maandag 7 mei 2012

A beatifull speech of Catherine Hoppers:


18TH APRIL 2012


Prof Catherine A. Odora Hoppers

I make this presentation as an AUNT...

An Aunt is someone you can trust with your personal secrets.

An Aunt is the advisor, consultant, trainer, etc

Her words may not be popular, but she speaks the truth to you.

An Aunt makes you see the world without appearing domineering.

An aunt tells you what your parents don’t want you to hear—from them..

If you can hear from elsewhere, it is FINE..

An aunt is a person that in good times is distanced

but in tough times, she is close and available.

As an Aunt, I see all the struggles that the institutions in South Africa are making as they try to link Africa once despised, once denied, once convinced that it had nothing; into an innovator, its core meta-physics turned into a fulcrum of global hope.

I see institutions trying to deal with what Ermine and Poole have called, ‘the ethical space”….that tension riddled enterprise of cultural border crossing the West had monopolized without any ambition to dialogue, or reciprocity, or respect, or courtesy, or valorization, or recognition  of the “Other”.

I see indigenous scholars today providing leadership out of the toxic cultural impasse that has generated resentment on a global plane.

I see in the ethical space a precarious and fragile window of opportunity that exists for critical conversations about race, gender, class, freedom and community. It is a space with a moment of possibility to create substantial, sustained and ethical moral understanding between cultures.

It is a statement of recognition of cultural jurisdictions at play in which dialogue about intentions, values and assumptions can be brought out and negotiated.

The ethical space imperatives would include two-way bridge of awareness building and understanding in which there is no preconceived notions of the other’s existence. It is a space in which values, motivation and assumptions are brought to bear, and at last, dialogue on issues of plurality and diversity of knowledge, as well as dialogue around ownership, control, and benefit of those knowledges can be undertaken. (Ermine & Poole)

Any kind of humiliation is a relational violation that profoundly damages one's sense of connection and triggers social pain. Social pain -- including social pain inflicted by humiliation --overlaps with the physical pain processing-systems of the brain and can endure throughout one’s life-span decreasing self awareness - with multiple consequences. (Lindner)

One way out of this is for education to build on what people have, and thus interrupt the deficit self perception in many children from non-western origins in terms of the knowledge they possess.

The role of education in either building or depreciating this knowledge base, some of which are key to sustainable development, needs to be re-examined with a view to building education systems of the future that respects cultural diversity, promotes cognitive justice without losing sight of the global needs of progress and co-existence.

I quote from the words of an American educator Travis Smiley who once said that, “There is no more noble profession than educating our children.” Teachers, he said, are leaders. And to lead you have to love. You cannot lead without loving, and you cannot save without serving.

And as Eric Fromm said “the most important sphere of giving is not that of material things, but lies in the specifically human realm. Every one of our relationships to man and nature must be a definite expression of our real, individual life, corresponding to the object of our will.”

If you love without calling forth love, that is, if your love as such, does not produce love, then that love is impotent. In fact, it is only in love - that giving means receiving.

The teacher is taught by his/her students, the actor is stimulated by his audience, the psychoanalyst is cured by his/her patient – provided they do not treat each other as objects, but are related to each other genuinely and productively.

To love in this way implies care, responsibility, respect and knowledge. To care is not to fulfil a duty, which is imposed from the outside. Responsibility in its true sense is a voluntary act – it is my response to the needs, expressed or unexpressed of another human being. To be responsible means to be able, and ready to ‘respond’.

I end this brief presentation by quoting a Navajo Poem. “In Beauty May I Walk”

In beauty may I walk
All day long may I walk
Through the returning seasons may I walk
Beautifully will I possess again
Beautifully birds,
Beautifully joyful birds
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk
With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk
With dew about my feet may I walk
With beauty may I walk

With beauty before me may I walk
With beauty behind me may I walk
With beauty above me may I walk
With beauty all around me may I walk
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.

I conclude by saying once again: LOVE IS A TASK. And in love and humility I accept this Honorary Doctorate Degree.