Have you ever given it a thought? We see little primary school-age children walking bare foot and milling around in the village or some young hawkers in the streets being beaten by burning sun or drenched by heavy down pour or some scavengers in tattered clothes picking up disused items from garbage and you just shrug your shoulders as you consider such persons inconsequential. Have you ever given it a thought? We all tend to see human beings through the lens of those we consider ‘successful’ and influential. We see those who drive posh cars, fly personal airplanes and helicopters, live in palatial buildings and surrounded by bevy of the most beautiful ladies in town. We consider such people as the most important and the only people whose lives need protection.
Have you ever given it a thought? We see big lawyers with big wigs, see professors dishing out instructions in their big English, see potbellied politicians in their lavish lifestyle, see con men prosperity pastors extorting money from gullible victims, see monarchs and chiefs who tend to dominate their environments and consider such people as the only persons whose lives matter. Have you ever given it a thought? Every child you see in the street, every scavenger you encounter, every struggling prostitute driven to such pitiable calling by cruel fate, every orphan, and every hawker in the street; all such persons have in their bodies the breath of life which is as important as the breath of life that resides in emperors and presidents.I have given this subject a very serious thought bordering on spirituality and human psychology. Apart from the fact that each person that surfaces on this earth started as a mere human person as defined before growing into whatever he or she becomes, the life of each human person is as important as the life of any other’s.
I look at the little children we encounter every now and again in every village, town and city and realise that each of such children in whatever state and condition he or she might be means something to their parents, their siblings, their relations and their neighbours. The struggling carpenter or vulcanizer, the poor labourer on construction sites or the okada rider would be missed if per chance such a person does not return home to his or her place of abode. As the life of the billionaire business mogul or the Naira-chewing politician is important to those who feed from their table so does the life of the less privileged matter to his or her people. Apart from the fact that nobody knows what tomorrow holds for each and every one of us, and apart from what most religions teach and preach that we should not terminate the life of fellow human beings, it is a natural order that we treat human life as sacred. The creator of this Universe must have a reason why He or She or It chose human beings the most important of creations/creatures. While there is Breath of Life in every living being, the Creator deliberately made the human life the most sacred and important. And in doing so the Creator ensured commonality in the process of birth. We may not be born equal, but there is incontrovertible commonality of the process of birth.
We are all aware of the care which animals and birds give to their offspring. We see the attachment of dogs to their puppies. We see how protective lions are of their cubs. We see mother hen and her chickens. It is in this regard that all reasonable and humane human beings should know that no one should tamper with the life of another human being. It does not matter which state or condition a fellow human being may be, each and every life matters. And this is confirmed by the fact that whoever you are and whatever state fate has placed you in, at death you are as equal to a King as you are to a pauper.
It is therefore distressing and depressing that any human being, if the being is truly human, could and would take hold of a fellow human being and butcher him or her. Some times one is left to wonder if barbarians slaughtering human persons are truly human beings. Are the brutish beastly monsters rampaging villages and towns and leaving behind horrendous tales of woes and blood letting qualified to be called human beings? Are such murderers bereft of human feelings conscious of the sacredness of human life? Do they know that each human life matters? It is worrisome that some people who appear to be human beings could tear open the stomach of a pregnant woman and inflict machete on both the mother and her unborn child.
And more worrisome is the unfortunate allegation that people who are entrusted with security and protection of lives would actually be party to such gruesome murders. We are made to wonder how far we have descended in depravity that human lives are rated lower than the life of cows and goats! When we put dagger to the throat of a human being, do we see in such human beings that we belong to the same human specie? And do those who sponsor and encourage mass murderers realise that there is law of Karma? It is imperative that we continue to preach to all the unfortunate beings who are being used to inflict pain and suffering on others. I am persuaded that most of the people who actually carry out gruesome murders of fellow human beings are being manipulated and used. Otherwise how do we explain a situation where one would engage in slaughtering innocent people with whom there was no previous animosity or encounter?
All those who plunder other people’s lands, maim and kill the owners of such lands and forcibly take over their lands should bear in mind that some day they would pay for their cruel transgressions. And let us not be deluded that people who take other people’s lives shall be rewarded by any heavenly comfort. Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword. Every life matters. Every soul matters. That is the final message.
- Adeniyi is a veteran journalist
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