Reference is often made to the lesser of two evils, especially when it comes to making a political decision. When voting for a leader, for example, you will try to influence the selection of one that is less of a threat to you, but not necessarily to others.
But when your family is shrieking over a rat in the house and there is a viper at the door, what would you do? Are you going to kill the rat first so that the viper disappears, or first get rid of the viper, before going for the rat?
If you are a logical thinker, there are a lot of issues to consider before you make the first move. Is it possible the rat ran into your living room to hide from the viper, or you might have a lot of rats in your house, making it an inevitable destination for the viper?
Or perhaps this is a viper-prone area and the poor rat happened to lead the viper to your door instead of the bush? But you may be a strong believer in conservation, and getting the vipers extinct in not exactly one of your priorities.
If so, and given the danger at hand, should you burn the bush and count the costs later, or simply move house to a safer area?
Whatever decision you take, there will be a cost to call, especially in this political world where sometimes, there may not be room for juggling.
Take the recent Tsunami in Japan for example. You would think that the world would be focused on the nuclear meltdown and how to support the natural- hazard prone country.
Perhaps you would have thought everyone would be focused on the futility of mass killing weaponry in the powerful face of nature.
Regardless, all eyes are on Libya, Yemen, bombardments, gun-wielding men, anything that makes these bloodthirsty human eyes boggling with excitement.
Second to this and always on the agenda are the economies, the euro-zone, financial crises, anything that threatens man’s power-seeking frenzy.
Amidst all this, another Tsunami in the East passes almost unnoticed, we still have so many people suffering from hunger and the cold, and there is the looming climatic change and potential natural hazards that are being given uneasy and furtive attempts at control.
You would think it would have been so easy to make a global call for peace, in order to stand united in finding solutions for a world that seems to be disintegrating.
Think about it, we do not seem to learn. After huge disasters like the Louisiana hurricane, Indonesia Tsunami, Haiti Earthquake, New Zealand Earthquake and now the Japan Tsunami, the world would be constantly on the high alert and better prepared.
It is also unimaginable how so much havoc could have happened in a country like Japan where it is assumed they have the most update technologies and capacity to save lives.
The whole scenario is somewhat disconcerting and makes us wonder what the future truly holds in our favour.
In Rwanda, as in most African Countries, disasters to come (except in a few cases of mudslides and floods), in the form of conflict, disease and dry spells, which although disastrous, can be diverted with well coordinated interventions.
However, it is hard to imagine what it would be like in the face of more furious hazards like those being faced on other continents.
It would be great if just like the global fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS and other catastrophic diseases, a lot more enthusiasm were put into concerted efforts to control and reduce the impact of sudden climatic or other natural hazards.
Could this seeming lacklustre be because man feels a little helpless in the face of nature and would rather deal with those areas within his comfort zone? Or should we perhaps blame it on the media which finds wars and intrigue more selling?
If so much is happening under disaster control, why isn’t this information on our fingertips as with other global issues?
Depending on the way you look at it, natural disasters could seem the larger evil when it comes to political decisions; meaning it is easier to bury our heads in the sand and wish away the problem.
But opting for the lesser of two evils is not always the best because this only saves the greater evil for another day, when this time, it has to be faced square and fair.