The Promota Magazine

Who are we to judge? (Publisher’s Letter) – issue 31

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“Just because you are struggling does NOT mean you are failing. Every great success requires some kind of struggle to get there.” Bilal Zahoor

Our world is in turmoil, no doubt.  Not a day goes by that some sort of upheaval befalls humanity.
We have conflicts in Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, Sudan, so close from home.  Every which way we turn, suffering and death greets our eyes!
I cannot help but wonder why we still indulge in activities that cause so much havoc in so many people’s lives, and why we cannot make a conscious choice, every day,  to contribute positively to society, in everything we do in our lives?
We all are appalled by what is happening to others, we all shake our heads as we look at South Sudan and our brothers who now starve, when not long ago, they were rejoicing at living in a new and free country!
But things will never really change if we, one person at a time, do not make the effort to change. It is useless to blame the government, as the government is not a single person but a conglomerate of people thinking a certain way. We have to overlook the word government and reach out to the people behind the word, and encourage them to make better choices.
I am also thinking about the death penalty issues that are creeping up so often in the press lately. Truly, do we really believe that we can judge another person accurately on a few facts about a particular episode in their lives and based on these few facts, decide that people are worthy of dying at our hands?  But we forget that we do not know about those people’s  past, about their pain, their emotional turmoil, their inability to cope with life anymore.  All of us are liable to crack under pressure in life, all of us. Who are we to say that under similar circumstances we would not do the same?  Are we so arrogant to be able to predict our own behaviour? Surely we realise with humility that we cannot. All of us have experienced episodes of extreme anger where we would have done regrettable things. So why not make allowances for others who went over the edge?  They need our help, not condemnation.  Let us think about this seriously before we point the finger at another. We are all capable!
And I look now at Kenya’s new law on polygamy! What is happening to us, dear people?  Have we thought this through properly? Who will suffer from this law but women and children who will not be able to be catered for properly because the father will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of them! I can foresee more poverty on the horizon for many more mothers and children! In Africa, our women have been the bearers of most of the childrearing responsibilities anyway.  They need more support, not less!! This new law is now giving license for men to be even less responsible towards their family. Truly, men need to get their impulses under control, that is where the mending needs to start, and not devising new laws so that men now have no need to control their urges but can indulge even more in them, irrespective of the consequences.  This new law is one huge step backward, not forward. And I doubt many women had any say in the matter! Have all mothers struggling to feed their children been given a vote to consent to this new scheme?  
On a more positive note, two Popes of the Catholic Church, John Paul II and John XXIII have been canonised.  These two men are symbolic of many good things that the Church is capable of doing. And then I extend my thoughts towards the evangelists in Africa, who are also using the same book called the Bible, and I am amazed at how differently that book is understood and its precepts applied.  No, not everything is perfect in the Catholic Church, by far. But we in Africa are also abusing others in the name of religion.  Some preachers pray on the poor, the sick, the gullible with promises of God providing all their needs or healing them, whilst they enrich themselves and commit all sorts of unethical acts under cover.
I appeal to you, dear reader, to indulge in only one thing: a promise to yourself that you will become a part of humanity that makes a difference in an outstanding way, and that you create in your life a legacy that everyone can benefit from, and that you can be proud of. Failing this, we simply are remaining part of the problems.  Let us start changing ourselves today. Tomorrow is one day too late!

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