And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.…” Exodus 33.18-23
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life…1 John 1.1-9
Kwanzaa Principles: Self-Determination and Creativity
Today we celebrate the second day of Kwanzaa which is called “Kujichagulia” (koo-chee-GOO-lee-ah) in Swahili and means “Self-Determination. This principle is the second of the seven principles of kawaanza by Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kawanza.We celebrate the spirits of those who have gone on before us who represent the values of Kujichagulia. Karenga states that self-determination [Kujichagulia] is rooted in Afrocentricity and the cultural image and human interests of African people.
The word “Afrocentricity” often brings up many different and opposing views and beliefs between people. Karenga makes his meaning distinct in asserting that, “Afrocentricity does not seek to deny or deform others’ history and humanity, but to affirm, rescue and recreate its own after the Holocaust of Enslavement and innumerable other forms of oppression.” He describes self-determination (Kujichagulia) “as a right and responsibility to exist as a people and make our distinctive contribution to the forward flow of humankind. Self-Determination [Kujichagulia] along with awareness, is the key to distinguishing our own lives and commanding our destiny. Self-Determination (Kujichagulia) is the quest to answer the question “Who am I” from the standpoints of culture and history and along with mindfulness, is the key to defining our own lives and directing our destiny. It is both devotion and habit of defining, defending and developing ourselves instead of allowing or urging others to do it.
The “free will” that Yahweh has given us all gives us the freedom to determine who we are. We are the masters of our destinies with Yahweh as our guiding light. To live with “Kujichagulia” is not just to ‘be,” but to know that it is truly up to us to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and to speak for ourselves. A traditional African expression states “Nobody will think you’re somebody if you don’t think so yourself.” We are all “somebody” in the eyes of Yahweh…God’s precious children.
Precious Creator thank you for giving us the spirit of self-determination and the wisdom of knowing who we truly are. Amen.
Tricia Anders, Member and Volunteer