One of the reasons we have many crisis in the world is because humankind has refused to allot credit to who deserves it. A progressive society is one who encourages people who use their talents for the good of others. In the primitive society it was not easy to recognize this thesis but still mankind has not done much to appreciate the good in people. The cause of this could be tribal and racial. The cultural bias and tribal tools we use in describing people contribute a lot of not giving people who do not share our values together, the credit that they deserve. There is a big come back of not recognizing the good quality in people in this 21st century. Politics can be one of the reasons. Does it mean that if I appreciate their contributions in our mission something in me dies? No. Both have positive impact on you and the person you appreciate.
When you appreciate people and give them the credit they deserve, you are helping to bring out more good things in them. You have empowered the person to make more use of what is in him for the good of the community or society. Sometimes the conspiracy of silence we maintain kills their spirit. One of the world’s psychologist, Abraham Maslow, said that praise reinforces good behaviour. Seeing what is good in people and giving skeptical smiles to those things take us back to primitive life, life of no cooperation, “life of me and my people” who think alike and feel that nobody is better than us. When we develop primitive ideology like that, we see others who are not like us as enemies or migrants who have come to steal away our God-given resources.
When leaders of societies think like that they make their ruled develop hate – syndrome and arrogance and life can be stand-still due to restriction of power and fear of renovation and inability to employ new tools for development. For many years America and Cuba had been in a frosty relationship suspicious of each other and name-calling. In Cuba you could see old and dilapidated tall buildings, relics of the past. Why uncompleted buildings? Perhaps lack of fund contributed to that and perhaps rigid ideology was one of the big factors too. Democracy and socialism are at war with each other. No one is ready to bend to each other and no one is able to recognize what Pope Francis meant, when he said, “You cannot worship ideology but you serve your people.”
When the leaders are full of semantics and rhetorics, the people feel the misery of life and may look for escape route to survive. Pope Francis I visited Cuba during which he made very powerful, consoling, motivating and reconciling statements to Cubans. He gave them hope of a better future, prayed for them and blessed them. President Obama also visited Cuba and spoke more about ending the age-long frosty relationship and beginning a new relationship. He recognized Cubans as members of humanity and brought many of their grievances, which are based on ideology and value differences to the table.
Coming together is a big step to unity and peace. Tensions stored for years began to be released. Cool attitude towards our neighbour especially those who work hard is unreal and makes one unappreciative because of inherited fear that, they are coming to take over our land. There is no way one can succeed alone. We need each other. We need to appreciate the gifts of each other to grow. One should not have phobia because of his brothers and sisters. There should be a changing dynamics to live in a world created by God, a world we have transitory existence. After fighting wars – unjust wars of discrimination – we still leave this world when God calls us back to him.

Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah

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