Think different

Around 15 years ago I participated the 3 years CIL program „What do we people need“.
Together with other participants of the program I stayed in the South of Ghana.
After an inspiring day with our Ghanian partners, I was sitting together with a professor at the University in Accra – Kumani (around 60 years old)- who was writing in that time a book about Ashanti proverbs and how they are used in everydays life.

Amongst other things we talked about our families. For Kumani one of the most respected and beloved family members was his grandfather who lived up in the North of Ghana, while Kumani his parents and his brothers and sisters lived in Accra, the capital of Ghana.

One of the stories, he told me about his grandfather was the following one:
„Whenever I needed him to be by my side, he was here. From one second to the other, he came from the North here to our house in Accra….“.
As you can imagine, I was quite irritated and asked him:
„You mean he was able to „think“ himself – or whatever – in a few seconds from the place he stays to every place he wants to to be?
„Yes, exactly !“ was Kumanis answer. And not a shred of irony was in his words…
This guy – professor at the University of Accra – wants me to believe this story?
„And you, Kumani? Did your grandfather teach you how to do that? Are you able to travel by thinking?“ was the question I asked him, very keen to see how he reacts.
Taking it for granted he answered: „No, why should I? I have a car and with it I can drive where ever I want.“
No doubt was allowed. My German mind was forced to believe his story.

Think different…

Isn´t that a typical CIL story?

[Renate Steinkrauss, Hamburg/Germany]

3 thoughts on “Think different”

  1. at Renate: Thank you for this story. I remember it again now and when you told it in 1998 in Accra. As far as the connection to climate change goes it stopped me cold. For a lateral thinker this is really outrageous in fact, and gives rise to reflection. How does it happen that I stumble over a story about thinking and perceiving differently and don’t grasp that they bear the core of what it’s all about? I just don’t understand this. It troubles me. Perhaps it is good to be humiliated like this. A story that shatters my pride?

  2. Dear Teresa de Frankfurt, you’re not alone there… what I think again and again, whenever I remember this challenging story is this: how inexperienced I am …

  3. A beautiful story.
    I remember an old Indígena from Curré. This is at the Panamericana, Maybe you remember. We made a stop there for dinner in a soda of a women’s group.
    In any case, the old man thought of the flood of cars, he did not understand what all the people wanted with their cars, since he was very pleased with his team of first-class oxen.

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