Motivation to Learn when in Despair. LO28628

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 05/27/02

Replying to LO28585 --

Dear Organlearners.

Andrew Campbell < > writes:

>I appreciate well the parable of the fish. I do not
>contradict you when I remain partially in the view that
>money offered in an appropriate way, mediated by
>sufficient wisdom, to bring forward a years capital into
>one place ...might significantly improve an independent
>solution to a shared problem. I was making an article of
>faith with the woman, not even knowing her.

Greetings dear Andrew,

I appreaciate you intended help. But I think I am the selfish one here. I
need to learn with fellow learners how to help this family and thousands
like them. And they have been indeed a great help to me. The new
possibilties which they touch upon in their advice help me to shape my own
thoughts and that of my dear wife for the better.

>Your personal and continually revised mediation was
>in the one solution I offered the linchpin and I fully respect
>your superior wisdom. I think you are asking us to consider
>the problem at its most fundamental level. In which case
>dear At, your rich picture wins the day and every day
>after that. I think though you are most profoundly correct
>about May.

Please, dear Andrew, do not become mad at me. It may seem that I asked
fellow learners to consider the problem at fundamental level. I did not.
That this has indeed become a problem considered at the fundamental level,
has been an outcome of our Team Learning.

I also do not think I am so wise or so profoundly correct. What I try to
do, is to describe as honestly as possible the family's predicament. It is
the advice which I get from fellow learners which help me to draw
inevitable conclusions, whther iwse and profoundly correct or otherwise.

>Even though she [May] was offered a one day a week
>opportunity to work for cash she refused, she is aware
>of the kinds of 'leverage' that it might have imposed on
>her, so she works a whole day just for food.

I think it is not merely "intentional leverage", but some other kind of
"leverage" which she tries to avoid. I will try to articulate her tacit
knowing by "organisational leverage". By allowing an organisation to help
her, even altruistically, she becomes part of that organisation which is
closed to the poor, except for the altruistic deeds. In this way she cuts
heself off from the very poor which she serves through learning.

I am deeply aware how this family is closed out of organisations. Take
transport, for example. Because of the place where she lives. there is no
public transport available when she has to go to work at 5h30 in the
morning. Her eldest son has a dilapidated car with which he has to take
her and his girl friend to work. When she arrives at home after work at
18h30, there is again no public transport.

It is the same with ten thousands of poor black families staying in the
surroundings of Pretoria (up to 50 km away) due to the legacy of
apartheid. Some of them have to get up at 4h00 in the morning for work to
arrive at home 22h00. More than half of their meagre income they have to
spend on transport which eats up 6 to 8 hours of their day.

In Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and other countries up north it is far worse.
There is neither public or private transport to speak of any more. The fee
energy "die-off" has become the stark reality for them. Many people have
to walk up to 25 km (15 miles) to a city or large town to a job in it. It
is as if money follows organised jobs in cities and towns. It is as if
money destroys interpreneurial jobs in small rural communities. People
flock in their hundreds of thousands to squat on the outskirts of cities
and towns, hoping to find a job there. They want organised jobs to be
created for them. Meanwhile they sank deeper into poverty.

>I once wrote to you to gauge the effect of Fine Art
>creativity being offered to, for example your own college.
>I think your reply was in effect that creative art
>expression was as rare as hen's teeth in RSA as it is
>being reformulated post Apartheid. I felt the slamming
>of a door. Here, I am back, I am knocking on the door

Dear Andrew, i think that the door which you felt slamming is LRC (Law of
Requisite Complexity). But first the facts. The rich spend far more on art
than the poor. Pretoria strectches from west to east because of its
topography. To the west live the poor and to the east live the rich. I can
take you now by car from the west to the east. In the west you will find
pawn shops at just about every suberb, but no shops for any kind of art.
In the east you will find no pawn shops, but occasionaly an art shop here
and there.

What caused it? I think it is an educational system with wrong values.
Children with less intelligence were told to train for a certain trade so
as to secure an income for them. Children with more intelligence had to
discover self that life involves more than training for a profession.
My own eldest son Adriaan is 1.9meter tall and as strong as an ox. During
his high school years he wanted to participate in a choir. He also wanted
to become a member of a shcool choir. My dear wife took him to every
excercise as well as performance. He also wanted to wrestle as an amateur.
In this he did so good that he also almost became SA champion, ending as
the second best.

At school he became an obvious target in the "pecking order". Some of the
bullies thought him to be a sissy while others knew that should they win
him in a fight, they would definitely be tops. He tried to avoid every
fight as much as he can because he has a most gentle nature. But in each
and every fight the bullies were encouraged by the curiosity of other
pupils -- which were the strongest in Adriaan, the artist or the wrestler.
The disciplined artist in him said "keep out of the fight" and the
disciplined wrestler in him cautioned to wait for the bully to begin the
fight. In every inevitable fight he won the bully, thus preparing the
grounds for a new cycle. An in each cycle the pupils observed the wrestler
having a victory over the artist. Obviously, he could not wrestle with the
bullies. He had to become a street fighter like them, but making sure that
every blow counts to end the fight as soon as possible. What these
children did not see, is the art which he brought to his street fighting
-- it is called martial art.

Adriaan knew how to fend the die-off of his physical free energy. It was
the spiritual free energy within him which emergences in wrestling and art
brought to him. I often think that he would have felt to be in paradise in
the glorius days of ancient Greece. I once told him how it was then and
that brought tears to his eyes.

The more I think of it, the more I become sure that physical die-off and
spiritual die-off go hand in hand. This is the door of LRC which I see
slapping closed for those afflicted with poverty

>Ilse-Marie and me, we will keep our pictures for
>another day, another dawn elsewhere. So, what can
>i do by way of teaching creativity to this family, any
>family or community of which you are a part. Shall I
>write to this woman, shall I keep writing to LO and
>you At, or shall I just get to the quick and write to your
>President? Does he have time and intent to ask the big
> you do? Or shall I better stop writing
>altogether and start doing.

Dear Andrew, write to the influential people in first world countries.
Explain to them how deadly it is to the spirit of African peoples when
they are treated merely as possible labour units.

As for doing, please find a way how the poor can experience the joy of
creating art. Yesterday we stopped at a robot. A black man was selling
beautiful objects made out of wire -- many kinds of insects suspended in
air, decorated with beads to accentuate their insect nature. I did not
have money to buy one. But I said to him that they were very beautiful and
I wish I could buy one. First there was a look of great surpise on his
face, but then he gave a broad smile and said "Dankie meneer" (Thank you
sir.) (By the way, "meneer" can also mean master ;-) I think that should
he not even have sold one of his artistic artifacts, he would have gone to
sleep a very happy man.

>Much of the world is starting some 'doing' and
>it is about to tear the world apart.

I would have done the same by doing nothing to this black man, keeping the
car's window shut for fear of getting robbed. Car robbery by pretending to
sell something has become immense here.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> 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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