The Sunday News
Eng David, Muchatiza
A WISE man once wrote: These are times that try men’s soul. What would he have said if he was here to witness the social delinquency of our time, resulting in low living standards, crime and politically sponsored violence, empowered by corruption at almost all levels? The foregoing drives a nail of remorse into mind, morality and mind-renewal beckons, greed clings; but what do we yield?
Scholars and social commentators over time have analysed the current socio-political malady in our polity; many have blamed it on corruption, weak or limited rule of law, poor parental upbringing, greed, system of governance, and more recently: the “Todira Jecha Musadza” campaign.
Nevertheless, it is pertinent to understand that the aforementioned contending issues in our polity are not age-related. Thus, it is a fact that age has nothing to do with corruption, greed, and other contending issues. However, the importance of youthful vigour, intelligence, exposure, and innovations, cannot be over-emphasised because the youths are the future, and they ought to take part in shaping that future.
The purpose of this article is to approach the socio-political challenges we have found ourselves going through holistically, irrespective of age, tribe, religion, and ethnic background, our challenges such as: poverty, insecurity, corruption etc are homogenous; consequently they are present in every Zimbabwean village/town, religion, tribe, and ethnic group.
It is rather saddening that, in spite of numerous moral educations, religious educations, workshops, seminars, school programmes, campaigns, the society has shown no sense of improvement. Could it be that people have not been listening? Or they have not been proactive? Time and again, those who profess to be good seem to clearly outnumber those who are evil, yet those who are evil seem to prevail far too often. The problems we face are as a result of the dominant negative lessons we have learnt from the society, and it has affected our general mindsets.
National development, rule of law, good governance, morality, tolerance, security, and equity, would be achieved when we choose to first renew our minds, then we can begin to engage the counteractive measures that have once failed due to poor mindset. In respect of the foregoing, it is important for every Zimbabwean to employ morality in our disposition, begin to work for the good of all (utilitarianism), eliminate greed, with a renewed mind. Accordingly, if renewal of mind is the solution we seek, then, how do we renew our minds?
The process of mind renewal has its base in socialisation. In order to fully renew our minds, we must restructure our societal curriculum by resetting our priorities. We have long lost our priorities by worshipping riches, and encouraging people to amass wealth by any means available; legal or illegal.
The importance of money cannot be overemphasised, however, should it be amassed at the expense of others, by putting their lives, comfort, and future in jeopardy? In the pursuit of power, authority, fame, and respect, people have committed themselves to ugly atrocities.
However, the leadership, despite being products of the society, because of their refusal to change the corrupt status quo, must take the first step by creating an enabling environment for the renewal of minds. It is difficult to renew the minds of people in a society where, criminals are celebrated, morality is being perceived as foolishness, unemployment rate is alarming, there is poor parental upbringing, food insecurity, low income, and widespread of poverty.
Therefore, if every Zimbabwean child, irrespective of gender and financial status, has access to universal basic education, every Zimbabwean graduate has access to employment, every Zimbabwean family has shelter, food, clean water, uninterrupted power supply, and fulfil every section on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, only then can our minds be renewed, and we will then put to work the lessons of the numerous moral education, religious education, workshops, seminars, school programmes, campaigns, we have learnt.
Mind renewal cannot be attained in a rotten polity, the change and improvements we seek can only happen when the polity becomes conducive for mind renewal.
– Eng David Muchatiza can be contacted on [email protected]/0777260775