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The "Self" in Kujichagulia

In Gye-Nyame we see the Self as the ultimate being. The Self is the complete and perfect aspect of being. The Self is, by nature, absolute. But what does it mean to be absolute when your existence on this earth is not? What does it mean to be complete, when you have to learn a language, culture, politics from a people who are not your own? What does it mean to be perfect? When you were never empowered with absolute knowledge to be in accordance with nature. So what is this thing called the Self? The Self is who you are as a person, not just your personality traits or character. It's the way you think about things and how you perceive them. It's the way you want to do things and how you want other people to do them. It's what makes you, YOU. The Self is the ultimate being that wants to know itself through its own cultural eyes and no one else's. That wants to do what it needs to do and not let anyone outside determine its existence but itself! Even though we have been taught that our existence on this earth is not an absolute one, we must start from where we are now and from this point on make all efforts to become a Self that determines itself. A self that builds a larger cultural Self so that we can build into the future. Here are some questions to wrestle with:

What is your definition of the Self?

What are some ways in which we can be self-determined?

What is a positive belief you were instilled with as a child that does not support your growth today?

When you hear the word Self-Determination what is your initial reaction?

How does your culture influence your self?

What does it mean to you to have a true self?

Before we can truly exercise our Self, we must first break away from the shackles of other's culture. In order to do this I believe that we must first be able to define what our Self is, what culture is, and how these two things affect each other. Culture: The manners, arts, social institutions, achievements, and behavior of a particular nation, people, or other social group. Self: The absolute, complete, and perfect aspect of being that is not controlled by external circumstances. As strange as it sounds, the Self is directly affected by the culture. If the culture is not designed to bring out the best then the self will be weak and easily controlled and broken. This is what I believe happens in oppressive societies. The Self of the captive is grown in a culture that teaches it about the limits of its life, and creates a sub self that can be controlled for the benefit of the dominant culture. Here are some keys that can help you strengthen your Self:

  1. Embrace your Culture

  2. Don't listen to the lies of oppressor trying to steal your Self-Determination

  3. Stop thinking you are threatening to others when you express your thoughts and opinions

  4. Come to terms with your past and present

  5. Embrace your struggle to help you understand your Self

  6. Create your own borders

Here is your proverb:

"The forest provides food to the hunter after they are exhaustingly tired."


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