By Ortega Ian
I was speaking to Abdallah, Uganda’s greatest coffee farmer. A few years back, he was not into coffee. He was a diary farmer producing over 2000 litres of milk everyday.
Then one day, his 72 hybrid cows strayed into a neighbour’s garden and ate some of the crops. Two days later, all the 72 cows dropped dead, they had been poisoned. Abdallah was devastated, all of a sudden he could not produce a litre of milk.
So he tries a hand at growing matooke and the banana wilt strikes. Once again, he is on zero. He tries a number of other things without success.
We asked Abdallah; “so how do you get into coffee?” And he humbly replies; “by accident, having tried and failed at everything, someone suggested that I try coffee and the rest is history.”
Abdallah’s story will be one for another day. But it is a great reminder of the Cain and Abel story.
I often wondered; “why did Cain kill Abel? What is it about Abel that Cain detests?”
And Dr. Jordan Peterson finally gave me the answer;
“You can see it in the story of Cain and Abel. Abel is hard working and everyone likes him, and he makes the proper sacrifices, so his life goes really well. And that’s part of the reason that Cain hates him. He’s jealous and resentful, but worse than that – if you’re not doing very well and you’re around someone who is doing very it’s painful, because the mere fact of their Being judges you. And so it’s very easy to want to destroy that ideal so that you don’t have to live with the terrible consequences of seeing it embodied in front of you. And so part of the reason that people want to tear things down is so that they don’t have anything to contrast themselves against and to feel bad.”
It is a crab mentality, a poor person would rather be surrounded by more poor people than by a rich man. A failure would rather be surrounded by another failure than a successful person. Because the idea of someone doing better than you is constant judgement. It is like being crucified time and again, it is a demon that haunts you day and night.
That’s why people who take on certain risks are resented. Because somebody facing their own fears reminds those who have failed to face their own fear, his mere existence crucifies them. He represents that which they themselves could have become but didn’t.
Abdallah’s cows get poisoned because the existence of those cows judge his neighbours. Those cows remind them of their own short-comings. And you notice it, when you are lazy, you dread being around hard-working souls. They haunt you.
So Cain just doesn’t kill Abel the person, he kills Abel the ideal, the whole standard that is judging him. Abel’s mere existence was judging Cain.