From time to time, I would share my columns on the various social media platforms to engage and enlighten the younger millennial audiences, who otherwise wouldn’t pick up the actual papers. And in so doing, a dear and special friend of mine reached out to me and candidly suggested that I should do a piece on ‘Love’. I asked what aspect of love and she reflected to me the myriad of ways that love is missing and absent in our jewel. From the ruthless and callous acts of violence perpetrated against our youths to the brewing and widening divide on Covid-19 and inoculation to the very state of how we treat our people of lower stature who continues to suffer in these trying times. Put all this together and one thing becomes absolutely certain: we need more love!
Myself, much like the rest of the country was taken aback by the spiraling series of murders of late, which primarily targeted our youth. Much like the rest of the country, my heart aches at the heinous and callous acts of gun violence in this country. I abhor the fact that we are at war with each other and for what? The senseless acts of violence is depriving our youths of the opportunity to grow and learn and realize their life’s full and true potential to be the best that they can be. It is stagnating our country’s future development and depriving the citizenry of a new doctor, teacher, lawyer, or career officer. We are cutting down our future at the expense of a callous war that has now brewed over to a point where the lives of our innocent youths are at stake. This state that we are in is no doubt concerning and points to the fact that we need more love.
But as we cry out for love and for justice, there are the families who are currently wailing loudly or weeping silently in the corners or the forefront of their homes. Imagine, doing your utmost best to raise a child that is in pursuit of knowledge, family oriented, motivated and sports driven and leads a quiet and humble life in dedicated service to his church and his God; just to have his life cut down mercilessly. One can only imagine the hurt and anguish that the family is going through. Families so consumed with love as a rudimentary tenet in their homes have been torn apart and their dreams shattered by that ruthless lead. As they grieve and mourn, one can only hope against time that it is that same love that is so absent in our country, will be what will grant them solace and healing.
As if the gang warfare that is raging in the city isn’t enough to draw us together in love, the issue of Covid-19 and vaccination continues to divide us. The stigma associated with Covid-19 is an egregious and callous one. Even after recovering, persons who were infected with Covid-19 are stigmatized and scorned upon. As their bodies struggle to rebound to a semblance of pre-Covid normalcy, they are faced with a daily battle to immerse themselves back into society and be accepted socially once more. Tragic isn’t it? Speaks volumes to the absence of love and that abiding spirit of service and camaraderie where in times gone by we would truly care for and look after one another and their well-being.
This is further compounded and exacerbated by the issue of vaccination. Whereby there are some people who have been inoculated who looks down on the others who have not been inoculated. Yes, I’m telling you! There are many out here who view these little vaccination cards as a passport: a sort of armored vehicle that provides a sort of firewall security and protection and they believe themselves to be better off than the unvaccinated. Somehow, these little card or by them taking the jab makes them feel that they are somewhat ordained or entitled above the others; but pity them!
Locally, regionally and globally, the statistics is showing that the vaccinated people can still contract, spread and become hospitalized or even die with the virus. So the card that they perceive carries so much weight is but a mere tenuous thread that can be severed by this virus. This is certainly no time for division or self ordination on the basis of inoculation. The virus continues to spread unabated and it’s coming closer to our doorsteps that we had ever expected. When the dust eventually settles and a new day is dawn, it’s not our thoughts and perceptions that will see us through, but that abiding love that breeds a spirit of unity will ultimately be our firewall and our source of protection.
Finally, I could never have thought that this is what Belize would come to. A country so cold and callous that we have lost the very thing that once united us and birthed us as a people: love. Imagine, the thousands that are still yet unemployed and struggling to make ends meet and we barely take a mere minute to build their spirits. Imagine the thousands that still go to bed without, and each day we throw out plenty, in abeyance of others’ needs. Imagine the children who are suffering and we look down on them in contempt as opposed to stooping to their level and offering a hand in service. We have drifted away on our conceited boats and there’s no love in the wind that propels our sails.
As I sit here and pen this piece, amid all the turmoil and tribulations that we face in this world, I can’t help but shed a tear. It is overwhelming to say the least and some days it’s just too much to contend with or even bear. My people, there’s no one solution to our plight. It’s more far reaching than not. But one thing is absolutely certain, the troubles we collective face all bear the lack of one rudimentary component: love. To say that love would immediately cause our troubles to dissipate would be inept of me. But putting back love in our homes, our schools, workplaces, community and society can and will be the determining factor whether we continue down this spiraling abysmal chasm of hopelessness and despair; or whether we rebound as a society and a nation to reclaim better and brighter days.
In the words of Supa G Martinez, I sit quizzically and quietly in my chair and wonder:
“Weh di love gone, no one seems to know,
Weh di love gone, we need it more and more;
Love is what we need to move on,
Tell me where the good love gone
Tell me weh the love gone…”
Unchained Reflections Of A Liberal Pragmatist.