Several elements affecting humanity

Several elements affecting humanity

If the roof is leaking either paint and tiles are pealing off or walls and floors cracking hence turning a blind eye is sheer stupidity. As the owner of the dwelling the least you can do is take good care of it and keep it in tip-top shape. Your neighbours might view and applaud the elegant colour and design on the outside but you must endure the discomfort on the inside on your own.

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Many times human-kind has built castles in the air. It is good to imagine and have aspirations but it is more ideal to be practical which then helps you to avoid unnecessary headaches. Societal standards have pushed lots of people to drown into debt so as to keep up appearances for people who have less concern of noticing them but this is the least of our problems at the moment.

The world has been struck by deadly pandemics of mental health challenges as well as drug and substance abuse.  These are just but effects of a truckload of elements affecting humanity.  Over time we normalised the deadly pandemics, smiled and walked on with a broken limb. We decided to keep quite and ignore the pain hoping it would go away. Like an untreated wound it became contaminated and almost at the point of amputation. It is a dire situation but there is still hope for the limb. There are a few intentional steps each one must take to help save a limb, a life.

The effects of The Covid-19 Pandemic have been dire to the extent that many have succumbed to mental health illnesses such as and not limited to stress and depression.  Adapting to the ‘new normal’ because of the lockdown as well as other external forces like economic constraints and escalating rate of unemployment where thousands of graduates are roaming the streets. Loss of loved ones, broken relationships, retrenchment, difficult circumstances, displacements, poverty and all forms of abuse play a part in leading mankind on the edge. Understanding that people are different and have different tolerance levels will create sympathy as well as empathy. The human race has become so judgemental and brutal, so much verbal violence is going around and I guess it’s true that the most hurt people are the ones who hurt others.

Societal standards push humanity to keep on walking even when they can’t even crawl to save their life. The patriarchal standards of serving in silence, avoiding confrontations and not complaining even in cruel and inhuman situations, keeping struggles to yourself and not sharing and merely hoping for the best, only increases the death rates through suicides, heart failure as well as the currently most dangerous pandemic of drug and substance abuse.  In a bid to numb the pain, find relief from stress and forget troubles, drug and substance abuse has become an escape to a better space for some peace and ecstasy.  However this has created far more life threatening disorders. Countless lives have been cut short due to drug overdoses, drinking and driving, acts of violence and the highest recorded mortality rate through suicides.

There is therefore much need for an emotional and mental overhaul for mankind with immediate effect. Life can change in a split second and affected persons are expected to adjust,  adapt and conform to the set direction.  Depending on the life circumstances, each person must receive enough time and resources for processing, in their own pace and way. Change and healing has no one size fits all prescription.

Traumatic experiences like loss of loved ones, abuse, displacements and many others leave a person vulnerable and prone to more abuse if the situation is not quickly controlled unless proper counselling and therapeutic methods have been administered, unresolved emotions are most likely to cause low self esteem and withdrawal of affected persons amongst other effects.

As mentioned before, there are steps which I believe are important to encourage both internal and external healing of the heart, mind, soul and body. The renovations must be made and only when we shut down everything, individuals must on their own realise the need that the mind-set must change for the better by accepting an intervention for the renovation. No one has done it alone but with a team of experts. Sit with a counsellor, priest, physician, psychologist, whoever you think will help. They will help you identify the appropriate ways to your healing. Counselling may seem like a foreign practice for some especially in the African communities, but let me assure you that it is very important to engage one.

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Nations have faced brutal inhuman conditions in the past and are fortunate to be alive but are actually the walking deead. They don’t feel much from the heart because of what they went through. They had to live, move, build homes and take care of the needs of others that they still have not found the time to stop. It has gone on long enough. It’s time to shut down everything and renovate. Reboot, refresh, revive and be rejuvenated so you can be strong enough to continue with the journey ahead of you.

All hands must be on deck. It’s affecting all humanity. Mental health wellness must be made a priority for all. Those with the capacity to assist in any way must do so going forward. If you have passed through similar circumstances why don’t you school those who are facing it, or even the young, naïve or vulnerable who have no idea, so they can be saved from wanting to experiment. Even when help is on the way, never let your mind be idle, do something that you love and live. Your interest, passion, gift or talent can help you heal. It starts with small intentional steps towards your healing.

I pause with a statement from the voice of the poet Muziwakhe Mbuli, “umankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to humankind.” It is true with matters of mental health, if we decide to do nothing, we should be prepared for our end.

Lingiwe Gumbo

Lingiwe Patience Gumbo aka Miss PatienceZw is an Administrative Secretary by profession and a creative artist: singer-songwriter, poet, writer and voice over artist. She is the Arts & Entertainment Columnist for My Afrika Magazine.

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