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Towers of Isolation

BY HOPE HAVARD EREKOSIMA

The language of love is understood by the deaf, seen by the blind, and can easily be painted by the hands when guided by the heart.                                                                                                                                           Havard Lawrence

 

Love is one treasure available to us all. It has the ability to put smiles on our faces, but everyday countless actors interpret roles of hate such that my eyes cannot help but allow their precious riverbanks to break, allowing a free flow of nature’s gift. This world has its codes, which if you are able to decipher, will cause you to operate at levels alien to your peers and the uninformed around you. One of such codes with a benefit that outweighs the totality of the world’s currencies is Love.

The subject of love has been over-flogged but like a cat with nine lives it has stood the test of time. The branch of love I want to talk about is Tolerance. My friend Alison, the black poet, said in one of his poems that God should spray everybody with one color believing that if we all see ourselves as members of one race, the world would be a better place.

He has a point, but my question: What color should God use if this prayer is to be granted? Think about it.

I wake up every morning knowing that I am a black man and an African, but when I leave the comfort of my home I see other members of my race with shades lighter and some darker than mine. They are all Africans and I owe them one duty (just as I do all men) to love and make them feel welcomed around me.

This has never been easy. Sometimes the traditional delicacy of my next-door neighbor makes me feel like throwing up, but if I speak against the Kunu, I see him gulp. He would in turn ask me why I have to eat the mudskipper with its eyes standing out of their sockets.

This world will go extinct if we strip the next man of the right to live peaceably; we have racial, language and cultural differences. If we give too much attention to them we would end up building Towers of Isolation that have no place in our affairs as habitants of this world. We need each other to survive. God, the all knowing, testified that with unity we are without limits, but everyday we find ourselves in clusters where we are told how less important the other man is to this world, giving us a false sense of superior beings.

As humans we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and if we oppress the world with our strengths we would have no one to turn to in our low times. You never choose the family you were born into, neither the race, but you found yourself looking like some folks you were told are your parents.

The fact that I was born black doesn’t make me less intelligent. It only means that I came in a body suit colored black, while my friend Bill Clinton came in a white suit. We should see beyond color, race and language differences and see the next man as another precious creation of God with a mission to fulfill on earth. When we do this we will see the world from a better perspective. Rather than build Towers of Isolation, we shall build bridges across racial and tribal barriers and end up living in a world that is united in its diversity - a world where I can see a man from the Middle East and call him brother, a world where I can stop by my neighbor’s house unannounced and be welcomed like an august visitor, a world where I can walk on the streets of Europe without hearing cries of black monkey.

In our country, we see countless many who rather than stand up to be counted as one entity, go around singing songs of marginalization, and in the process we lose the shine of being called the giant of Africa.

My dear, I leave you with this: A lone tree can never make a forest! So before you think of exterminating the cockroaches (like someone once said), know that someone somewhere needs you to survive, and just as God created the rainbow with diverse colors, so he created you and me to live together, and you can never be complete without me.

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