ONCE upon a time there was censorship on broadcasts and other vehicles of communicating with the public. A broadcaster would advise viewers that unutterable words were said and that was enough.
Equally, publishers would indicate that the words said were unprintable. Those were the days when people’s values and belief systems were intact. There was always something that could not be uttered: Kuyazila, it is taboo to say or do that particular thing.
Mannerisms and ubuntu/ hunhu were placed high on the list of human dignity. The elderly, the leadership from across the divide, were a fountain of knowledge as well as being exemplary in conduct and lifestyle.
Upcoming youngsters looked up to such men and women of experience for guidance.
It would appear things have changed for the worse. When talking of an uncouth person, elders usually said: “Who are his or her parents and which part of the country are they coming from?”
The implication of this statement was that the offender in most cases, was a replica of his or her parents.
It is not surprising therefore that there were arranged marriages, which were an attempt to make sure one married from or to a family with acceptable mannerisms.
Jesus Christ in the gospels instructs mankind to love their enemies and do good to those that despitefully treat them.
He did not only teach this message but practiced it. On that cruel rugged cross, he prayed for his tormentors: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” and finally submitted his soul to the one who could raise him from death, the Almighty.
If the eye-for-an-eye doctrine were to be applied today we would soon be a country of blind men and women. There is a saying that in every person’s heart there are two wolves fighting for supremacy and the one that wins is that which is well-fed by the owner.
The allegory points to the continuing war between good and evil, between love and hatred. If you feed the wolf of love it will win and vice-versa.
Proverbs 17 vs 22 advises that a merry heart is more effective in keeping one healthy than medicine, yet an evil heart makes the bones dry. George Beyoncé, a singer with the Cathedrals group in one of his songs says: Give the world a smile.
This tired world is in dire need of soothing messages that give hope. This drives the readers to issues of legacy.
When you are dead and buried, what is it that people will remember you for, your legacy? The unfortunate part with legacy is that your judges will not look at what you would like portrayed, but on what you really were.
Would you like to go into the annals or records as a greater philanthropist or as a ruthless schemer and despot?
If a question may be posed: Why do we hate and speak evil of others? James 4:1-2 has the answer. Another question: What does one gain from vilifying another?
A story is told of a woman who would gang up with her sons to beat up their father. The old man had a miserable life. One day the old man joined his ancestors leaving the uncouth woman with her wayward sons. Within no time it was now the mother’s turn to get a hiding from the boys.
The simple lesson derived from this story is that don’t support a wrong act because it is being done on someone else as tomorrow knives will be turned on you.
Remember, there is a young generation that is looking for good and exemplary lifestyles.
James 3:2 further goes on to say, any person who is able to control the small yet dangerous organ, the tongue, is perfect. The perfection herein referred to derives from a greek word teleios (be complete or mature in one’s growth, work or moral character).
Go to a fruit tree, you will find sticks and stones around, a sign that the tree is fruitful and therefore it attracts people to cast stones and sticks as a means of accessing juicy fruits.
This is consolation to those going through dry patches in life. Any miner worth his/ her salt does not throw an ordinary stone into the furnace. Only stones with valuable traces of minerals are purified.
Napoleon Bonaparte was heard on his death bed saying: “Oh Lord you have been too strong for me.” This is the man who arrested the pope and confined him to a solitary island where he died. He won many battles and wars.
One truth faced him on his death bed, namely, we are all passers-by on earth.
Life is too short to be spent in evil surmising and machinations against each other. Let us love one another.
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