OpEd, Politics

How hard is it to lose everything including the smile?

By Theem Isaac Machar


To those who are living a happy life in South Sudan. It baffles me how you make it through these tough times. Imagine, to me, laughter these days is extremely hard.

Even if someone cracks the funniest joke that I have ever heard before. Sparing time for it is never possible. I most of the time smile because it is natural, but I don’t mean it for a particular thing. Psychologically, the smile is an element of happiness and motivation.

One may conclude that I am rude and unfriendly. But I am naturally interactive and too friendly to whoever I live with. In fact, according to what my incline tells me, I am supposed to be among the happiest men. Only to find myself disorganized by the mere fact of being a South Sudanese. I feel robbed of all the rights I should have enjoyed. But the worst extent is the loss of my dear smile. This is not only to me as an individual but also to my fellow nationals entrapped by quagmires.

It is not easy and possible to be a South Sudanese and be happy at the same time because what you have is nothing. While the smile is lured by both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. These are things to do with material things and what inwardly drives your elation. Hence, losing it is incredibly shocking and expensive. The reason being, you might force other things, but the smile is automatic—iit comes alone and leaves. However, much one wants to be jubilant. Someone will work hard for your annoyance because it pleases the quack. You may always want to smile with your kids if you are a parent. You may want to have a stress-relieved moment with friends if you are a young man. Unfortunately, your dear joy fades away slowly, and so stress and fatigue become part of your life.

No one intends to get rid of one’s pleasure, but somehow somewhere, another does it for you. This could be hardships or someone who monitors your moods and suddenly concludes that you look rude because of him/her just for no reason. Amusement being natural, one can spare a 25-minute moment interacting with friends. But may spend a year stressfully. It doesn’t amuse one to inherit hardships and pass them down to the kids. Since the conditions of this country decide for you, what have you to do? Just keep silent until you join the quietest home (grave).

Roughly, about 99% in this country inherited difficulties and died too miserably. I guess if the dead can think, then the only thing that disturbs their comfort now and what they may be thinking about is the poorest living standards of the uncared-for orphans and where they have left them. What I don’t know is if people die and are buried with their hardships or if the bodies are alone buried and the problems remain on earth. Apparently, if one went down (to grave) with one’s perplexities, we would have a reduced level of hardships.

This is to say that the more others die, the more problems the living ones inherit. It is the only thing I put the existence of God to question because it is never merciful enough for someone like God to create death, which totally isolates one from loved ones. To sum it up, happiness and a smile are the basic commodities that every one of us has to stock in the human rights market. Thus, our problems as South Sudanese are out of God’s control since we have more churches than liberal places (schools), but there is no change.

The writer is a third-year student at the University of Juba School of Education Department of English Language and Literature.



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