We recently had some German friends visiting us. One grew up in the former East Germany. Please excuse my ignorance if this is common knowledge, but I hadn’t consciously realized this before. They were telling me that during that time, it was common for volunteers or people working for the secret police to report to the secret police that a friend or family member was not loyal to the government. The victim could be arrested and put in jail, or their life made very difficult in other ways. The informant would receive benefits from the police. After the wall came down, and people were released from prison they were able to see their files and find out who the informant had been. They often sought revenge towards the person who reported them. Many of the informants fled the country for their safety and the safety of their money – some came to Namibia! I had no idea!
This got me thinking about what happens to people in general when they learn how to “succeed” in a particular system. If the system changes, not only do they need to learn new rules, they may be held accountable for what seemed perfectly normal under a previous set of rules. As I learn about how things work in Angola and how I fit in, I can’t help but think about who benefits from the current system and who does not. And how quickly all of that can change. And what will happen to those who caused harm to others in order to benefit in the current system?
Likewise, I also can’t help but think about the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. I know the rules to “succeed” in this system. But I have chosen not to actively play this game right now. The rules don’t sit well with me – at all. But to many people I have met, this system is just the way it is. It’s hard to imagine that this system could crumble, and a new way of being could come in. Or even that they exist within a system. It’s just a fact that one should get a job, make as much money as possible, save for retirement, etc. Anyone who chooses another path should be viewed with suspicion – or envy.
Hearing our guest’s stories about the former GDR actually made me feel more comfortable with my choice to not fully participate in the current system. I don’t know exactly what will succeed this system, but I imagine that focusing on love now will help to usher in a more loving system. So why should I obey rules that don’t make sense to me, when I can live by listening to my heart and trusting that what manifests will be beautiful, that all will be well. Although escaping to Namibia after the wall falls doesn’t sound that bad… 😉