Times of Malta: In this modern and technologically advanced world, we see that technology has taken over every field of our social and economic activity. Even religious activities are also being carried out through technological means. Different modes of technology and modern means of communication have become integral parts of our everyday life. It is hard to deny the importance and benefits of the modern day technological advancements.
However, it is also a fact that there are people who misuse these mediums and are always there to spread fear, misinformation and disrespect. We also encounter the attempts of abusive language and behaviour on a daily basis. The question is how to counter such insulting behaviour? How to limit the effects of such offensive language on the people who are on the receiving end? What remedy should one apply at any such inevitable and undesired experience?
Indeed, love and true sympathy are the very antidotes of every form of abuse and hatred and can serve as an effective weapon and instrument for a harmonious and prosperous society.
However, it is a grave misfortune that compassion and human values are fast diminishing. Thus it makes it extremely imperative and incumbent upon us all, not just those of good nature and faith, that we increase our dose of love, affection, sympathy and kindness, to such an extent that it prevails and overcomes all forms of malice and spite.
I truly believe that love is such a powerful weapon that when sincerely utilised, it touches the heart and soul of others. It is such an instrument that has proved itself time after time throughout human history.
So why should we not utilise this weapon today? I think we should utilise it manifold, because to uproot a deep-rooted ailment a higher dose of medication is required. When malicious comments and remarks are widely spread throughout the internet, when a virus is causing such severe damage, to secure our well-being and dignity, extremely higher doses of this jab called ‘love and compassion’ are essential.
The advice of an expert and wise surgeon to his or her cancer patient would always be to counter the ailment head on, otherwise the cancer may spread all over the body and thus result in a casualty. Similarly, if we want that the cancer of hatred should not infiltrate our societies and bring them to a standstill, we must increase our sober voices and decent actions for promoting compassion, sympathy, dignity and respect.
I would like to conclude with a story that truly reflects that love is more powerful than hatred. In fact, we can conquer the strong bastions and fortresses of hatred and malice through love and compassion.
It is a story of an imam and a pastor. They were both bitter enemies leading opposing armed militias in their conflict-ridden communities in northern Nigeria. Due to the conflicts between the Muslims and Christians, hundreds of people died and thousands suffered the consequences of such a divisive and war-torn area.
Their story got a positive turn when a meeting was arranged between the two leaders by a journalist in 1995. This became a beginning of a journey from hatred and violence towards forgiveness and healing. They started building trust between each other and this positive journey continued and eventually, they became good friends. They had won against hatred and together they were able to build harmonious, peaceful and compassionate communities.
Undoubtedly, love between two human beings is more powerful than the hatred between two communities.
Let us make compassion, benevolence and merciful love our hallmark and a part and parcel of our everyday life to conquer the ever-increasing hatred and abuse. Let us choose love not hate.