How to be ethical



Since the beginning of the year I’ve been encountering issues of ethics. We talk a lot in Uganda about corruption and how it stops us from developing at a reasonable rate. But my question is what happened to the African Ethic so often spoken about by historians?

When I first started reading African history there were so many accounts of the ethics of Africans. The Ethiopians were seen as the most pious of races bringing religion to Europe with their divine stature. Kemet (now known as Egypt) had the system of Maat as its spiritual foundation and I think it did them well, because their civilization existed for over 10,000 years.

So what happened? Why have we fallen so far from grace?

I try very hard to be none judgmental when it comes to behaviour, its hard enough keeping myself in check without looking for the log in someone else’s eye, but I’m curious as to why we have now become a race of people who don’t stand for much anymore.

The other day I was relating a situation to my children, of course it was in relation to money and work, but when I had finished my daughter told me that I was wrong because ‘we need to eat and the world is not like me’, so I just have to do as others do and get paid. I felt a knot in my stomach honestly, I couldn’t understand how she couldn’t see the importance of what I was saying but i accepted it because in essence the world is so fucked up and that means I should be too.

I can see her point, the saying that ‘one should not throw pearls before swine’ resonates but i just can’t help it. I can’t go against my heart. Maybe this is something that was instilled in me during childhood, transmitted by my mother. So is the problem women? What exactly are we teaching our children? Or maybe its a case of having some life experience against which one can judge or establish a stance on certain things.

I suppose we cannot teach what we do not know or more simply we have forgotten how to be humane. In this rat race of space we call life everyone is battling for their piece of the pie, so its survival of the fittest.

Maybe I’m an Afromantic. The history I read about my origins, or maybe the past lives I have lived means I can’t turn away from injustice or perpetrate it either. Yes I want my life to be easier but who said that life was meant to be easy?I know its hard to stand for something especially when those around you don’t agree with your position.

Its a complex topic and I still don’t have the answer, all I know is I want to be better. More kind, more loving, more just, more compassionate, more patient, more trusting, more forgiving and maybe the adversity I experience is the fire that will refine my character. Only time will tell.