Mind your own Business!

The Ogiek (oh-GEE-ik) people of Africa  are an indigenous people of the forests of Kenya.  They live as hunter gathers and live off of the earth.  They are described as a peaceful group who specialize in cultivating honeybees, but will grow beans and potatoes.  The Ogiek live mainly on animals that are only in abundance in the forest.  If they notice a decline in population of a particular animal they have been hunting, they will practice “self-imposed conservation” by raising their own animals such as sheep or goats.  They have been regarded as the best conservationists of land anywhere on the planet.

For the last several decades, there have been attempts to evict the Ogiek from their ancestral forest, usually on the pretext that they are degrading it. But when the Ogiek are removed, their forest is not protected but rather exploited by logging and tea plantations – some owned by government officials.

The Kenyan government is trying to evict everyone from the forest, including the Ogiek who have been living there for centuries. If the Ogiek are evicted from their forest home it could spell disaster for the forest and for the Ogiek, who will become “conservation refugees.”

After reading about this situation, only one thought kept coming to my mind, wouldn’t it be nice sometimes if people would just wise up and mind their own business.  Time and time again I always find myself thinking about how much better this world would be if people simply stopped trying to interfere with others, and focus on their own situations and problems.

Many people don’t do this because they don’t acknowledge their own problems in their lives and at the same time feel the need to confront others and change the way people live their lives.

Of course the basis of diversity is to accept others for who they are and to try to find common ground with others who are different than we are.  But before we even try to approach diversity, we must first look to ourselves.  We must make sure that our inner foundation is secure and under control before we can ever attempt to reach out to others.  Failure to do so results in fear of those that are different than we are.  And fear of others will always result in terrible circumstances, such as racism, sexism, ageism and any other “ism”.  Or in this case, it will result in trying to change the way of life for a small obscure peaceful group of people, for the most horrible of reasons: greed.

In short, we will always be presented with the opportunity to meet others that are different than us, live different lives, and of course look different than we do.  Lets approach the situation with the best intentions, which is to always be willing to learn, be willing to share, and be willing to accept the fact that people are different, accept it.  Just imagine how boring this world would be if we were all the same.

But that’s another blog post!

-Darold Ingram

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~ by daroldingram on July 21, 2010.

2 Responses to “Mind your own Business!”

  1. Interesting thoughts, Darold!! Nice job!

  2. Thanks Caitlin!

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