Once again, the festive season is here and it’s going to be a lengthy one because it is a combination of both Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Of course there is going to be a lot of drinking and eating-calling it a feast! And so be it.
But as Christmas approaches, remember some thought ought to be given due consideration as to the purpose of the Son of Man on this important day that commemorates the advent of salvation.
As the holy bible states it, this Man came for the poor (in spirit and otherwise), so the followers who claim to emulate the holy man ought to also think about the same.
Unfortunately, charity seems to have eluded many. What is common today is the practice of the adage “Everyone for himself, God for us all”.
The expression was named after Lord Castlereagh, during the Congress System. The principle implied and acted on, is, to get and take what one can.
Each time, I see people of all ages and classes, hurrying as fast as their legs and cars can carry them to churches, I imagine that the spirit of the religion is actually there.
But I get surprised when I find many beggars along the common routes used by the said religious men and women, begging for a coin in vain. The faithful just treat them with contempt!
So, as we dive into the festivities, it will not be enough to just eat and make merry. We all ought to take that social responsibility of lightening the burden of the needy, the sick in hospitals and homes who do not have access to go to hospitals, will need that comfort.
The street children will still be walking along the streets half naked and malnourished, and beggars, who also include mothers with their babies, will still be on the streets waiting for the Good Samaritan to give them a coin. It is such who will not know the difference between this season and the next, simply because for them life will always the same…misery!
When we will be feasting to the sounds of merry making, we shall simply be mean to our poor neighbours who hardly get enough for a meal. Behaving like Pharisees, who pretend to be good Christians in the eyes of Man, yet before God, are stinking sinners!
It is time also for political leaders to think of ways of alleviating poverty in our country. Throughout the year there were media reports over the efforts that have been and will be done to ensure that poverty will be halved by 2015 and 2020.
For the case of Rwanda, the move has been recorded successful, as compared to many other developing countries, especially in Africa.
According to the reports, the implementation process in various countries has been difficult, simply due to selfishness. Out of this egoism, many leaders are reported to be corrupt in a bid to fatten their bank accounts. This ego should be minimized, at least during this season and realize the consequences of their actions on the poor.
The season should also be a time for all and sundry to reflect on their morality whose erosion has now left many children orphaned. Since the emergence of HIV/Aids, many, especially on our continent, have died. Despite the efforts by internatinal bodies, little has been achieved to stall new infections.
This is largely attributed to our sexual behaviours which, because traditional morality no longer sells, lead to new infections daily.
Let us also focus on politics. This Christmas, there will be much talk about our presidents. For instance, President Paul Kagame recently received the African Gender Award 2007 at the Daniel Sorano Theatre in the Senegalese Capital, Dakar; President Kibaki is seeking a second term.
The general election is due to take place on 27 December, just two days after Christmas, and President Yoweri Museveni shuns handshakes with visiting delegates from the Democratic Republic of Congo on over fears of contracting the deadly Ebola disease.
Of course for us common people, the question would be what our politics or social-economic means. True, Africans with their sentimentalisms more often than usual elect their leaders without considerations of their integrity and performance capability. We then end up electing the wrong people to lead us, who in turn frustrate our efforts to rid our societies of ignorance, disease and soaring poverty levels.
The end results is always predictable…nothing works in Africa! This season I urge all members of voting age to sit and debate on who should lead their respective societies, and why.
Let us contemplate an era when tribal and sectarian politics will be a thing of the past…just like Judaism versus Christianity.
Think of an era when opponents will be able to sit and sort out the differences without fear, favour or bloodletting.
It should be a time for us to plan a revolution which will see us develop…after all, is not Christianity a revolution?
Of course, what this means is that we should plan for a time when Christmas will not be for some…those who can afford luxury, but for all.
The revolutions I advocate for are of our thoughts so that we cease to be selfish and look at reality as it is.
If we did this then future generations will see each other as real brothers and not this or that tribe thing. Only this way shall we be true disciples of Emmanuel, God with us!