“Before you begin on the journey of revenge… dig two graves.”
One single incident has taken the minds of the world off one thing, and focused it on another. We all seem to be searching for a worthy cause to be involved in. Our hearts yearn for something to believe in. For something to pursue which will make a difference in the bigger scheme of things.
Across the entire world, people seem to believe that they have found what they have been looking for. A few months ago, there was an overwhelming feeling of comradery. During the COVID 19 lockdown, the message, “We’re all in this together!” seemed to unite people across the world. Heroes were applauded and great examples of love for one another were displayed across the globe.
But, here we are, a few months later and that love has simply been deleted by hate and anger. A very valid anger because of what happened to a black man in the USA, but if we believe that anger can be displayed however we feel fit, then we have become no better than the original perpetrators. Just maybe, the officers who are responsible for this incident were also experiencing anger. Anger because of the way that police men and women are treated across the globe every day. They are spat on, sworn at, shot at and humiliated by members of the public. And a that anger has got nothing to do with race. Yet we expect them to simply accept the abuse. And we seem to forget that the majority of law enforcement officers are good people who have the interests of all members of society at heart. We simply cannot “hate” all police officers because of the ones who mess up. We can’t “despise” all forms of authority because of a few people who abuse that power. We wouldn’t feel that justice is served if it were to happen to us.
The pendulum has swung to such a dangerous position that its current position is putting society, as we know it, at the brink of anarchy. Having been involved in education for more than 20 years, I have seen what the lack of respect for authority has done to good people. I am the first to admit, that there are teachers who shouldn’t be in the profession at all. They give it a bad name. In fact, I was a victim of such a teacher who sexually abused me. I had the right to be angry and struggled to deal with what happened to me for years. But I never hated all teachers and all forms of authority because something like that happened to me. In fact, I became a teacher to be one of the many that make that profession a better one. I never smashed windows of schools and threw principals with stones. I allowed that experience to make me a better person.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am the first one to admit that we need to speak out against injustice. But there are so many incidents of injustice that we are ignoring in the world and we choose the ones that are making headlines. Because we are just jumping on board of a bus that someone else has started. We are often reluctant to start off a campaign against an unseen injustice because it’s easier just to join one that already has momentum. If we are so concerned about how people around the world are treated, then we would be throwing our weight, for more often, behind far more causes. As a Christian, I believe that ALL lives matter.
In my birth country, South Africa, 50 murders occur every single day. These are simple acts of violence by criminals. Who is batting an eyelid about that? Around the world, 22 000 people are starving to death every day. When are we going to stand up against this crime against humanity. We have become so obsessed with racial and gender issues, that it has simply given us tunnel vision. There are more than 20 million children involved as sex slaves around the world. Where is a voice for them? When we have Christ in our lives, our hearts bleed for every person. Every single life matters. And by showing love and compassion, we will achieve so much more, than by retaliating in hate and anger.
Do yourself a favour and watch a music video by Matthew West called “Forgiveness Live” and listen to the story of a woman who dealt with a terrible injustice, in an incredible way.
Have an awesome day!