Lindiwe Sisulu’s comments on our Constitution and the gross inequality in our political system which has left the masses impoverished raise issues that must be seriously tackled to prevent a blowout in our country.

Last year took its toll on us medically, socially and financially. We lost our loved ones in a raging pandemic. Let us join hands in praying for peace, stability, prosperity and hope from a marauding biological virus in 2022. We pray for peace, for the whole of humanity, with all it’s myriad and diverse people.Whether peace is reached only after unimaginable horrors precipitated by mankind’s arrogant clinging to old patterns of behaviour, or is to be embraced now by an act of consultative will, is the choice before all who inhabit our strife-torn planet. 

At this critical juncture in our turbulent history, when the seemingly intractable problems confronting beleaguered humanity have been fused into one common concern for the whole world, failure to stem the tide of conflict and destruction would be unconscionably irresponsible. Peace must reign supreme in 2022 and in the decade ahead. This can only be attained by accepting compassion as a religion. Compassion sees that an edifice that produces poverty needs restructuring 

We are mindful that the darkness of corruption, naked greed and exploitation lengthen their shadows over us as they did in 2021 and the decades before. Poverty stalks humanity on a colossal scale and brings with it the complete degradation of human life. It is the most pressing problem confronting humanity. If left unchecked it could serve as a catalyst for an upheaval of epic proportions.

We live in a world where hope is the cheapest commodity. The common home of the bewildered masses must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, the unemployed, the abandoned and those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic.

Like many other nations afflicted by the Covid-19 virus in all it’s various strains over the past two years, the winds of despair are blowing from every direction and the strife that divides and afflicts us is enveloping us all. The disturbing signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appears to be defective. Fatal flaws in our imbalanced democracy are on display every day as the poor, the weak, the unemployed and the homeless struggle to eke out a living.

These monumental disparities are a serious threat to the international order. No nation on earth can afford to sustain such a diabolical distortion without facing it’s grim consequences. During 2021, aggression and brutal conflicts came to characterise our social, economic and religious systems and many have sadly succumbed to the view that such behaviour is intrinsic to human nature and therefore ineradicable. 

Pharmaceutical giants took control of world events in 2021, with their wealth and their immense political power. Pfizer today is a global political player and its insane profit margins in producing Covid vaccines is indeed a crime against humanity and a blight on corporate behaviour. Viruses in various forms have dominated and directed world events with frightening propensity, be they biological as with Covid-19, a digital virus as with malware or that religious virus dubbed fascism.

In a world divided by powerful factions, tolerance is a necessity to avoid future conflict. During 2021, volcanic eruptions were recorded in many parts of the world. Climate change unleashed massive flooding in every corner of the globe. 2022 will be a defining year for mankind.

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Farouk Araie

Farouk Araie writes regularly to the Mail & Guardian from Actonville in Benoni

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