April 17, 2020
Gooday fellow lockdown citizens.
Three weeks of lockdown has come and gone. So far two more weeks to come. In the midst of a flood of information, and emotions, I wish to share a conversation about the meaning of the word Monk.
This story was told to me by Dr.Corne Bekker.
In early Christianity, Christians were referred to as Monks. (fancy that). In Greek or Hebrew (I cannot remember) it has two meanings:
Solitude and togetherness. Quite the opposites, is it not? Or maybe two poles of sameness.
Solitude is the state of being by yourself. Being alone. It is a verb, an action. A state of being busy with yourself, your thoughts. A perfect opportunity to learn to know yourself a little better. A time to grow yourself. Most importantly to learn to be comfortable with time alone with you, myself and I.
Togetherness the quality state of being together. Warm fellowship among family members. My eye catches the “QUALITY state of BEING”. It is an action taken by individuals of being in fellowship with each other. Here we find opportunity to being part of community, family, and friends.
What is the link that brings the opposites together? Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that without solitude there cannot be quality of togetherness. It means that if I am comfortable with spending time alone in solitude, I then can contribute to community in a much more meaningful way. It help us to grow from being dependent on each other to being interdependent on each other. Solitude gives us the opportunity to grow our quality state of being together.
Let us join in solitude so we can enjoy being together on much higher levels than before lockdown. Our new world after lockdown is in need of exactly this.
Roy Kapp | Director