Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Valerie Lewis-O’Bryan | The greater war is before us

Published:Thursday | July 9, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Valerie Lewis-O’Bryan
Crews lift the statue of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart off its pedestal on Tuesday, in Richmond, Virginia. The statue is one of several that will be removed by the city as part of the Black Lives Matter reaction.

The call for justice and equality has been loudly raised and now reverberates through the corridors of the world. In the course of this volcanic eruption, statues have been torn down; protests have erupted through the world, as if a sleeping giant has been awakened. Tearing down of external symbols of that which we abhor, though in itself a strong expression of frustration and rage, these represent a battle worth winning, but be warned that the greater war is before us.

One and all, we must come to terms with the greater evil, the looming threat to permanent change, the mindset, so deeply entrenched and engrafted, that has allowed these systems and structures to dominate the operations of the world and render the vast majority of its inhabitants excluded, disenfranchised and oppressed. These structures that support these systems are now been questioned for revision and change, laws are being challenged with a view to transformation, but at the heart of these realities is man himself.

The United States, which has seen the eruption of this social explosion of seismic proportion, has triggered the fault lines that traverse the world. There is no remedy to cover this gaping epicentric hole which stretches from centre to circumference and threatens to tear an old world apart. This truly needs the eyes of God and the hands and hearts of men. The directive is clear, there is no choice but to go forward and transform; the daunting prospect of not heeding this force of change is not an option.

Change on whatever level, whether the laws, the systems, even putting ‘guard dogs’ to ensure compliance, still puts the driver at the helm – which is man. It then become very clear that while these proposed innovations and essential external transformations need to be instituted, the driver must be reformed and transformed. No easy task, but left undone, failure will be a sure result. The malady that constructed the realities we now abhor are within the heart of man.

Latent Potentiality

Man, unconscious of his own inherent nobility and connectivity with all men, wanders in this vast desert of unawareness of his own latent potentiality, whether collectively or individually. This unconscious force walks the earth wreaking havoc, injustice and incalculable horrors on humanity. Birthed in homes across the world, compounded by history and entrenched by society, this wayward force, groomed to worship and idolise material superiority in all its forms, has been deeply schooled in the overarching and unbridled importance of power, position and money.

Scan the global landscapes and watch what is at the root of all its maladies. The unbalanced glorification of nothing. If this is hard to accept, look how one pandemic has levelled these gods and rendered them helpless in the wake of its material destruction. Whether academic excellence, material wealth or its attendant power, all these acquisitions find their purpose, value and substance at the table of service to humanity. When misdirected for the sole purpose of self-aggrandizement and power, their purposes and benefits are thwarted and corrupted.

For too long, the material midget has been allowed to dominate and desecrate the spiritual giant inside of man. Bereft of this external robe, the world trembles like Goliath from a single stone. This pandemic, terrible in its wake, has unveiled a world largely founded on unchecked greed, racism and conscienceless materialism. This has resulted in the unequal treatment of the masses of humanity and led to their ultimate suffering.

What we are now witnessing is beyond colour or race, although both are palpably implicated. We are witnessing the cry for the spiritual recognition of the inherent nobility of all men, their right – not privilege – to sit at the human table of equality and justice, and to share equitably in the fortunes of an abundant world.

The extremes of poverty and wealth, the starvation of the masses of humanity, the endless wars and carnage, the powermongering that threatens the stability of the world’s peoples must now give way to a larger vision, to the reformation of man himself, each and everyone of us. We all must return to paradise. It lies within. Yes, it is very important to transform the structures and systems, but we must be careful to transform the heart of man. This is the supreme challenge. Then, and only then, will we become the benefactors and beneficiaries of this change we wish to behold, to develop from, as the peoples of one world.