A couple of years ago I had the privilege to give a TEDx talk on the isiZulu greeting of Sawuboona.
Sawubona means We See You.
It means we do not only see and acknowledge you, but we also see and acknowledge your lineage.
We bring you and your lineage into existence of our present meeting.
In the talk I spoke about the fact that seeing people beyond their physical realm leads us to understanding and acknowledging them.
I used examples that apartheid thrived amongst other on the notion of separated-ness, after-all apartheid means apartness in English. Place people apart so that you don’t get to see those you don’t like.
When you don’t get to see those you don’t like, you don’t get to understand and appreciate them.
Out of sight, out of mind and out of heart.
It is when the world saw pictures of the apartheid police brutality on June 1976 Soweto uprising, that the call for sanctions against South Africa we intensified. Talk about the power of seeing.
Fast-forward from 1976 to today, August 2020.
So here is a thought about seeing in times of a crisis.
What if we could see the COVID-19 virus? Not just the aftermath of it’s devastation, but see the virus itself with our naked eyes.
What if when you peeped through your bedroom window in the morning when you wake up, you could see the virus floating around outside, like rain-drops, or snowflakes.
Just imagine it.
Maybe we would have responded better to flatten the curve.
Maybe we will think twice before going out without a mask, or not social distancing.
Maybe will go out less.
Just a thought.