Friday, December 30, 2005



Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness

I had the distinct privilege to see and hear Dr. Maulana Karenga this past Monday on the first day of Kwanzaa at the historic Freedom Theater in Philadelphia. Dr. Karenga visits Philadelphia annually and we have attended the Kwanzaa celebration sponsored by the local Kawaida organization that in previous years was held at Temple University for decades. Dr. Karenga’s lecture was both impressive and informative, as usual. The fifth principle of Kwanzaa is Nia, which is a Kiswahili word meaning purpose. The seven principles of Kwanzaa reflect a traditionally African orderly, spiritual and holistic progression of the values necessary for our transformation into a whole healthy and fully actualized people. Dr. Karenga always exhorts us to exemplify the best of what it means to be African in the world today, to do good, live Ma’at using the best of African culture both ancient and modern as a foundation to manifest excellence, personal and group actualization and transformation. Today’s principle Nia (purpose) reminds us that we must not live our lives in an unconscious or willy nilly fashion unmindful we indeed have a personal life purpose and mission. Our ancient African ancestors understood the universe was teleological a fancy word that means the universe was created with design, goals and purpose rather than a random happenstance or accident as postulated by the benighted Europeans. The Africans along the Nile Valley said the CREATOR established creation based upon Ma’at (Divine Order, Truth, Justice, Harmony, Equilibrium and Reciprocity). Notice the first component of Ma’at is DIVINE ORDER. Our ancestors understood just from observing nature and their surroundings that order and symmetry held sway, that chaos and confusion were not the norms. They in turn structured and ordered their lives, customs and communities in harmony with what they perceived and articulated as the spiritual blueprint for the universe. Kwanzaa is a modern reflection of this understanding. The principles begin with Umoja, Unity; the acknowledgment and comprehension the universe is an ordered related and interdependent whole and that for us to be in alignment and harmony with nature we too must have unity and cohesion. According to African cosmogony , after THE CREATOR established Ma’at, the Neters or support forces were created. In the Yoruba tradition they are referred to as the Orishas in other traditions they are called different names. Africans believe every soul that incarnates has a reason for coming, bringing gifts to share with the communty and a personal destiny to fulfill. Communities and nations are like people, they too have a purpose and destiny. So with the fifth principle of Kwanzaa, Nia we are reminded exactly what our collective calling is, to build and develop using our personal gifts, talents and abilities in a cohesive and communal fashion to grow and develop our communities in such a way we are restored to our traditional (whole, sane healthy and brilliant) greatness. Of course we use creativity, the blend of ingenuity, intuition and intelligence as the driving force to create and develop both ourselves our communities and the world!
We have an obligation to know ourselves, know what gifts and talents we have, know what our personal destiny is and to blend together with like minded conscious Africans to improve transform and remodel the world. If we don’t do it, it won’t get done. We live in challenging wonderful times, pregnant with opportunities to demonstrate our brilliance, resilience, genius and courage. What better way to become heroes and sheroes than to rescue the world from defilement, desecration and destruction at the hands of the psychopathic European ruling elites? Will it be easy? No! Will it entail risks and danger? Yes. But what great and noble work doesn’t? Are we capable, do we have the stuff necessary to do it? No question, no doubt about it! In many African cultures it is believed that before we incarnated, we made a promise to the CREATOR and ancestors to fulfill a specific destiny. Our mission and destiny are the reasons we are here! We have been promised aid and support, access to which resides within each one of us right now awaiting to be called upon and called forth. Everything else we need will be provided in great abundance. So the principle of Nia is a reminder of the agreement we made in the spirit realm, it is a call to actualize our innate potential and work collectively with Africans world wide but especially those near to us and in close proximity to do a great work; restore our people to our traditional greatness. African ethics, the promotion of good, good character and morality are the answer for the problems confronting the world today. Using them we can establish PEACE, JUSTICE just by living Ma’at. Ma’at is the antithesis of the Aryan dog eat dog predatory and cannibalistic values dominating the world today. As we continue to observe Kwanzaa let us comprehend its’ deeper meanings, make it our purpose to internalize the principles and use them to order and actualize our lives in a way that benefits us and the world.



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