The Value of Life
Life is sacred and needs to be safeguarded. The story of Abel and Cain in Genesis chapter four helps us to understand the ramifications associated to destroying one’s life.
In his pastoral visit in Bogotá, Colombia, on the September 7 2017, Pope Francis reminded Colombian Christians, and non-Christians, about their commitment to protecting human life at all its stages. Today we live in a society in which if two parties enter into disagreement or dispute, the stronger party exerts all its energy into terminating the life of the other.
The recent killings in Kenya could been avoided if we each had or were a concerned neighbour.
It is worth saying that the perpetrators of most of these violent murders are men. That is why men need to be reminded of their responsibility as first human beings to be created. Men are considered to be the head of family. If they do not have good qualities, it means that even the family is threatened.
The experts in psychology and counselling fields interviewed in this issue pointed out that murder is a fruit of frustration. Frustration not only of a system where ‘mighty ones’ impose hardship on ‘weaker ones’ but also of series of things such as money, property and power that culminate in killings.
Others think that the growing numbers of violent murders are also due to the depression. If our society wants to reduce these killings, I think that institutions of higher learning should invest more on forming professional psychologists and counsellors. Their role will be to accompany people affected by dysfunctional behaviour, mental illness and depression. The government should also create more structures which can accommodate people with dysfunctional behaviour.
The Archdiocese of Nairobi has come up with the Beacon Boy’s Program (BBP) that aims at rescuing, guiding, empowering and training the boy child to become a leader. This program targets young males within age bracket of 9 and 17, and it is conducted by the Catholic Men Association from each parish.
This formation program goes through four phases: Spiritual Connection based on the knowledge of the Bible, Cultural Process in which the boy child is taught the roots of African culture and Christianity as the superior culture, Life Skills where the boy child is taught to avoid the peer pressure. Finally, is the social empowerment phase. In this, the boy child is taught the moral, ethical and social values, and guided to know his position in the society.
If this program is embraced and emulated in all the dioceses in Kenya, there will be less cases of homicide in our streets, families and villages.
I would like to accentuate that life is the most ultimate gift from God and therefore it needs to be respected. Killing another person does not take away one’s frustrations. It rather creates more frustrations to the killer.
Fr André Nzuzi, imc