Tag Archives: corruption

Heal the World

“I love you!” Pretty much each one of us has uttered these words at some point in our lives. Question is, how many of us actually understand what these words mean?

The world is ailing… and the way I see it, love can at the very least, assuage the pangs of the maladies afflicting us. In 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8 Paul says, “I may be able to speak the languages of men and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell.

I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains, but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned, but if I have no love, this does me no good”.

So question is, what is love? Paul tells us, “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud. Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. Love is eternal”.

Hypothetically, if this is the general standard of love, how many of us have loved for real? For the most part, majority of us do the complete opposite of what love entails. We are impatient and unkind; always envious of others who seem to be better than us in one way of the other; those who are in positions of power/authority act all high and mighty, oppressing their juniors and all…

Furthermore, majority of those in power are living by the mantra, “It’s my turn to eat!” Sadly, this egotistical attitude has turned those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the hoi polloi into self-centred maniacs. Instead of looking out for those in need, they are embezzling funds meant for vital functions like acquisition of live-saving medication; and, locking out qualified people from employment positions in favour of their kin; nepotism at its best.

More often than not, we hold grudges against those who wrong us. We keep a record of their wrongs. The way I see it, most of the wars going on around the world would cease if the warring parties could just forgive each other and call a truce. Again it all boils down to love.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but this Covid-19 pandemic has exposed some of our worst weaknesses. The frustrations attributed to Covid have made us relatively myopic. We only think about how we can solve our own problems, without taking a moment to consider how our actions/omissions affect others.

When the different Covid-19 vaccines were declared safe for use and effective against the corona virus, one of the emerging issues of concern was the corruption that could possibly arise from the vaccine distribution. Furthermore, some unscrupulous people have been accused of embezzling funds set aside for tackling the pandemic. Ergo, my concern is, why would anyone want to hoard money and medication meant to save people’s lives? Does such a person grasp what love is?

The two biggest commandments are to love God above all things, and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Since not everyone is affiliated with religion I’ll refer to the legal definition of neighbour, seeing as love is just a natural inclination we have towards others by virtue of being human, whether we believe in God or not. In that regard, in law, our neighbours are those people who are so closely and directly affected by our acts and/or omissions, that we reasonably ought to have them in mind when conducting our daily affairs.

If we work with that definition, then we have numerous neighbours, because this definition doesn’t just mean our next-door neighbours. In essence, this means if I’m driving, my neighbours are all the pedestrians and drivers along the roads I use; the ones who could potentially get injured if I drove recklessly. If I own a manufacturing company, my neighbours are all the consumers of my products, whether I know them or not. See how numerous our neighbours are?

In light of this, if we are supposed to love our neighbours as we love ourselves; or as the law provides, we should avoid acts/omissions which we can reasonably foresee could harm our neighbours, then we owe that duty of care to very many people. Seeing as there are so many wrong things going on in the world, just imagine, how different the world would be if we applied the aforementioned concept of love, to all our neighbours…

That said, there are numerous things we cannot instantly change, but if we choose to actually love our neighbours, the world will gradually start to heal. If we truly love our neighbours, those in authority won’t hoard Covid-19 vaccines, medical equipment and protective gear, waiting for demand to substantially increase, so the prices can be hiked exorbitantly…

If we love our neighbours, those fuelling wars will realise very many innocent people have unnecessarily and unjustly become collateral damage… If we love our neighbours, we won’t go cutting down trees, because we know the dire impact that will have on the climate, and consequently, future generations.

In addition, employers will not dismiss their employees arbitrarily, callously feigning hardships occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic; because, while this could actually be the case, there are better empathetic ways of letting go of employees.

Therefore, like I said, love heals, and as it is, our world desperately needs healing. Million dollar question is, are we ready to love our neighbours? Are we ready to give love a chance?

Villains in our midst

Villains in our midst

One thing I’ve gathered from all the TV shows I’ve watched: movies, soaps, cartoons and all, is that at least in every story there must be antagonists and protagonists. Pick any Walt Disney favourite for instance…

Cinderella has her step mother and the two step sisters, who darken her days perpetually; Rapunzel has that witchy ‘mother’- the abductor who always claims to love and know what’s best for the golden haired maiden; in 101 Dalmatians there’s Cruella, who tries rounding up all the dotted hounds so she can make herself a fur coat from their beautiful white furs with strewn black spots…

In short, for the story’s protagonist to have that happily ever after, there must the grand fall of the antagonist; a very celebrated thing in most cases. These stories however, are not the kind I want to delve into today. I’m thinking more along the lines of the I-want-to-take-over-the-world kind of villains.

One thing I’m always wondering is why some people are so obsessed with ruling the world. This desire is apparently so strong that one would practically do anything to get hold of that power. The so called villains-of-the-piece will do everything from having the crown prince (ss) abducted in a usually half-baked attempt to sabotage their chances of inheriting the throne when the reigning king/queen dies, to assassinating all those who stand in their way. It’s never pretty, really.

Someone would be utterly mistaken to think this kind of scheming is only a fiction of scriptwriters’ imagination. These ploys are best seen in real life stories where for instance, someone wants to assume a certain political position and there are too many candidates running for the post; or in companies where one wants to sit at the helm and the seat’s already occupied.

Sometimes, one finds themselves starring at one of the most inconceivable machinations and it becomes even more complex to fathom how a person, deemed a saint in the making by all and sundry, turns out to be the villain.

During these past few weeks I’ve been made privy to one of the worst kinds of rumours; I only choose to call them that because even though bits of the story have been confirmed, some still remain unconfirmed and I know it’s only a matter of time before everything comes to light.

As it turns out, even the most unlikely of persons could turn out to be the villains. In this case, both the antagonist and protagonist are respected men of the cloth. The characters, who I will name A and B respectively, are caught up in a war-not a fist fight though.

The issue apparently is that A, who is B’s assistant, has been conspiring with some spiteful faithful to ‘dethrone’ B, who heads the parish. In his attempt to sink B, A together with his minions fabricated all sorts of allegations so B would be banished from the church.

As I’ve already pointed out, A wants to be the one heading the parish. The few faithful on the other hand, are displeased with B because he’s so strict and won’t let anyone embezzle church funds. Talk about suffering for doing the right thing. Some of the allegations I’ve heard raised against him are just downright false and I pray that with time every truth will be revealed.

This story has had me thinking a lot. First of all, one would imagine that anyone who has spent years in theology school, learning how to be a “fisher of men” would have the will power to restrain from tarnishing his fellow priest’s name.

I speak of will power because I know every human being is prone to sin ergo no one is perfect. However, one would imagine that the solemn vows made, to serve God above all else would strengthen one’s desire to do all that pleases Him; just like in marriages, what keeps a couple grounded are those vows taken: to love and cherish each other…for better or worse.

I feel we have become our own worst enemies. We persecute our fellow Christians (in light of the example above) and still lament how the world is filled with evil. Our systems on the other hand, are so corrupt that an aggrieved person can’t even seek justice; and so accustomed have we grown to that life of lies and defrauding that when a clean and pure heart tries to uproot that evil, nipping it from the bud, we turn against them.

We’ve been awfully enshrouded in darkness that we perceive the good guys as the bad guys and instead of plucking the wolves from our midst we sacrifice the innocent sheep. That’s the harsh reality of what the world has turned into; blameless victims rot behind bars while the actual culprits walk the streets in broad day light, carefree; without an ounce of guilt to cloud their seemingly bright days.

The passion of Christ springs to mind; the part where the Jews asked for Barabbas to be released from prison when he was actually guilty and for Jesus to be killed (Matthew 27: 17-26). We are those people. We asphyxiate truth and justice and eagerly embrace ally kinds of evil that a real Christian would frown upon.

Jesus said some pagans are better than believers, because –in my understanding- the latter are just impenitent reprobates hiding behind the Bible; and I couldn’t agree more.

Sadly, we fail to realize that God is ever just. He vindicates those who follow His ways and brings their foes to their knees, and what’s more, we can build or destroy with our words and deeds; the choice is ours. And as we know, each decision has a consequence.