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Let’s get out of this victim mode

WE Zimbabweans are the biggest moaners I know.

“There’s no food,” “There’s no work,” “I don’t have money,” &

#8220;There are no medicines at the pharmacy,” “There is no doctor at the clinic,” “Everything is too expensive,” “There’s no fuel,” “I can’t afford school fees,” “There’s no transport,” “Harare is a mess,” “MDC is doing nothing,” “ZBC is boring,” “Our MP does nothing for us” — and on and on and on.

You name it, we moan about it! Moaning is our national pastime. We love to be victims and complain about everything. It gives us something to say without wasting too much brainpower and everyone agrees with us — which means we must be right! This reinforces our behaviour and we repeat it with increased vigour and decreased self-criticism.

Our minds take on the victim mode and soon it becomes a permanent state of mind. We become victims. Everything is someone else’s fault and someone had better do something about it!

But we know they won’t, because they haven’t done so in all these years, so why should they suddenly start now? And everyone agrees with us, it’s contagious and here we are — a nation of victims.

I argue that we need to get right out of the victim mode if we really want Zimbabwe to improve. We need to become the victors — the winners! And in order to become the victors, we have to get out of our negative, passive mode and move into the positive, active mode.

We have to shake off the moaning and whining and do something about it!

Nothing makes people feel more powerless and depressed than preventing them from doing anything about their problem — and nothing empowers people more than allowing them to do something about their problem.

We may not be able to tackle the big problem right now, but we can surely do something to shake off the apathy, even if it’s only switching off the TV or the radio!

We can refuse to be brainwashed and refuse to allow our family and friends to be brainwashed by that simple small action. There are so many more.

I will quote at some length what Martin Luther King said about trying in his final address the day before he was assassinated: “I guess one of the great agonies of life is that we are constantly trying to finish that which is unfinishable….

“Life is a continual story of shattered dreams.

“And each of you in some way is building some kind of temple. The struggle is always there. It gets discouraging sometimes. It gets very disenchanting sometimes. Some of us are trying to build a temple of peace. We speak out against war, we protest, but it seems that your head is going against a concrete wall. It seems to mean nothing. And so often as you set out to build the temple of peace you are left lonesome; you are left discouraged; you are left bewildered.

“Well, that is the story of life. And the thing that makes me happy is that I can hear a voice crying through the vista of time, saying: ‘It may not come today or it may not come tomorrow, but it is well that it is within thine heart. It’s well that you are trying.’ You may not see it. The dream may not be fulfilled, but it’s just good that you have a desire to bring it into reality. It’s well that it is in thine heart.

“I’d like someone to mention that day (of my funeral) that Martin Luther King, Jr tried to give his life serving others.

“I’d like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr tried to love somebody.”

We are not all as strong as Martin Luther King, but he got his strength from his faith and his action to lead Negro victims to take action and become victors. We can surely take some small action to make us ordinary Zimbabweans victors instead of victims.

Trudy Stevenson,


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