Locked in this Room, We are NOT Fully Free (Part 2)
Posted: August 11, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan, Opinion
Articles, Opinion Writers, Thiik Mou Giir
By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia
Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia
August 11, 2017 (SSB) — We are locked in our small rooms which are in
a big room we called South Sudan. These are spaces that our tribes
and our political parties we are affiliated to, have provided us to
live in. These spaces are increasingly becoming narrower and narrower
as the food to eat, water to drink and air to breath are becoming more
and more scarce. This is certainly not the best way to live.
This has directly and indirectly robbed us of our dignity and of our
common humanity. So many of us have become used to living in these
little spaces. The few among us, who showed their rejection of the
existing walls of their particular rooms, are reminded again and again
that those rooms are the only spaces within which they can move and
that those walls are the only limits they can reach.
Unknowingly, we are telling our son and our daughter this: “You don’t
have many people who you can call your own, my son/daughter. Your
space (world) is this small room and your people are only these people
you see here. The people in the other rooms are not your people.
They are different from us. Those others, over there, are your
enemies. Although they also belong to this bigger room, they are not
your people. They are your enemies. Keep your distance from them.
You got it?”
What a depressing message we are instilling into the innocent minds of
our son and our daughter! Because we have allowed the situation of
our children being influenced by the environment of the small rooms,
they will likely grow up thinking small. We deserve any amount of
blame leveled against us, the adults.
It is an intolerable situation. Out of frustration, some people among
us have tried and will continue to try seeking the intervention of the
international community. They see members of the international
community as if they are God-sent with life-saving message while, at
the same time, those same frustrated individuals look down at the
people in the other rooms with growls. It is a pity that our people
have become like that.
Their behavour is like the behaviour of a person who, having dropped a
needle in a dark room, has gone out where there was light in order to
search for the needle he dropped. Anyway, although the international
community’s intervention may somewhat succeed, the success may be only
temporary. As it often happens, their intervention may cause other
problems sooner or later.
These problems may include the following: first, members of the
international community could become exhausted; secondly, their
intervention could place our people in the harm’s way for the fact
that our people could be exploited.
Finally, our people would likely get used to wanting the international
community to intervene every time the country is in crisis, thus
making the people become perpetual dependents of other people. Our
people will hardly grow up and learn to handle their own affairs.
If we wait for things to happen by themselves, and if we do not work
very hard to solve our problems ourselves through peaceful means and
not through the barrel of guns, we will be waiting for a long time.
Suppose the person who locked us in from outside has got the key but
has no intention of opening the door; suppose the key has
malfunctioned and would not open the door.
Suppose the key has been lost; suppose the person who locked us in has
died and no one else is going to open the door; suppose another person
who has taken hold of the key has decided to keep us locked up because
he thinks he is no better than the first person who locked us in, in
the first place;
Suppose a number of people are now fighting over the key and none of
them is able to overpower the others so that he can open the door;
suppose one case or the other is true, does it make any sense at all
that we wait in the room and day dream and hope for the things to turn
out well in the end?
No. We have got to make our own light and find our own needle.
All that we should be thinking about, now, in this locked big room, is
whether we can make an alternative key which we will use to open the
door and get out as free people. It is pointless for the people like
me to be asked to engage in the blame game and to make the blame game
a central part of our lives.
We resist these attempts for two reasons: first, we have no power and
tools to investigate the “root causes of the conflict”; secondly, our
people, the people we love so much, may run out of time, food, water,
and air in these locked rooms.
Big room-minded persons, who are locked inside the rooms, must make an
alternative key that may open the locked doors. I happened to have
been one of those individuals. I have made a rudimentary key
(vision). The key is – Construct Our New Identity (CONI).
The question now is whether our people are willing to accept it or
not. The key is designed to be used by any South Sudanese in the
areas of his or her influence. Out of my personal experience, I can
now say with confidence, “It works!”
This key (CONI) works when a person who is applying it ignores the
existence of small rooms’ walls and reach out to the people in the
other rooms. (CONI) inspires the person to seek opportunities for
constructive discussion, constructive dialogue, with those who have
(CONI) inspires the activist to be tolerant to the harsh language that
the other person may resort to. For it is not what people say that
sets us apart but that which remains unsaid. Although people who are
open to each other may not necessarily agree on every matter of their
concern, they will, nevertheless, go away better people than when they
The space for more future interaction opportunities has been created
and will remain open.
Since dialogue is an on-going thing, people will ultimately reach good
level of understanding, acceptance, and respect. On the other hand,
when people of one room deny people of another room access to their
hearts and minds, they are not only denying them a greater sense of
freedom, but they are also denying the same to themselves.
Hatred and distrust then persist on and people will continue,
unfortunately, to remain miserable and hopeless. We must break this
generational cycle of hatred and must think, instead, of how to make a
better future for every one of us.
(CONI) is a vision that enables communities to expand their space of
freedom further and further because it makes the walls that divide
people fade away. Subsequently, the creative ideas that unify people
become like food for the mind, those practical ideas will flow from
one community into another community like water.
The energy that the creative ideas and work produce will then blow us,
like people blown by strong wind (air), towards a direction we will
all desire. So, the more we work to implement this vision, the sooner
we will realize that our communities, in South Sudan as well as in
Diaspora, are being positively transformed.
We will all become one and of the same identity.
The process of this working key is a sure way to open, not just the
small rooms, but also the big room. After this last stage, as someone
said, “The sky’s the limit!” No longer a small room; no longer a big
room; rather it is a sky, the world, that will be a limit. Is it not
We will have more than enough food to eat, more than enough water to
drink and more than enough air to breath. We will be rich in every
way and the earth, the South Sudanese land, will reciprocate whatever
we will be doing with her riches.
We will say, in Martin Luther King, Jr’s words, “Free at last, free at
last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”
Although our people said similar words on the day South Sudan became
independent from the Arab domination, our people will find it fitting
to say those same words once more. Our people will feel that they
have defeated another enemy, the enemy that is within us – corruption,
greed, ambition, nepotism, tribalism, etc.
(CONI) is a key that requires a long time before its usefulness is
realized. Two hundred years, or more, from now, our people will look
back and say, “this is the day it (CONI) all started. Today, we have
opened the door of the last room. We are all free at last!”
Thiik Mou Giir, Bachelor Degree in Education from University of
Alexandria, Egypt; Post Graduate Diploma, from Monash University,
Melbourne, Australia. He can be reached via his email
The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The
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