Solidarity is more valuable than sympathy

Those having explored the functionality of the human mind insist that the worst thing one could do is to feel sorry for oneself. I find this to be absolutely true because such a person would be totally ignorant of his own identity. The person would be stuck in assuming that he/she would be the physical body that would be fast deteriorating to old age. The person would be counting the number of years that he would have lived, but unable to see the value of such toiling existence. This makes it the reason why some people end up deciding to terminate their own lives, adding to the statics of suicidal cases.

But the story would be different when appreciating the meaning of being created in God’s image. Each time Jesus had been called to handle problems that his followers encountered He would declare in no uncertain terms: “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” (Mark 9:19) (NIV). His frustration had always been aroused by their failure to appreciate the image in whose reality they were caused to exist. This is why Christ would say they were of an unbelieving generation.

Having been born to exist in this physical life requires enslaving the physical body, like mad, without ever feeling sorry at all. Our corporeal existence in physical bodies is one of the things that certainly make our physical bodies important. Nevertheless, the purpose of the physical body is to serve that which is spiritual, not the other way round. That would be the only reason for one to have had an opportunity to make a difference in a world of insanity. This requires sacrificing the same physical body for service and commitment to serving other fellow human beings.

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Most of our failures result from the idea of self-pity, connected with whatever the person would have experienced in life. The person may begin to give all sorts of excuses and blaming others for causing bad things to happen to him. What makes all this silly is that the person would be oblivious of the power that would be inherent in him. Every human being was created in God’s image. The idea of feeling sorry for oneself, comes from the state of fear, due to mysticism associated with death. But death is applicable, only to that which is of physical nature, not that which was created in God’s image.

A human being is spiritual, just as God is Spiritual. The real person who is the “I AM,” should never feel sorry for himself because he is indomitable. He cannot be limited to do anything, as long as he wills to do whatever he considers being the right thing to do. It is unnecessary to listen to other discouraging or dissenting voices that bring opposing opinions. Some of them, actually, do so in the pretext of being considerate of the person’s problematic condition. Being sorry for a person in apparent trouble, resulting from pursuing his goals, is different from being in solidarity with him in pursuing those goals. If taken as a stable datum, the statement that a human being is a spirit, could be a milestone, in handling all problems of humanity.

Such a commitment requires willingness to go through the most difficult challenges of being opposed by those surrounding the individual. Such people would always impress on that individual to realize that he would be nothing. They would be asking questions like, “Who does he think he is?” They would be laughing at every single moment of his apparent failure, which, obviously serves to make the individual feel defeated and useless. However, that requires a determination of striving to go on, without ever feeling sorry for that individual to succeed in his endeavors.

Those in the business of invalidating such an individual, would themselves be the victims of invalidation by others as well. Unbelievably, they feel threatened, at the imagination of the success being achieved by an individual they would be despising. But such people would not have any reason to feel that way. Surprisingly, even the few who come to encourage him, appear as doing so with an inkling of putting some sympathy towards the individual. They view him as foolishly striving to achieve what appears as insurmountable. They would be encouraging the individual to feel sorry for having gotten into what makes him appear as a laughing stock.

If coming from a suppressive government—which opposes ideas that seek to add value to other people—the individual might be incarcerated in prison. He might, actually, feel sorry for those failing to see a bigger picture, under those circumstances, than feeling sorry for himself. Put yourself in the shoes of Nelson Mandela, for instance. He had to spend twenty-seven years in prison, yet clear of what he was doing, in His conscience. There is always confusion in terms of what constitutes love. The worst enemies of Nelson Mandela, during his time in prison, were those sending messages of sympathy to him. Such people would be appearing as though showing consideration and sympathy, stating that they feel sorry for his terrible condition. “Poor old Mandela,” they would portray.

This would impress on making Nelson Mandela think more about himself than the cause of his incarceration in prison. However, his true friends would have been those feeling motivated by his incarceration. Such people would be sending messages of solidarity, rather than messages of sympathy. Actually, those people who would also be looking forward to being incarcerated like him, someday. The noble cause of fighting apartheid ought to have been viewed as the best thing, even during those worst time s of brutality, perpetrated by the white supremacists. But more so, let us connect this with what the apostle Peter said of enduring suffering for the gospel:

“But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. ‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds, you have been healed.’” (1 Peter 2:20-24) (NIV)

The brothers of Jesus are those having surrendered their bodies for the sake of the gospel, which is good news about God’s Kingdom. Like Nelson Mandela, those Christians would also need messages of solidarity and whatever is necessary to accomplish the mission before them. They would be considering it as undesirable to protect the physical body, as if more important than the Spirit. The aim should be to accomplish what the person considers to be right, for the advancement of the gospel. There is no other purpose for our survival, in this world. This is the only resolve that makes a difference, even during these terrible times of Coronavirus. The apostle Paul also made similar affirmation, for us to take a leaf, as we are also not to be separated from the afflictions of the apostle Paul:

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake, we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39) (NIV).

Zimbabwe needs people who are able to stand for the task of fighting for the just cause. Obviously, we hear of Christians who insist that Christians should be docile, just watching, while the politicians do what is wrong. Such Christians insist on supporting such kleptocratic rulers and doing nothing, on assumption that God approves of their evil conduct. This is why I recently commended Mike Auret of the Roman Catholic Church, aware of those vehemently demonizing Catholicism. During Gukurahundi most of the Christian religious people, looked the other side when people in Matebeleland were being massacred. They could not oppose the carnage prevailing at that time.

Those Christians sought to protect their own lives, instead, rather than being identified with those being massacred, without justifiable reasons. My own feeling is that there are numerous Christian administrators in our midst, but not willing to associate with politics. They view themselves as being smart and wise when protecting their own physical lives. They would, actually, be oblivious of what Jesus said in Matthew 10:39. This confirms the fact that as long as any person seeks to protect himself without being valuable to others, such a person would be valueless. How can one be right when seemingly supporting the insane, who do not care about human life? Such dubious Christians, actually, use some Scriptures that appear as supporting them in their warped thinking.

How could God agree with a Christian who closes his eyes and ears when other people get treated like animals? Politics has been so stigmatized that it is not possible to mention the word without being misconstrued as being one of the criminal politicians. But the most important thing for any Christian to be focused on is answering the question on people’s welfare. There is no need to be blind when considering what is happening in Zimbabwe, whether anyone describes it as politics or not. This has got nothing to do with the type of Church uniform the person wears, or which Church the person belongs to. It is about service towards the downtrodden, who would be desperately in need of help. This is why Jesus was ever busy helping people when He was on this planet.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” (Matthew 25:41-45) (NIV).

Our physical bodies in this life can only be best used when serving other fellow humans. There is a need to encourage one another towards that cause, rather than each of us being encouraged to focus on own personal interests. This addresses the aspect of conscience, more than it is to do with customs, traditions, and religion. Each person ought to be asking the question concerning his/her sacrifice and what it is that makes other people celebrate his or her existence in that environment?

This calls for his or her individual answering to the question: “In all my existence on this planet are most people glad that I live? This question would be in contrast with the one that answers the demonic one: “In all my toiling on this planet, have I been happy that I live?” The first one deals with the fundamental issues on the purpose of human survival. While the second one underlines the reason why we are stuck with an inexplicable corrupt government system and why there is so much suffering in Zimbabwe.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

The Print copy is now available at for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at  for $6.99