, not by choice but by birth right. I am part of the community of men because I was born so. About half of all the people that have ever existed are from this community, the other half are women. None of us had much choice in this matter, it was Fate. I am Caucasian, and not much different from my other brothers and sisters who are either Negroid or Mongoloid. That too was my Fate, not my choice. I happened to be born in the mid-1950’s on the southern tip of Africa. That was another hand dealt by Providence. An old English-speaking white guy from South Africa, pleased to meet you. Oh, did I mention my parents were English-speaking?
Even though I did not elect to be thus, it is still my responsibility to make the best of these unchosen circumstances. Therefore as a man, let me be manly and fulfil, as best as I can, the duties of a son, a brother, a husband and father, as Fate demands. As part of this vast community, let me be not proud of my manhood, rather humble. Let me extend my will, my goodwill to the other community, which is not that dissimilar from mine. We are made of the same stuff and we breathe the same air, we tread on the same earth. Let me extend my respect, my help and my love to woman. For in truth, in this vast universe we are equals. We blaze our path around the same sun together.
As an aging English-speaking white South African, may I be mindful of my country’s painful past. Let me be of help, not hindrance
in building a broken nation. I acknowledge the white privileges I enjoy in as much as I acknowledge my Fate. It is my birth right therefore to be an instrument of healing and building. These are things thrust on me by Fate, I did not for ask them. Therefore let me glad of it because I have no other choice. Let me rejoice in this and let me make my contribution in my own way to the communities I did not choose.
And you, dear reader, what does Fate make of you? What communities chose you?