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Not too late to love thy neighbour

Love thy neighbour: take a leaf from the former British sitcom

I am not one for conspiracy theories, although it is patently obvious that there are too many incidents that are not above board. Like this near imminent war with Iran, which has the air of being so similar to the war on Iraq.

I was never a fan of the “Willie Lynch” theory, even though the symptomology is in many ways undeniable. I just don’t buy the notion that one man on the banks of the James River influenced the culture all over the western hemisphere and the world.

Colonialism was not just a system of exploitation; it was also racially dehumanising. Wherever colonialism existed, it fostered self-hatred among its subjects. Sadly, even among the holocaust stories, the Nazi forced Jews to betray their own, notwithstanding the heroic stands of the many.

The unfortunate reality is that long after colonialism was over, the culture of self-hatred continued unabated — in some cases with righteous impunity. Nowhere is this phenomenon more seen than through the auspices of party politics, where the culture of hatred is part of political strategy and virtually ordained.

While the colonial masters are dead and gone, the legacy continues to work in their absence. They no longer need to hold anyone down because the neocolonialist subjects effectively hold themselves down.

Lies and misinformation told by one generation become the truth on which subsequent generations are built. Mistreatment, ostracisation and alienisation become hand-me-down tools, but then we call that the Willie Lynch syndrome, which removes self-responsibility and accountability. It’s the other guy’s fault. We refuse to embrace that we continue to promote a culture of hatred.

A prominent MP recently said she is witnessing moral decay and a breakdown in society with violence and crime towards one other. While what she says is not to be questioned, the challenge is where to begin to fix it.

This is not a political tool for either party to be hurled across the floor of the House of Assembly; rather it is a burden that rests on everyone’s shoulder and begins with basic civility to your neighbour.

Not your Progressive Labour Party or One Bermuda Alliance neighbour. Not your Christian, Muslim or Buddhist neighbour. Or your gay or straight neighbour. Or your black or white neighbour. But rather to that human being who you come in contact with next door.

We must listen to what everyone has to offer; we can also disagree with them, but the disagreement should be based on merit and not who we think they are or what they represent.

Naturally, if this began at the top, it would be good because what happens at the top cascades to the valley. However, we cannot always wait for the right energy to begin at the top. This can begin in your heart and transcend outward to the very next person you see.

Let’s start a campaign called “Love thy neighbour”. Don’t wait for anyone; start it yourself.