Replying to LO23778 --
Greetings to you all.
In my reply to
Bruno Martins Soares <bmartins.soares@mail.EUnet.pt>
>>I've just read your beatifully writen piece from your desert
>>journey. You say that caring is the essencial attitude for
>>learning and to a learning organization. I must agree. You
>>couldn't have put it better. The thing is: caring... how?
>>for what? how do we do that??
and later on dealing with feelings
>>Can we risk it? Is it ok to feel sad, angry, raging, reveangeful,
>>envious, resentful, hateful, scared, hurt? You tell me...
I replied with
>I have such feelings every day. They emerge because of
>destructive creativity, my own as well as that of others.
>I seldom tell about them, except when I imbed them in a
I have told you about the incident in the Huab pass involving the Damara,
dog and goats, giving me a new insight into LOs. But I have not told you
why I decided to sleep there. I have not been honest and have to set it
I was furious and wanted to get away from people.
Some 60km before the pass, I went to a lodge -- the only one in that
region. It is geared to catch the unwary tourist who has not yet
experienced a long, dusty, bumpy journey on a road along nowhere to a
place somewhere. An unwary tourist who has bought a dream which has become
a nigtmare. An unwary tourist who never has learned that dreams have to
be dreamt self.
The trouble was not that I am such a tourist any more. I was rather
feeling very tired because of my diabetic condition. I did not have the
guts for another night dodging rain in the desert. I wanted a care-free
night to sooth me. I wanted civilisation.
I went into the office and greeted the person in charge cordially in my
mothertongue Afrikaans. He said nothing. In me something began to snap.
"Hell, here I am, trying to escape this very thing in the civilised world.
Will it never stop?"
I asked him -- still trying to be polite -- what dinner, bed and breakfast
will cost for two persons. He said: "Money", also in Afrikaans. So
langauge was not the problem. I said to myself: "Hell, can't he see that
he is tendering for trouble." In an icy voice I replied "What is your
kind of money?"
He hurriedly began to page through a ledger as if he does not know the
price. He knew that he had to make time to regain his confidence. Then he
looked up and said: "Ah, here it is, US$375 per person." Only one problem,
he looked me in the face when saying that "Ah, here it is .." part. Too
late he realised his error. I began to make mental calculations -- it will
cost more than what the trip between Namibia and South Afrcia will cost us
With a smile I said to him "You have seen me coming." "By the way, what
do you ask for a camping site."
Poor fellow, he had to perform the same trick again. "US$40 per car,
US$40 per trailer and US$40 per person." In my mind I compared it with a
camping for free, although it included preparing food for ourselves and
dodging the rain which will come.
With a smile I said to him "You have seen me going." (Note the past
perfect tense. When done in this way in my mothertongue it has a ring of
finality to it.)
Without a word, he turned around and began to walk away. It was foolish to
greet his back. It was then when I myself also lost the battle. "Hell, his
greed stripped him of all civilisation. I will rather cut my nose and
spite my own face." When I got back to my companion, I explained to him
what happened and that we will have to find a "suitable" sleeping place.
He agreed that the price was even beyond his means.
I did not tell him that "suitable" means "to get as far from greed as
possible". I did not tell him that the desolate Huab valley is such a
place. Many years ago he was there with me too -- and it frightened the
wits out of him.
But he recognised the place in the moon light and realised the truth when
he saw me taking out the jack as soon as I heard the tyre going flat.
Minutes later when I discovered the spare tyre was flat too I realised
myself the deeper truth. My flight from greed put us in great peril. He
anxiously asked: "What are we now going to do?" I answered with a sincere
voice: "Eat, sleep and wait for some kind soul. We can do it for seven
days." It was the truth and it was good enough to sooth him into a
Usually, I fell asleep within seconds. But that night I was thinking about
our present civilisation. It is heading for disaster by trying to feed its
unsatiable greed. That disaster will struck us as surely as I was laying
there, staring into the stars, seeing the first clouds forming above me.
Like me many civilised people have gathered enough to ensure a limited
number of care-free days after disaster has struck. But like me those
civilised people will have to wait upon a "kind soul" for their resque.
This "kind soul" had to be a "kind organisation" and not just any "kind of
Suddenly I sat up, delighted with the shock of the answer beginning to
emerge in my mind, displacing the negative feelings of the immergences the
past couple of hours. What "kind organisation" will be travelling for
sure in a desolate valley like the Haub? What "kind organisation" will
even be willing to explore places which scare the wit out of people who
know only their kind of civilisation?
This "kind organisation" will have to be an organisation with curiosity.
Curiosity is an adjoint of emergences. But does curiosity not come from
the Latin word "cura"? If I remember correctly, "cura" means to care. So
this "kind organisation" also has to take care. This "kind organisation"
is nothing else than a [........]!!!!!!!!!
With this sudden emerge came another adjoint -- peace which words cannot
describe. I fell asleep within a few seconds, just to woke up a couple of
hours later by the then familiar drizzle falling upon me.
Dear fellow learners. What is this "kind organisation" which will have
to resque us should our tyres get flat as a result of fleeing from what we
hate in our civilisation?
Fill in the [.......].
With caring and best wishes,
At de Lange <firstname.lastname@example.org> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa
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