The Bantu people know the importance of forgiveness and beginning again. Their creation myth begins in the sky with Akongo.
Legend says that Akongo was exhausted from creating Earth, so he retired to the sky with his family. Everyone was happy except Akongo’s daughter, Mbokomu.
Mbokomu loved cooking and the ingredients she used grew on Earth. So she traveled back and forth to forage during the day and cooked at night. But she made a lot of noise with her cooking.
Eventually Akongo couldn’t take all her noise. He placed Mbokomu and her children in a basket and lowered them to Earth. He then distanced Earth from the sky so Mbokomu couldn’t return.
Mbokomu was devastated but her children needed her, so she did what she did best. She grew luscious gardens which she harvested and used to make delicious food to feed her children. And as the community around her grew, she cooked for them, too.
While she was sad about her banishment, Mbokomu never became bitter. Instead Mbokomu slowed down time, turning seconds into years, so there was time for both joy and grief.
Mbokomu teaches us that we have to find ways to forgive those who have oppressed us so that we ourselves don’t become the oppressor.
When we can still practice joy, love, and kindness even in the face of oppression, we know we have truly found the path to liberation.
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