Compounded Interest (PART 3)

Compounded Interest (Part 3)


There is this concept that is referred to as “black tax”. It’s an unwritten rule in some black cultures that if someone “makes it big” – common culture and family values dictate that they have to take care of their family first. No dissimilar to any other human in any other family. BUT… there is a disadvantage. Especially in the South African context.

For example, someone from for example a township – their first priority is to buy his/her mum a house in a good neighborhood. This is often done, instead of buying themselves a home in an upmarket neighbourhood, or that big red flashy car they always dreamed of (which inspired them to reach for success in the first place). Someone who comes from a middle-class family does not have to do that, as they don’t have an immediate safety concern for their parents, so they often go out and buy the fancy house or thee car first. Immediately setting themselves up into a different bracket, with a different circle of people.

In the same way, a child who inherited a family home in a good middle class area that they can sell, starts with an advantage over the child who comes from a shanti town. They can accumulate a certain degree of wealth faster because their property (upon sale) is worth plenty more. The layers of poverty are different and the efforts to overcome these layers are completely different. A person who’s always lived in a safe neighborhood, safe from communal terror and over-involvement, might not understand why someone is sensitive about a certain unguarded comment they made during group discussion.

Another example is this – if you saved R100 two hundred years ago in a bank account, it would be worth way over R3 million rand today. But if you were a slave in complete survival mode 200 years ago, R100 was almost unobtainable! It’s easy to say: “you should have xyz”, if you come from a middle class or even wealthy family with no slaves in your bloodline for the past 500 years. In the lack understanding of the circumstances of that group, and a person can make “innocent” comments that can be extremely offensive and hurtful. There is a certain cultural sensitivity that goes a long way in making your way around people, especially marginalized groups.

Something like this effect exists in our general psychology as well. It works in layers, and often there are a lot of flawed assumptions in the foundation that make people make several ignorant, hurtful remarks in the presence of affected groups. The bottom line is this – talk to as many people as you can, in a way that is genuine and respectful. You will expand your horizons and you will learn from each individual, how, in your unguarded moments you have or could have hurt them. The reality is that there are groups who are more marginalized than others, and if it’s such a big societal reality, it is worth you understanding where that pain came from – so that you don’t end up perpetuating that pain in your own conduct. Whether we believe it or not, we all act from a societal programming, a societal consciousness and you may not even be aware of your own biases.

You can only know others, by knowing yourself, and it is my experience that most people, most adults, don’t know themselves truly.

If you are curious to start the journey within, reach out to me for a cup of tea. I’ve made it my life’s work to help people go deeper into themselves and to do their shadow work.

Love and Moonlight,


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