This post recounts events described in the book The Harmless People (1958, 1989) by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Among the Bushmen of Nyae Nyae in Namibia during the 1950’s, the man known as Short Kwi was famous for his hunting prowess. Tales were told of his great achievements in the chase—the time he killed an eland, a wild pig, and a wildebeest in a single day; the time he killed four wildebeest in a large herd—his exploits were legendary.
> So all of Short Kwi’s courage, endurance, intelligence, ability, and ingenuity amounted to nothing.
I find this assessment almost breathtakingly offensive. He was a hero among his people in his prime and certainly fed many with his hunting prowess. That his life ended in tragedy does not obviate its value nor the significance of his earlier accomplishments. Heck, simply enduring an injury like his and finding a way to continue productively despite diminished capacity is worthy of admiration.
"So all of Short Kwi...amounted to nothing?" That is a blindingly ignorant assessment. Her own view on death is that we return to molecules knowing nothing. Her powers of observation and recall are impressive but her summation and conclusions are not.