Discouraged but still have hope

Discouraged, but not without Hope!!!
Sometimes it gets difficult to remain silent or positive in our world of today. After all, there are many problems such as poverty, diseases, natural disasters, wars, tribalism, anger, frustrations, unemployment etc going on, we’re on the tail end of a recession that has decimated the financial well-being of millions of people (ours included), many people have lost their jobs and many more continue to do so, our education system is taking hit after hit by losing standards and good teachers and raising class sizes, and our newscasts are filled with reports of crime, biaseness and tragedy and death and destruction.

But of all these things, I think that what is most discouraging to me is the way that we treat each other, especially here in our beloved country, Zambia. One of the things that always has been a hallmark of Zambia is the fact that when times have gotten tough, we’ve stuck together. We’ve come together as a united people and we’ve worked our ways through our difficulties, overcoming obstacles and trials together and above all PEACE .

Not this time, though. It’s unfortunate, but I’ve never been witness to such incredibly uncivil treatment as that which I’ve seen over the last few months, especially in the political arena. I’ve never seen so many people filled with hatred and anger of others simply because of politics.
And what’s worse, I’ve never seen the leaders of this country involved in such petty bickering and such mean-spirited attacks on each other. Their modeling is encouraging many of the people who admire them to do the same thing, and the polarisation of our politics has become dangerous, as people vent their anger and their own frustrations of their own lives on the right or the left, It’s all about name-calling, insulting, character assassination, brutalising, killing and trying to harm those who don’t hold the same beliefs that we hold, and that’s simply sad.

A country must be run on cooperation if it’s to function well. Unfortunately, though, we have very few role models who model cooperation to the young today–now things seem to be all about competition and personal gain and it frightens me to think of how the young people will end up twenty years from now if they’re not exposed to healthy models of cooperation .

To me, it’s also important to wonder how these people were elected by voters, if all they were going to do was go to state house (which I too admire one day) or parliament and try to push their own party’s agendas, rather than work together with others–no matter what their party–to serve the people of their country or constituency. Are we as voters so swayed by political leanings that we no longer consider which candidate is most likely to serve his or her country or constituency well?

Human beings have faced adversity before, and we always will continue to face it. My hope comes from this fact. The adversity that we face now is not the same kind of adversity that we’ve faced in the past (but which others in the world continue to face), such as famine, pestilence, genocide, and disease. Rather, the adversity that we face now is our inability to live and work together in a civil way. We do so every day in our normal lives, but even on the job and at school and in our social settings, people are much less likely to discuss issues that really matter because of the unfortunate partisanship that’s affecting us all.

But I believe that we will wake up from our current stupor–that level heads and rational voices will prevail, and that we will once again find common ground upon which we can once more work together to build together. We may not silence the voices that preach hatred and division, but we can reach a point at which those voices are seen as what they really are–pathetic little sounds that do nothing more than attempt to win recognition for the weak people who speak about and encourage such destructive things as anger, tribalism and revenge and intolerance. We will reclaim our lives and follow that star that shines uniquely for us, instead of hitching our wagons to each star that seems to be doing what we think everyone should be doing.

Tolerance. Cooperation. Unity. Acceptance. Helpfulness. Encouragement. These are things that can help us to contribute positively to the world and help us shine as individuals who are living their lives fully. And they are things that can help us to work together to reach our goals of continuing to recreate a country that still is a very new experiment in the world, especially our country and that still holds much promise. There still is plenty of room for hope. Let’s raise our standards and build for growth. ” ONE ZAMBIA, ONE NATION. ”

Patson Mukuta

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