AWRIGHT DEN: We are all connected
I SIT HERE with a tearful and repentant heart but still encouraged by what God has revealed to me, as it will set me in good standing for what is to come and hopefully you as well.
I don’t believe we understand how connected we are as a community of friends, family and strangers. Whether we have relationship of some kind or not, our decisions and actions will have an effect on so many people down the line. This means that we must learn to be selfless in all that we do, staying acutely aware that whether bad or good, everything we do affects someone else.
It is only when we have an ache or pain or injury that we recognise how connected our human body is. A pain in the neck may affect speech, the arms and shoulder, the upper back and chest, and even breathing. If your hand is affected it may affect what and how much you can carry or do, which may affect your efficiency on the job, which may cause you to lose your job, which then affects your family and the list goes on. Similarly, a single decision made or action taken may affect your family, colleagues, friends and even strangers. As a result, we need to be very careful how we treat people, especially those we think we don’t need.
I find it so amazing how much you can learn about life from just reading the Bible. The book of Genesis, between chapters 37 and 50, tells the story of Joseph. His brothers envied and hated him because of the favour he had from his father and his dream, and sought to banish him. They treated him horribly. Twenty, 30, 40, 50 years down the line, Joseph was his brothers’ and entire family’s salvation. It was because of the person they didn’t think they needed that they had an opportunity to be saved; an opportunity to live and not just live, but live with favour and comfort.
Jealousy and grudges have caused so much tension and unnecessary embarrassment and hindered us as a community from progressing. How many of you ladies had quarrels and fights at school with other girls, only to be humbled in the future when some of those same girls became workmates or even teachers of your children, or better yet, a medical specialist whose help you needed? What about us guys who allowed ego and pride to be the driving force in our interactions with other guys we didn’t see eye to eye with, only to be humbled when you walk into the bank for a loan and the loans officer is that same guy? Or you needed to get your grandchild transferred and that guy is the principal of the school; or the police respond to a call for assistance you made and that guy is the policeman who shows up?
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 tells us that the body has many parts and each part has a unique function. Each part needs the other for the entire body to function. Similarly, we need each other as we are all connected somehow.
I can testify that I have benefited greatly from living at peace with most where possible. Throughout my time at Wesley Hall Primary, Foundation, Barbados Community College and the University of the West Indies, I made many great connections with people and significantly grew my network and friendships. I have seen many years later those same networks and people work to my advantage and favour as well as to theirs.
We need to learn to forgive, apologise and live at peace with others where possible. I encourage you to fight for, respect and appreciate your friendships and networks and also treat everyone where possible with love and dignity as we are all connected and need each other to function efficiently.
Joseph’s brothers lived for today only; they were myopic in their perspective and never thought about the future. Make sure you don’t do the same and remember, we need to be very careful of how we treat people, especially those we think we don’t need.
Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email [email protected]