Life

Vulture eats leopard,

Leopard eats snake,

Snake eats bird,

Bird eats worm,

Who will eat the vulture…?

This is not an ordinary food chain as we know it. I don’t even know if vultures eat leopards. It is a poem that came to my mind as I try to get a grasp and rationalize the news I have been hearing in the recent past. A house help decides a child’s back is strong enough to bear her 60 something kilograms (or above) weight, sane adult grown men deciding women should be made naked and sexually harassed for whatever reason and uncles who believe they can punish their sister in law by raping their own niece are just an example. A father who decides his spouse and children are better dead. A wife who decides life is too much and she would rather drown her children and herself. A group of people who decides that others must die because their names are structure in a way that does not suit them. A business man decides a rival needs to be eliminated from the equation for him to succeed… The examples are numerous; and very heartbreaking.

I know to some extent our society has become a man eat man kind of society. But this is a new record of low. They say what distinguishes us from animals, in as much as we are from kingdom Animalia is our humanity, utu wetu. What happens when that humanity is gone? We have become animals who rise up against each other, devouring each other mercilessly not caring what damage we leave at wake as long as our appetite to devour is satisfied. It is a predator prey relationship. Our aspect of reason is all gone.

So what would make a society rise against itself? What would make family turn against its most vulnerable in the person of children, killing them, maiming them, raping them, battering them, denying them basic human rights of food clothing and shelter in the most unorthodox ways? What would make family members turn against each other? Brother killing brother? Sister sending hooligans to rob her own sister? Sons killing their parents? Wives murdering husbands in cold blood? Parents killing their children? What would make a community turn against each other? Armed men shooting unarmed men and women whose only guilt is to look for daily bread? Shameless men stripping their lady friends off all of their dignity? Armed militia terrorizing communities. Neighbors rising against neighbors destroying them and what they hold dear. What happened to us? When did we stop caring? Who decided it was time love came to an end in our lives? Where did our humanity go? Is this the end of times that was prophesied?

c 2I don’t have the answers to any of the above questions. However I do know that someone has to eat the vulture. Or something. We have to retrain ourselves again to care, to love, to be there for each other. We have to learn to be human all over again. How do we learn this? Parents, have to own the responsibility of instilling values and nurturing morally upright and responsible individuals. They must arm them with so thick a skin that the contagion that comes from interacting with the world does not corrode or poke holes into that shield. I know that family’s must stop acting and living as individuals and restore the sense of ownership. Uncles must look at brothers’ children as their own and treat them so. Aunties must fight for their nephews and nieces hard enough for the society to know that they belong somewhere. Grandparents must instill those values that they instilled in their children long ago. The spirit of togetherness must once more be nurtured in our hearts. Parents must take the initiative of introducing the family unit as an institution to be treasured and protected at all costs. Each family member must stop being a threat to the other member of the family instead be a back up who when the world is so wild, one can go back to and find solace, rejuvenation of the tormented spirit. I know that the community have to stop taking the laid back attitude and stand up for what is right and condemn what is wrong. It must not watch as victims are suffering just because whatever is happening is not happening to them. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, Because I was not a Socialist; Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out Because I was not a Trade Unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out Because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”. He was a protestant pastor who was condemning all who did not speak during the German holocaust. If we do not speak, then at some point when the tree falls on us, who will care if it happened to us? Our hearts would have been so hardened that it won’t matter anymore. Neighbors must restore neighborliness all over again. I also know that the state, in its leadership must diligently fulfill its responsibility towards its people. It must act, not just speak, it must do not only say, it must stretch out its long arm as it is usually insinuated and reach out not only to the affected but also those who are affecting. Laws must be made, but most importantly they must be executed. The state cannot remain complacent. Complacency will breed indifference, indifference hatred and hatred radicalization.

Back to my poem…

Vulture eats leopard,

Leopard eats snake,

Snake eats bird,

Bird eats worm,

Who will eat the vulture…?

 The earth says it will.

What does it imply? If all fails, then there will be natural justice or divine justice. In as much as God should not be our last resort, when everything seems beyond us, we know that God will always come through for us. Exodus 22 from verse 20 talks of people not taking advantage of the widows and orphans for whoever does angers God and His wrath will be upon them. In those days, widows and orphans were the most vulnerable in the society. Extrapolate to today, my thinking is, those who are vulnerable should still not be oppressed or touched or assaulted for woe unto s if they cry to God, His anger will be upon us and according to Exodus 20:24; “My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless”.

May we do our part in protecting and taking care of His creation.

care

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