Clinging on to dear hope in times of evil

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 15 June 2016, 12:00AM

It’s the undeniable truth. There are times in our lives when circumstances surrounding us and things that happen become so overwhelming we let it get the better of us. It happens because we are humans with limitations. 

When we stop to look at the rise of petty crimes, dishonesty and so much wrongdoing near and far, it is impossible not to be affected. 

Take the world news for instance during the past couple of days. 

Without the need to go into details, the reality is that there is so much evil everywhere. The spread of sport-related riots and violence in Europe is undoubtedly the result of passion and pride gone horribly wrong.

It has been horrific to watch the images of soccer fans bashing the daylights out of each other.

In another part of the world, the shooting inside a nightclub in Florida has once again shocked the world, reminding us all about the devastation of terrorism and hatred based on beliefs and religion.

But we don’t have to look far for acts of horror that defy the imagination. 

In Samoa today, it’s hard to deny that there is so much evil. Just like there is in the world. There is suffering and evil everywhere we look. There are murders, rape, incest, robberies and all sorts of petty crimes being committed left right and centre.

You only have to look at your daily newspaper and watch the news on TV to get the idea that something is terribly amiss somewhere in this country.

And it has something to do with the senseless beating of our women and children. It has something to do with visitors to this country being harassed and violated that some are leaving without ever wanting to come back. 

We don’t blame them.

The fact is that there has been a series of brutal attacks reported in this country over recent months.  When people look to Samoa from afar, they see pristine beaches; lush greenery and they imagine the sort of tranquillity that cannot be matched anywhere. They see pictures of friendly Samoans. Which are true and accurate to an extent.

But the reality on the ground can be quite contrasting. It can be quite shocking in fact. You see, over recent months, there have been a number of suicides involving people of all ages. Gone are the days when suicide in this country mainly involved young people. We’ve had several cases this year where grown men and women have resorted to the unthinkable. 

Elsewhere, incest has been rising. Young girls are being sexually molested by their own fathers and grown relatives. This has become so common these days.

We can go on and on but you get the point.

Now, we’ve asked this question before and we will ask it again, what is going on in Samoa today? What has become of this country that is supposedly founded on God? Speaking of God, we accept that we are a deeply religious country, aren’t we?

There are four, five, six and sometimes up to ten church buildings at some villages. There are church meetings happening throughout the year and they continue to occupy a good part of our annual calendar. Sundays are days to behold. But how can evil flourish in a country where there are so many churches? 

Is it possible that maybe the church is finding that it’s no longer able to appease troubled minds, spread the meaning of kindness? 

How can we exalt God with one hand and kill with the other? How can we profess to love God and harbour so much hate for a brother/sister? Have we become a nation of hypocrites? Whose examples are we following?

These are tough questions. We know. But at a time such as this, we need to be reaching deep down inside us for solutions. Each and every one of us has a role to play. 

The government leaders have got a part just like the church leaders. Village matais have to step up just like every family leader. We need to be asking tough questions about ourselves.

Has life in our country become so unbearable that some people are finding it difficult and are therefore resorting to the unthinkable?

Where is our Parliament? Where is the government? Where are the church leaders?  What about our matai and village leaderships? Where are our law enforcers? What are the Police officers doing? 

What about the individual households? Are parents performing their God-given roles or have they become so caught up with their busy schedules they simply don’t have the time to be parents anymore?

Are children being instilled the right morals and values? Is the media doing its job? Where are the lawyers, doctors and accountants and all the professionals? What are we doing? 

These are tough times and we need to be ruthlessly honest in how we answer these questions. Only then we will begin to find a solution.

Now to be fair to us, sometimes it pays to step back a little bit and look at what is happening in the world. Looking at the violence and the unnecessary shedding of innocent blood all over the world, we will come to find that perhaps things are not that bad in Samoa after all. It puts things in perspective. 

You see it’s important that we pick ourselves up and go about our daily lives making the best out of every minute, by laughing our sorrows away knowing well that despite what we see – even if the obstacles seem surmountable – we have to cling on to hope, believing that there has got to be a better tomorrow.

As a country, let’s not lose sight of hope. Let’s cling on to hope for dear life; believing that together there is plenty more good left in each and every one that when we rise up, we will defeat evil. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday Samoa, God bless!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 15 June 2016, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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