There are very few times that I feel the impulse to publicly express my views. Late yesterday, I learned of the Boston Marathon bombing in the United States.
The irony I felt, in that moment, was indescribable. I was deeply ashamed of the perpetrators that would engage in disgraceful acts of violence and terror. Those few people that know me best, know that shame is not a word that would best describe me. But yesterday, I felt an irrational impulse to walk the streets of Belize City, covered in “sack and ash.”
Violence and terror was abhorred by the Mahatma Gandhi. This is not the Ghandhian way! In a time of war, with the world at the brink of nuclear destruction, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi gave the world a way out of madness.
Gandhi professed that violence in the mind (by our thoughts) would lead to violence of the word (slander, insults, and hate), which would inevitably lead to the exchange of fists and bullets and bombs. “An eye for and eye, leaves the whole world blind!”
Gandhi’s life example was so simple, so clear, so emphatic, that Mahatma was more Christ-like (in value) than many Christians in his time. In Belize, we do not appreciate the value of inner peace and its
Personally, I do not know any Bostonians, nor do I have any particular favor or preference for Americans. But I know, that the United States has the potential to be equally as fanatical in their pursuit of justice. They will close their borders and will frustrate legitimate migrants, like myself, who aspire for an opportunity for further education.
My prayer is very simple. Open your eyes. The principle of non-violence is about the promotion of peace. Look at the Hindus that line Albert Street, King Street and Orange Street, in downtown Belize City.
Ask their grandparents where they came from: they will tell you of the bloodbath that led to the independence of India and the shame of Pakistan, because their leaders could not agree on the spiritual direction of the country. Ask them about Lampore and Punjabi, ask them about Mahatma. I cannot express how deeply the beloved Gandhi has helped shaped my reality.
How easily we forget the struggle of our forefathers, living and dead. Independence in Belize is about equality, born from the workers unions’ struggle, but forged by the mettle of the civil rights movement in the United States. How easily we forget about the injustice of prejudice, racism and slavery!
Yours in shame!
Leon Sesare Harrison