A lesson in grace


EVERYTHING bad begins with a lie. Anything that you can think of – from a sour relationship to world war, from Gukurahundi genocide to slavery, from shoplifting to the Spanish inquisitions, from abusing mini-skirt wearing women to a road accident – if it’s bad, I can guarantee you that there is a lie involved.

I’ve learned that there are two types of people in the world – those who are authentic and those who are not.

The blurred lines between the two are – you guessed it – the amounts of lying involved. Incidentally, human beings happen to love people who lie to them. Pastors and politicians have known this for a while.

Some people are good at being authentic and some people are good at being inauthentic. It is damn difficult to know who is authentic and who is not because of, of course, the lying games. Lying is a poor life-coping mechanism.

We struggle with new year’s resolutions because we are inauthentic with what we want and how we want it.

When we can’t get what we want, the inauthenticity levels go up a whole lot more. So does the lying.

Like telling someone you have an appointment with over the phone that you are on 3rd Avenue when you are somewhere in Magwegwe!

Politics to me sounds like it should come with concepts like “polite”. My question therefore is – at what point in world history did people and politics lose their politeness? Of course when people started lying!

Perhaps the most infamous deceit of them all is the one that the snake told Eve who then passed it along to Adam. I know it’s absolutely ridiculous to refer to a snake – the speaking one at that – but many are of Biblical persuasion.

There are no such things as secrets in the world. Intelligence services worldwide eventually declassify information because the burden of keeping stuff is unbearable even for them.

Where politicians try to hide stuff, there is an Edward Snowden, Wikileaks or at best the legendary newspaper men and women that are ever ready to uncover secrets.

When corruption in the government was revealed last year, former Vice-President Joice Mujuru was against the exposés and as events unfolded she got the boot. Grace Mugabe in her whirlwind tour, made calls for the then unmentioned-by-name VP to “say sorry”.

I thought Mujuru was going to. I would like to think that if you’ve wronged someone, you say sorry. Everything in life works strictly on a need basis.

From a proposal that gets turned down or approved, getting or not getting a reply on WhatsApp, a car versus public transport to being borrowed, given, purchasing or even stealing something – the question is, do you need it?

That is why our new year’s resolutions perennially immaterialise because we don’t need them. Even where we need them, we don’t have the grace for them.

We are meant to share everything on earth and if you remember my past column Zimbabwe: A closed economy, the problem is that nobody likes to share.

Rich people, hence or otherwise authentic people, learned how to share something. That’s the reason why politicians are not included in Forbes lists even though they are likely to be just as rich or more.

Strive Masiyiwa is the country’s richest man in terms of the legitimate – authentic – way he went about it. Most of our rich people prefer that they didn’t get asked because they’d have to lie about it.

Everything bad begins with a lie. Unfulfilled goals? Check the lies in there. Serial bad romances? Check the lies in there.

Alcoholic? Check the lies needing a drink to calm them down.

Cursing and screaming at people? Want to pour boiling water on someone? We all could use a lesson in grace and it’s a vicious cycle if you are not checking the lies out. Be authentic!

Sonny Jermain writes in his personal capacity. This piece is an excerpt from his book I Deserve To Be: Selfworth Is A Silent Killer that is due end of year.