I spoke last week about values being different from opinions; ‘values’ is a much abused word, it invokes a deep ethical quality but it is quite simple. Everybody believes in something, we have opinions on everyday issues but values are different.
It is the order in which you believe in them; what do you value above other things? We all value family, but what position is family in relation to other things you believe in or desire.
What if you got a job for $1 million to work in Indonesia but leave your family here? You might convince yourself that your family will benefit from the money, but the separation might harm the family bond. What do you do there?
You revert to your value system and assess whether it is worth the risk compared to the benefit.
As I get older, I find that certain values of mine are so ingrained in me that I cannot change them, some of those values I inherited from my parents and others I chose for myself.
For example – I believe all life is sacred; nothing should be killed without a valid reason, I am against the death penalty, I don’t use insecticide, if I find an ant in my house I get a paper and flick it outside.
For that reason I found I could not agree with abortion; how could I protect an ant but not a human being with a soul.
Even if that foetus is aborted, the soul cannot be aborted; we are spiritual beings inhabiting a fleshly body. There is no such thing as accidental birth because it was all predestined before; the millions of factors combining to make a human are not accidental.
So in today’s world couples often differ in opinions; Rwandan men want a blend of traditional wisdom and modern knowledge in a women, but women are on a different programme all together.
A modern Rwandan woman has grown up despising the life of their mothers’ generation; like all younger generations, they think they would have done better in that situation.
So they grow up aspiring to be Ally MacBeal or Carrie from Sex and the City; they cut and paste the life they see on TV.
They get a gay best friend, preferably a bitter gay friend and stew in mutual bitterness; it is de rigueur to have this arrangement as it denotes modernity.
So the modern woman in this world is not complete but a fragmented being; she caters for different aspects of her life in different ways.
She gets support from female friends, sensitivity from her gay friends, intimacy from a boyfriend, so you never see the full 3-D version of the chick.
You are coming in to fill a particular niche, as it is a way of spreading the risk in ones life. It is ironic to look at it; you flew 10,000 km to come back with the dream of finding that bride that would please both you and your parents, but you find you could have saved money and stayed in Europe and just got a European girl.
Twabaye abazungu – we are now white people in all but colour. We look for the signs of modernity but not modernity itself; we think our opinions are now values. What do you believe in?
What do you value above all else? That is what matters in life is your values and not minor opinions; one has to value something and hold on to it, no matter what.