How do you define "we"? If you're like most people, there are probably several different groups that you consider yourself apart of. But do all of those groups to which you belong consider themselves "we"? I doubt it. Sometimes, you can even belong to two groups that actually conflict with one another for one reason or another. It is in those relationships that loyalty is most strongly challenged.
Sometimes, practitioners of Orisa Lifestyle face dillemas that really challenge our sense of loyalty. Individually, Ifa may guide you to do things that contradict your spouse, friends or family members. Likewise, the very personal nature of Orisa Lifestyle lends itself to an entirely individual consideration of what is right and what is wrong. That is, very seldom do you hear of spiritual directives that require collective action that involves people outside the religious community. Consequently, in the face of sweeping social unrest, you hear very few voices from within the ranks of Orisa Lifestyle practitioners that articulate an official position on institutionalized racism, global economic oppression or environmental destruction. But for those of us who are steeped in social justice, indigenous rights and environmental sustainability, we want Orisa Lifestyle to give us theological direction to help navigate these very real problems. And to remain inactive on the grounds that our elders or teachers have not taken an official position can certainly feel like we are being disloyal to the social realities of our time.
Often times, people have come to me with questions surrounding social responsibility within Orisa Lifestyle. To me, the word of Ifa is clear and unwavering, as it pertains to where our loyalty lies. According to the Holy Odu IrosunIwori, human beings have been chosen by Olodumare to bring about the Good Condition, which is defined as:
1. A world where there is full knowledge of all things.
2. A world where there is joy everywhere.
3. Life without anxiety or fear of enemies, attack from snakes or other dangerous animals.
4. Life without fear of death, disease, lotigation, losses, wizards, witches or Esu.
5. A life without fear of accidents from water or fire.
The verse goes on to reveal the mystery which will enable us to bring about the Good Condition:
1. Inner power, good character and wisdom.
2. Refrain from stealing because of the hardship and disgrace it causes.
3. Wisdom to govern the world adequately.
4. Sacrifice, or habitually doing good for the poor and less fortunate.
5. Desire to increase the world's prosperity rather than destroy it.
So, when you find yourself in doubt of who "we" are, ultimately, the Holy Odu IrosunIwori says the "we" are the descendents of Oduduwa. "We" are called eniyan, which means those who were chosen by Olodumare to bring about the Good Comdition. Our obligation is to remain forever loyal to that mandate above all others.