Recently in my country there was a jail break, whereby 3 prisoners managed to escape with weapons and ammunition, rightly deemed armed and dangerous. There was a shooting near the hospital, and a police officer tragically lost his life. Working in the town myself, we were advised to leave the town and find somewhere safe; we left work early. A lot of hubbub surfaced surrounding the incident and having the anniversary of the attempted coup on our country just round the corner, (this was yesterday actually) there was a lot of reflection going on, and to say the least, we find that us in Trinidad and Tobago have a lot to work on.
This morning, there was a man begging in the street. Quite audaciously, if I do say so myself. From the information I gathered, he was in need of money to buy breakfast. Looking on from a distance, i could see passers by ignoring his flouncing appeals, jauntily waving around the one dollar that he did have at them. He wanted three dollars to purchase some doubles; a food native to our country. i had no change, so I just passed on a ten to him, and the jubilation of his gift resounded in my ears as I casually walked off. He shouted how he could get something to drink too, and I chuckled internally.
Now I have no idea of the situation that he was in, and whether he really needed the money anyway, but I still wanted to give it to him. As I walked, I recalled an instance in the Bible where Jesus was saying that when people ask things of you, to go beyond the call of duty. In retrospect of the world that we live in, and even in light of the body of Christ today, in my opinion, we suffer from a mentality that if it’s not to do with us, that we shouldn’t be bothered by it. We are not doing on to others as we would want them to do unto us. What if it was me who was hungry and begging in the street? I’d be very grateful to the guy that gave me ten dollars when I asked for three.
As human beings, as much as we hate to admit it, we need each other to survive. The very foundations of our culture were built by those who have gone on before us. Without them, we’d have no electricity; no social media, no awesomesauce recipe for fried chicken that our grandmother came up with, no clothes… life as we know it would be impossible. Some of the most successful businesses today are corporate entities, dependent on shareholders for funding. They engage in networking, and focus on employee diversity to have many different perspectives on creating innovative solutions to everyday problems. Collectively, we thrive; isolated, we die.
Why is it then that we refuse to be our brother’s keeper and love our neighbors as ourselves?
I firmly believe that if we were to as a people and a nation seek the interest of all as opposed to selfishly seeking our own, we’d be a force to be reckoned with. Until then, we’d just continue to live on with this ailment that cannot go away unless we want to to.