In the past few years, I have watched with Obama’s election and re-election and the progression of South Africa and have pondered on how often nations or people groups will work for generations to achieve some sort of goal, whether it be equal rights, democracy or independence, and once that goal is reached and the euphoria dies down they’re left the fundamental question: ‘‘now what?’’ I’m sure you’ve seen an example of this somewhere today, such as in Egypt where attempts are still going on to unseat the government put in power. It can be spotted in the history of Africa after liberation as a prime example.
The point I’m trying to make is that we as humans have a tendency to accomplish something and then don’t know how to build on it afterwards. In sport countless teams or athletes will have that moment of long-awaited glory before flopping the very next season: Everton F.C. in the 2005/2006 English soccer season, Manchester City F.C. currently, Jensen Button… the list goes on. In literature the success of J.D. Salinger’s novel, A Catcher in the Rye caused the author to become more reclusive and not publish another novel.
To have some kind of meaningful life we need to update our aims constantly and never be satisfied. Always be ready to answer the ‘‘Now what?’’ question in all situations before it causes us to digress and stunts our inner growth.
I wrote this three-haiku poem in the light of Egypt when it overthrown Mubarak and had elections, South Africa’s present state and as a connection from Civil Rights era to now for African-Americans:
Today in freedom
we meet each step conceited
delighting in our gains…
Yet, our young soles lie wounded
scarred by memory;
bleeding, from our history…
Today in freedom;
we walk masked from growing pains
brought with struggled gains…