What is the importance of having heroes?
I have been thinking about heroes and their purpose in our lives. Heroes sacrifice their lives and save lives and situations. They make us feel loved and protected. Who does not want that?
The second Monday in August each year we honor Zimbabwe's liberation war heroes and heroines who liberated us from the jaws of colonization - from economic and political discrimination and suppression of freedoms. In Canada we celebrate veterans on November 11th each year. We appreciate the sacrifice those who died made, and acknowledge those still serving.
Heroines and heroes sacrifice their time, resources and some, their lives to create a better quality of life for us. They matter to us because they make the world a better place.
Zimbabwean heroes day invoked in me memories of my first two real life heroes; my mother and father. What about you? What comes to mind when you celebrate heroes day in your country?
I am happy that this year I celebrated heroes day after honoring my parents as liberation war heroes in my new book Searching for Racial Equality: An African Woman's Urgent Call to be Antiracist. They deserve to be recognized.
As I celebrated Zimbabwean heroes from my home 13000 miles away from home, I reflected on the economic and political sacrifices they made. I should be completing the above sentence with ,
"for us to be where we are!"
Sadly I cannot say that for I am not home. I attended my daughter's wedding via whatsapp video livestream from my other daughter. The heart of an immigrant mother carries a lot, but that is for another day.
I do not think and feel that our heroes fought so that we would go and seek refuge, political or economic, elsewhere. So I am wondering what happened to our heroines and heroes' sacrifice? Who did our heroes fight for if we, the children cannot imprint our bare feet on the soil where our umbilical cords are buried?
I question myself as I sit in the comfort of my government-of-Nunavut- subsidized apartment. I think of the privilege I am enjoying and wish those back home could have what I have here in Canada, in a liberated Zimbabwe. Yes, I left and I refuse to be labelled a "sell out," as some people at home attack those that have left the country as political or economic refugees.
Those who left decided to be their own heroines and heroes so that they would have the quality of life they feel and know they deserve. If their lives were in danger, they left so they would save their lives!
I have discerned that most of us tend to expect heroines and heroes to rescue us from undesirable situations. We even expect God, Mwari or Ancestors, Vadzimu, to come and save us from situations we have created for ourselves.
In Africa we expect governments of other countries to come and be the heroes that extricate us from the chains of man-made poverty.
Aa, our heroines and heroes, where are you? We need tarred roads, we need running water, we need clinics and hospitals to run smoothly like the time when our saviours, the colonizers, where running the politics and the economics of the country and prevented us from entering the CBD. We are now entering the CBD but it reeks of urine and it is littered by garbage.
Many Zimbabweans are nostalgic of those good times when 1% of the population owned 70% of the land. Even with that glaring inequality, we the masses were somewhat content as compared to today. We still have 1% that are living in opulence while the majority wallows in abject poverty. Heroines and heroes, I ask knowing you will not wake from the grave , is this what you sacrificed for us to have?
Have we stooped so low in our loss of hunhu/ubuntu that we wish our colonial heroes would come to save us so we can have running water instead of new 4x4 vehicles driven by city council officials? Have traditional chiefs been bought by money and cars and are now sacrificing the wellbeing of their people for their comfort, in breach of our values of ubuntu?
We need new heroines and heroes, we think and wish. We are busy looking up to fellow humans, forgetting that we are our own heroines and heroes.
As we commemorate our heroes we must not forget that we are ultimately our own heroes. We have the power to change our undesired reality. No one can truly liberate us but ourselves.
Why is it important to be true to yourself and become your own hero?
You get to decide the quality of life you lead, what to tolerate and what not to tolerate.
You get to determine if your dreams and aspirations come to fruition or not. Even if you fail, you learn from it and get the satisfaction of having lived your best life!
Just as those heroines and heroes acted on an undesired political and economic reality, first for their own personal interest then for others, so can we.
Be your own hero and liberate yourself from economic and political injustice. Innovate. Be your own hero and liberate yourself from political myths of promises that never get delivered. Emancipate yourself.
Be your own hero and liberate yourself from manipulation by the 1% who own the means of production and live opulent styles while we drool, waiting for our turn, which by the way has not come. Evaluate.
Be your own hero and liberate yourself from materialistic and destructive economic models that have destroyed our social fabric and Mother Earth. Read about Oikos. God's economy.
Be your own hero and liberate yourself from religious beliefs and patriarchal cultures that cause pain and thrive on brainwashing us into fear and separation. Choose unconditional love.
Be your own hero and liberate yourself from systems that make us believe we need violence to create peace. Shun violence in all its forms.
Be your own hero and liberate yourself from systems that make us believe we need a few heroes when the hero we need is staring right back at us, if we are courageous enough to open our eyes and look deeply into our souls. Dig deeper!
Be your own hero so that when we unite, and we each bring the hero in us, we can conquer the egos of the few who enjoy life at the expense of the majority. Liberate humanity.
We do not need to ask for permission to be our own heroines and heroes. We need to recognize people power where we do not worship other human beings but remind them that us, like them, have dreams to be fulfilled, too.
What is the Mindset of a hero?
A hero uses their empathize power and has compassion.
A hero's mind is that of a servant.
A hero believes and knows that they are happier when others are happy.
A hero has mental strength and believes there is no tranformation without action. So the question is, can you be your own hero?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
When I wake up each morning whose vision or dream am I working for? Every thought you think, every word you say, every deed you do, where do they lead you?
Who is the heroine or hero I am waiting for to change my current undesired reality? If you go to the mirror, you will find the answer. If you do not believe in the answer in the mirror, you will die a disappointed human being.
In the 24 hours we all have in a day, what are you investing your time in?
What are three small things that you can begin to do differently today, to be your own heroine or hero?
As an individual, do you want to shift your mindset and become your own hero but you are not sure how to be?
As a parent, your children see you as a heroine and hero.
Are you equipped to be their hero?
What are your feelings and thoughts about this piece? I am teachable and coachable and believe that we can teach and learn from each other. I am my own hero are you?
P.S: My door is always open. Together, we can achieve greatness for humanity. Book your time with your sister Coach Fran,
always on CALL.