There are diverse ways that we learn how to subsist as human beings. Celebrating who we are assists us to acknowledge this life and how to exist in it. In the process, we learn many things. It is those things that we learn that make us who we are. Everything we do is unmistakably affected by where we hail. Chineke placed us in different cultures, which affects our individual nature. As a child, I almost drowned in the river…I learned not to venture in the water without supervision. I learned from the lessons of nature to garner experiences that I have added to my repertoire for future use. The reason we tend not to repeat mistakes made by our friends and elders is because we are able to turn their mistakes into positives…then we became the product of culture.
These specific descriptions should help us understand that the reason we are who we are has a direct link with where we are from, it shapes our experiences. We are observers of how the world works, through the prism of our cultural reality. Because we learn from our environment, culture and gender mandates, it becomes dangerous for our healthy existence when we abandon these learning experiences stored in the recesses of our minds. This abandonment creates conflict for our spiritual well being, and damages our cultural and economic traditions. When we are taught to relearn life from the prism of others whose way of life contradicts our cultural dictates, we fail to turn our cultural understanding into knowledge. To be sure, we are cognizant that all humans co-interact, but this should not be at the expense of authentic individual identity.
Just like the mother bird realizes it must let go of the baby bird so it can take flight, culture reminds us of the steps to take to upend our faltering toward cultural demise. The sun has a role to play in the warming of the earth, the trees trap the wind to permit their leaves and branches the joy of swing. The mother goat gives birth in the middle of the village as a matter of convenience and the overburdened clouds release the rain to allow the clouds to float onward after which a thirsty forest mutters a hearty thank you. Every part of nature is allowed to do what is their role to play. By remaining in tact, all things achieve the highest level of knowledge intended for use for survival.
Chiism extends the opportunity to stay with what is sacred and in that moment loving who we are. By doing so, we embrace the internal knowing that establishes whether we will live like animals at the end of a harness or whether we will dash free through the prairie of life… and Chineke concurs!