Abuse, violence, negligence, corruption, inequality, favouritism, immorality, carelessness, laziness, selfishness…. The list of things that have stagnated our personal and community development—even our beautiful Malawi—is long and endless.
But if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: “If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
We see corruption and all of these ills every day in our lives, homes, communities, workplaces and religious institutions.
Some of us practise some of these ills daily without any bad feelings about it. They have has become normal, a big part of us.
For others who practise these undesirable behaviours, they have in them some remorse, but they still go on doing it.
Yet others, however, are not a part of these ills. They are not corrupt, not violent, not even biased against anyone. This is commendable, but not many fall in this category.
Of course, while some of us are caring, responsible, ethical and of high integrity, what do we do about the corruption, abuse, violence and negligence, among others?
When we see others do err, do we speak against it or do keep quiet?
Not doing an evil act is desirable and commendable, but not speaking or acting against it when we see it happening is not supporting it 100 percent.
If you see bosses favouring your workmates whom they like because of reasons best known to them and you keep mum for fear of whatever, you are supporting favouritism.
If you see a person abusing a spouse and you think it is none of your business, you are an accomplice to domestic violence.
If you see a teacher molesting schoolgirls and you do not do something about it, you are supporting it.
It is just the same as not speaking against terrorists’ atrocities.
We see people over-speeding, abuse, negligence, corruption, immorality and social profiling, but we keep mute. Yet these very acts have made us lose loved ones, opportunities, growth and success.
I know how difficult it is to speak against abuse, inequality, corruption, negligence, over speeding, immorality, carelessness and violence. Sometimes we are just not sure who to report to because the people who were supposed to fight these atrocities are perpetrators themselves. Sometimes we fear the loss of jobs, friends, freedom, respect and confidentiality.
But for the good of our communities and our nation, we must still fight injustice and speak against it—and act like we would love others to if we were the victims.
The extra effort we put in can make a difference. Martin Luther King Jr said: “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
We have lost loved ones, friends, opportunities, growth, success and development because of these wrongs.
Is there hope for a Malawi that is corrupt-free, where people are ethical, fair, hardworking, moral, careful, selfless and loving?
To some, a Malawi that is safe and conducive all can only exist in dreams. But for everything to become a reality, it all begins with sound dreams. If we dream about that Malawi, then we are a step in the right direction. Let us take action.
US rapper Tupac Shakur said: “Death is not the biggest loss in life, the biggest loss is what dies inside you while you are still alive.”
Let us keep the dream alive within us, the dream of a beautiful Malawi.
Eleanor Roosevelt also said the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. If our grandchildren must find a better Malawi, we must start acting now. Together we can make a difference. n