Persecution, z attraction!

June 24, 2008 at 12:33 pm 1 comment

“Persecution Lust”, as the name clearly indicates, is the exact opposite of “Persecution Mania”. Mania is mania. Is come from the Greek word “mainomai”. Is mean “to freak out” or “fear”.

Persecution Lust, on the other hand, is the feverish desire to be singled out & mistreated exhibited by (eteQsalehu): fresh “Pentes” (otherwise known as “new born-again Protestant Christians”), supporters of an up & coming [charismatic] “teQawami” party and members of an ethnic group whose Liberation front just popped the question of self-determination.

Symptoms of mania, or “persecution mania” as I would from henceforth call it, include: rapid speech, racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, hypersexuality, euphoria, impulsiveness, grandiosity, and increased interest in goal-directed activities.

Symptoms of persecution lust include, but are not restricted to: singing loudly in the street, trying to sneak religion or politics into whatever conversation members chance to find themselves in (sometimes at a parliamentary meeting on national television) and a thundering “GETA YIMESEGEN”/”Min Yihe Mengist Eyale..”/Etc. as a response to your greeting in a way that makes you wonder if they weren’t trying to scare the devil/the”NeFtegna”/the”Mengist Degafi” out of you. [“Hey…!”]

If you are wondering why these people seem so eager to cost their parents a burial ground, their country men and women their precious lives, and the calm and collected side of your brain; join me as the receiver of a [religious] sermon I was a part of almost a decade ago.

This is how it goes, atleast to the Protestant Christians: The minute you received the lord, you become enemy to the flesh, the secular world and Satan. By default! And try they would, to destroy your faith: through loved ones, hated ones, neighbors & colleagues. They won’t leave no stone unturned (these three) to cut your journey to heaven short. Your road would be paved with the brambles and thorns of temptation and there won’t be a weapon that won’t be used against you, however innocent it may look. You’d be buffeted all around by thorns, until you grow faint and weary, and pray to the Lord to remove it, and the Lord says unto you “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness”. Like he did with the Apostle Paul.

So they thirst after persecution! And how could they not?! It’s their guarantee to a life with the Lord! An assurance to spending an eternity at the right hand seat of the “Son of his love”! And to having been lost and found by the Good Shepherd who would neither leave them nor desert them. “Lost and Found”, imagine! An irresistable title to those quite souls whose most further journey away from home is a trip to the nearest Pharmacy!! So, yes, Satan, “the world” and “the flesh” are as crucial to [Protestant] Christianity as the bible, prayer and faith were said to be. In them they put their trust, to prove their right-eous-ness.

You may wonder how I knew all this. Well, my friends, My name is abesheet, and I used to be a Persecution Lust-er! This was back in the days when “Karate” films were referred to as “Kincha”s, when boys sent postcards of Indian movie stars as a gift to the girl of their choice and being a “pente” was something that can have you kicked out of the house. I went to a church, I stood up, I received the Lord (an experience I still vividly remember), and went back home ready to pack my bag at a moment’s notice of trouble from the parents.

When, however, neither Satan nor the world would react to my Christianity in the anticipated [preferably violent] way, and when everybody around seems to be happy that I have found something to keep my wanderlust soul fascinated with, I figured why Satan haven’t found me a threat to his kingdom was because he was in on something: That the lord didn’t want me!! That I was that rare specimen of the animal kingdom – a person whom God rejected! After all, hasn’t Jesus himself said “Many are called, but few are chosen”?! And that the word shall come to pass if nothing else does?!

True! There was a joy in the realization, a certain freedom! A license to do what I will for what am I but a clay in the hands of this master craftsman we call God or fate?! But there was sadness too, a heart break, especially in times of depression. So my wanderlust soul went her journey feeling Godless & unloved; full of self-pity; loudly proclaiming independence yet secretly wishing there was someone to say of her, “This is my beloved.. with whom I am well pleased” and bring her “home”. But then times changed! “Karate” films were rightfully left to teenagers with stinking feet, postcards started accompaning actual gifts and folks get to hear [and stay] Lily’s “mezmurs” in indiscriminant taxis and minibuses all over Addis. The cool got cold. Just like that!

That doesn’t mean humans won’t be humans and they won’t manage to find something to be persecuted for. I still see & recognize my kindred spirits, or fellow victims of over-powering feelings of mediocrity, every time I come across them – on or offline. Online, you can tell them apart by the cold silence with which they treat you when you ask them to explain themselves/group/religion/quest for self-determination. Or why. In real life, you can tell them by the measured steps they walk around with – scouting the horizon for “brothers and sisters” in the faith/of the ethnic group/party, the radiant look of a rebel [a defier of traditions and breaker of laws] you see in their eyes when their sole interest in life is given due attention or the restlessness and righteous destaste with which they treat all other subjects when conversations refuse to drift that way.

They neither have to know what they have gotten themselves into, the rules of games with which to play or who and what they are drawing, so long as there is a special interest group they can become a member of, and another stronger group who persecute it (atleast theoretically), they are happy as a lark and more committed to the cause than “those who bore the heat of the day”!

Which is why you can never reason with these people! If they allow you to talk and you managed to convince them, they’d lose this special place they assigned for themselves as individuals and groups. And back they would go to being their un-special, insignificant, rejected self. So if they don’t jump at you the minute you started giving them your polite version of “please get a life” – i.e. please to take things easy, they would ask you to skip it [“agreeing to disagree”] or avoid talking to you altogether. All the while feeling a holy pity for you and the dark cloak you are wearing on your eyes which they know is tailored by [who else] “Satan”, “the world” or “the flesh”. Or whoever they see as the personification of the Prince of Darkness.

Heaven help them!

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Haniye  |  June 25, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    I’ve never considered the human tendency towards persecution, but now that I think about it, I very much agree. It’s the very same ‘overpowering feelings of mediocrity’ that have plagued me since I moved for college, to a more diverse city where there are plenty of habeshas… and brown, bookworm-hippie-vegans are not uncommon. People no longer blink at my weird personality quirks/life plans, and although I initially found that to be liberating… I… think I might miss all that…. or at the very least the validation I got from feeling like I wasn’t just another overindulged member of western society.

    I think as habeshas, when we look into our past for hints at our future, we are confronted with “real” heroes, and when we consider the lives lead by these men and women we cant help but measure our own against theirs. So I guess what I’m saying is, when I consider things from this perspective, I can’t really hate on these individuals for starting their own bootleg rebellions- at the end of the day, I guess we all want to feel like we’ve made a difference.

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