Born in the early ’80s, I have witnessed a fair share of the bad and the ugly around the world such as staying at home a whole year due to University strikes by the lecturers in my country; falling sick with asthma(in near-death experience), flu and malaria at various times while staying home for a number of days; jobless for months and, watching on TVs the devastations of war and non-war crimes. All these events had equally shocked me to my core, and to wonder if our beautiful world can ever be safe for all and save us all from the expected and unexpected.
In 2015, Bill Gates saw the COVID-19 virus coming as an air contaminated outbreak and forewarned us in his TED Talk titled “The next outbreak? We’ re not ready.”. It echoed the growing concerns of humanitarians and scientists on world peace: what and whatnot? as well as emphasized the urgency for our world leaders to make excellent preparations for our health care systems that are greatly underfunded in developing countries, expensive and unaffordable for many including immigrants and the downtrodden in our societies; and taking the welfare of our healthcare workers more seriously than sports’ personalities paid in millions of dollars per week. Now, in the year 2020, COVID-19 begs the rhetorical question on what has been achieved? If recent events have not answered this question, never will. The facts remained that the human race is highly connected in unimaginable, complex dimensions linked by the (common) air we breathe, the ground we walk, the place we work, and the friends we have i.e. to mention a few; such that before contemplating a war, and developing a new arsenal of powerful weapons at enormous costs with the price tag to pay we should first estimate the humanitarian costs in terms of these critical factors: our environment, our families, our health, our neighbours, our livelihoods, and all basic necessities of life.
The facts remained that the human race is highly connected in unimaginable complex dimensions linked by the (common) air we breathe, the ground we walk, the place we work, the friends we have…
Still, on the critical factors, our courage often fails us to speak about them because of fear of the possible reprisals from the authorities in high places and of being told how shallow we are in our thought process. Today, as we look at the mirror and reflect on the number of deaths due to COVID-19, the overstretching of our health care systems, the shutting down of businesses and religious institutions; the reality should dawn on us that all life matters, as Jesus Christ said “love your neighbours as yourself”(Mark 12:31); it should dawn how much we need to walk and work together with arms in arms as brothers and sisters just like Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged us to always do; and it should dawn on our memories how and why generations of great Men and Women chose to cherish, pursue and seek peace at all cost despite the temptations to do otherwise. The onus of time beacons us to follow the path of peace, to re-imagine the world we live and to be united at the frontlines to make the world a better place to live.
Stay safe, be blessed and kindly reflect!
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
— Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:9
“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”
— Joel Osteen“
“Anyone can say they care. But watch their actions, not their words.”
“There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those. Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. Peace begins with a smile…”
— Mother Theresa
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”