Drawing the lines between standard and Judgement
We live in very complex times. The events in our nation in the last few weeks are very burdensome and disturbing. Statements of hatred and prejudice are all over the place, and men and women of no character have received strength to judge and criticize as much as those with character will do. If you desire a career in social criticism, this is your finest hour to emerge. The sentiments are justifiable really, and the pain is as deep. For one, the families of the masses killed at Nyanya are definitely still mourning and our children are still in the bush enduring the emotional and mental torture of daily terror too much for their innocence. Some are being mouthed as the sponsors of the evil we now confront in the nation, while others are accused of aiding and abetting; such that even silence in these times can mean sabotage. Where does truth lie? That’s probably a symposium discussion. What i do know is that evil has a life span; and the greatest defender of justice is not the judiciary, but time and change. Time will soon introduce us all to the real faces of evil and eliminate their stronghold. And good has always employed the force of time to defeat evil.
So in all of these, the big minds must judge and interpret cautiously as they at least owe it to their conscience and to their world to withhold judgment, avoid prejudice, employ creative observation and allow patience to reveal deception through undeniable facts. It shall occur; it’s just a matter of time. But in all of these, it is important to always draw the lines between standard and judgement. I have seen so much of life in the last few years of my existence that I have lost the energy for judging the actions and omissions of men and women alike. For me, patience must always be employed as the force that allows deception to reveal itself. It is possible as people recognize first of all that the issues are never about how commendable or condemn-able the acts or omission of a man or woman is; it is about who indeed have the moral authority and perfection of character to stand in judgment over another human being. I am always compelled to think this way by the scriptural injunction that it is only those who have no sin that should be eager to cast the first stone of condemnation. It always wiser to be quick to hear but slow to speak. It may sound as if one is in mode to condone indiscipline and neglect standards. Hmm…Far be it…I am not in that mode at all. I am for standards, and strict adherence to same. My standards and principles are always before me in my bad times and good times; in my seasons of defeats and triumphs; in my periods of shame and glory.
Permit me to submit that I have paid priceless and dearly for what I stand for. I have gone through seemingly insurmountable crucible of persecution and rejection because of what I stand for. It is my conclusion that men and women rise and fall on their standards. But then, your principles and standards will be adjusted as you mature and your understanding grows. Principles and standards are gifts of nature to balance our humanity. The seeming wise positions of today can become the foolishness of tomorrow when impacted by new facts and new thinking. It is why we must employ caution as the enemy of prejudice in the communication of views. I am never an advocate of judgment. Never. I believe that human societies and all its players, young or old, low or high, small or mighty, must accept that that mankind will never be equal in the definition, appreciation and deployment of his choices. We may see equally, but we will always interpret differently. Someone born poor can decide to find wealth by stealing and corruption, while someone in the same situation may decide to employ hard work and dignity to create his wealth and comfort. Some other person in the same situation will go for wealth and comfort as well as make a resolve to take it beyond himself by transforming others. Equal experience of poverty, but different internalization, different interpretation and different resolve.
The difference in worldview is the brewer and the guarantor for both evil and good. When you understand this dynamic, you know immediately that both the killer and the killed are victims of another reality we are yet to know, understand or explore. The real battle for society is not about how to eradicate the experiences of social disequilibrium or the evil events of our time, no. Because, till the end of the world as we know it, the choices of human beings will always embrace a variation that ensures that we interpret differently and therefore, will always make choices differently and act differently. That is why a Nelson Mandela and a Bin Laden can live in the same world.
Our good should inspire us, but our evil should not shock us. Where I sit, I have accepted that the innocent of yesterday is the evil doer of today. And while the evil doer of today must be punished, the evil doer of tomorrow is still innocent today watching a world with so much activities, little explanations and weak love and care. We are free to cry because of the evil we now see, but the principle of evil has always existed. We must find within each of us the strength to refuse to allow the latest experience of evil to push us to pretend that we don’t know that evil is not only a system, it is a science and it is an ancient system unknown only to the naive. The moves of evil should not shock us; rather, we should mock ourselves that our care and love is only as strong as when it happens, how it threatens our comfort, and how it defines our fear. Soon, the noise will die down as usual and we will forget that Nyanya ever happened. And we will continue to pretend that the bombers of tomorrow are still innocent today, waiting for each of us to be awake in his or her conscience to do the needful now and guide our children alright.
My prayer is this, o God of creation, direct our noble cause. Guide our leaders right, grant our elders the humility to seek to know so they can have the empowerment to help our youths the truth to know, so that in love and honesty they can grow, living just and true, and great and lofty heights they can attain. This is the only way we can build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.