Am I My Brother’s or Sister’s Keeper


There is an African proverb which states “It takes a village to raise a child” many use it in conversation however today’s society shows a severe lack of its meaning or understanding. Once upon a time not so long ago it would be near impossible to not know your neighbour or your neighbour’s neighbour. Fast forward one generation and my how things have changed.

Is this an accident? Resoundingly not, however I believe that we all need to look within to understand our contribution to the demise of our villages, families and communities. “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” We have all experienced some sort of trauma on this journey called life. And we all form our own coping mechanisms to handle the situations we find ourselves in. Some better than others and others not at all. 

When we examine some of the challenges that we see on our streets today there may be many who will question if there is a way forward and if so, how? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often displayed as a pyramid.  The lowest levels of the pyramid are made up of the most basic needs, while the most complex needs are at the top of the pyramid. Whether you fully agree with his theory or not I’m sure most of you will agree that when basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, education, health care, and employment are not being met desperate people will do desperate things.

George Floyd’s death last year highlighted a cancer in our society, a cancer affecting many of our black and ethnic minority communities. Sad to say that when you look at some of the recent events in our history Stephen Lawrence, Grenfell Tower, Windrush Scandal and more recently the Sewell Report, they all reinforce that there is an external enemy at work lurking to destroy all who fail to fit in to their agenda.

How do we start turning things around? Maybe we need to remind ourselves that we are one race called the human race.  In these troubled times, we need to speak up against personal, systemic and institutional racism as well as violence. It’s time to build bridges of friendship and solidarity across cultures and maintain them. We have witnessed and experienced many a knee-jerk reaction in response to the myriad of challenges faced in society today perhaps it’s time for a concerted effort where quitting is not an option.

UBUNTU It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about “We” working together as one.

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