Those with a strong Christian religious background would be very familiar with the phrase “may peace be with you”. They would also know what the famous reply to it is. As much as this may be easy to assert, one must admit it is easier said than done. However, if literally taken, it can have a greater positive impact on earth and the livelihood of its inhabitants.
Not that it is hard to do, but because it has just become a simple proclamation and something that people would say because it is part of the parade. It has become something people do and say
because that is how it has been done. One may have even memorised the whole mass or service progression and know it like the back of their hand. Yet, they have not attached any meaning to it.
It is really no surprise that such a powerful phrase is taken lightly. It is also no surprise that no matter how many times it is repeated, no one ever questions its practical impact. This is not only limited to this aspect though, but is a simple representation of the general attitude of today’s society.
It spills over to many other spectrums of society and points to why society and humankind find themselves in a self-limiting entrapment.
Now think of many other things being said or done from the same premise. The premise of doing something not only for the sake of doing but because that is how it has always been done. It is even done only as means to an end. It even goes as far as belittling and undermining certain positions of responsibility. Instead of one respecting and taking responsibility for what they have been entrusted with for the benefit of all, it simply becomes an opportunity for self-gratification or glorification.
As time goes, this becomes an acceptable norm. Complacency and apathy slowly become entrenched almost at every level of society. This leads to not only social decadence but even societal decay. Both personal and collective accountability soon goes out of the window. No man takes a position of reprimanding, reminding or appraising the other, and every man is left to fend for themselves.
Now imagine if everyone took the phrase “peace be with you” literally and seriously; if everyone took it as a responsibility to have peace in their hearts every single day of their life. Imagine if all other aspects were taken and done with the same attitude and disposition; if everyone said what they meant and meant what they said, took their oath and contractual commitment, really cared, and loved as they claim in the words of Louis Armstrong, “what a wonderful world” this would be. Of course, ideally, that is the world everyone seems to wish for. Yet, almost everyone, in their small or greater deeds, seems to be doing completely the opposite.
Uncommon Sense is published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka