The true voice of Congo has always be distorted and manipulated. I used to hear news of rape and violence around the world and chunk it up to the people just being “violent” or “uncivilized.” Then I’d go to Froyo & Victoria Secret and carry on with my life, not thinking about it again until I heard another news story. I knew the Holocaust was a horrific display of the human potential, but I’d never heard of King Leopold II from Belgium whose responsible for more death and destruction than Hitler.
The Long-Lasting Effects of Colonization
I never understood how human beings could just travel to an unknown land and claim ownership of the terrain, people, and their labor, forever. Some of the worst atrocities in human history were committed by Belgians in the Eastern Congo, while the British laid claim on the Aborigines in Australasia, the United States on native Americans and Filipinos, the French on Northwest Congolese, Spanish on the north and central native Americans, Portuguese on the Angolans and Amazonians, and Germans on Southwest Africans – obliterating the culture, spirituality, language, killing animals, and exploiting the land.
It may surprise you that most Europeans and tourists were disgusted by what was taking place all over the world. They sensed something innately wrong about this characterization of the Congolese and misrepresentation of the voice of Congo. The masses did not support colonization, so why did it continue?
Smells Like Smoke
How is it possible that the Congo River basin sits on $24 trillion in untapped natural resources (more that the US + Europe GDP) – yet 45,000 people die every month from diseases preventable with basic medical care?
I was inspired to post this status because I think millennials are waking up. I have so many enlightening conversations about people becoming inspired to stop eating meat, open their spirituality, and feeling a greater sense of interconnectedness – despite the mass desensitization taking place because of technology.
Everything has a price except the gifts and talents we were born with (imagination, love, reason, creativity, etc). Someone in the 3rd world is paying for our over-indulgence when we could use those abilities to carry our own weight. In Virunga National park, 10 women work 40 hour weeks, and make $40 per month as a group. People are losing limbs to mine coltan and make a meager living.
We have to get creative, and contribute more or our brothers & sisters will continue to suffer. Maybe swap out your nightly episode of reality tv to spend an hour starting an imports business. Or learn to cook organically instead of eating McDonald’s. As Emerson said, “Every man is a consumer, and ought to be a producer. He is by constitution expensive, and needs to be rich.”
The Silent Voice of Congo
We need to listen to that silent voice of our brothers and sisters, really listen with our hearts. I personally believe that the real voice of Congo is not the one portrayed in the media. The people are resilient, courageous, and loving. We could all learn a thing or two from a culture that is focused more on community & nature, than money & status. Many less-civilized, or 3rd world civilizations seem to value unity and peace far more than modernized, western societies. Many of these countries would be peaceful had they not been invaded, enslaved, manipulated, exploited, and pitted against their neighbors. The true voice of Congo is one of love, brotherhood, abundance, perseverance, and oneness.
It’s all a game.