The relevance of the present time factor

The observed status of any condition is an accumulation of the effects of past activities but is also a reminder of future realities. This typifies the natural laws governing this universe. All problems are a result of ignoring the laws of cause and effect. There is nothing that appears, without being caused. This suggests that whatever causes anything to appear signifies existence. The value of any person is determined by the product of his actions.

It doesn’t matter whether a person causes a disaster or causes the magnificent construction of beneficial objects. The relevance of existence is in observed products and the impact thereof. With a matchstick strike, a person can burn the vast landscape to charcoal. Unless known for having caused observable effects, whether good or bad, one would be considered to be of no significance. The person would be notorious when producing harmful conditions; but famous when causing favourable conditions for humanity.

The relevance of a person who causes harmful effects on others is in imposing the experience in handling bad effects. The purpose of life in this world is to provide service to humanity. Criminals are a special group, in need of education more than deserving to be incarcerated. Their presence should facilitate innovative ideas in the field of education. In other words, the existence of criminals provides educators with opportunities to improve the educational curricula.

No human is ever born being criminal. The service to humanity cannot be limited to providing food and shelter. Human service includes welfare and education. A criminal, who strikes a match to burn the vast landscape, whether out of ignorance or deliberate, needs rehabilitation, but more so, education. Hence, this world needs educators more than other fields of service.

The cause of being uneducated needs addressing, rather than being ignored. Whose responsibility could have been the education of the arsonist? A human being is more valuable than being limited to a condition of criminality. A society that sits in the comfort of blaming others is responsible for the current problems. The impact of the law of cause and effect includes not educating those in need of education. Avoiding doing what is expected; causes negative effects on the environment. All the current problems are caused by doing or not doing something in the past.

Today’s actions have a direct impact on future conditions. The prevailing conditions are an impact of past actions. What exists today can be corrected but not the actions that caused the present effects. A person can analyse what could have been done but not done. It is impossible to change what caused current effects, except by changing what is currently observed.

An imbecile, who throws a stone that shutters glasses next door, may be caught, but unable to restore broken glasses. History is used for analyzing and correcting past behaviors, rather than for maintaining positive achievements. Some people enjoy sitting in the comfort of past achievements. That is retrogressive— keeping the person in the past rather than in the present time. Remaining in memories creates tomorrow’s negative effects.

While past achievements may have been relevant in creating present-time effects, past achievements have no relevance in creating future effects. This may be the most important datum to change the behaviour of humanity. We are what we are today, due to the activities of yesterday. But the effects of yesterday are the necessary fuel to change the future for the better. Negative past conditions can be used as experience to shape the future.

Positive achievements serve as capital investment to mould a better future. The unknown future is shaped by today’s activities, whether positive or negative. The gift of life is an endowment, deserving to be properly dispensed for a better future. This implies investing in effective education for future generations, or even for more significant reserves whose ultimate effect is God’s Kingdom.

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The love of money bears no relevance for the future. The children inheriting wealth from rich parents face more challenges than those left without inheritance. The parent may have been considered to be a good investor. But that investment created problems for the children, having to fight over the inheritance. Jesus categorized the idea of such investment, as foolish.

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ (Luke 12:13-20 NIV)

The definition of investment for the future does not include the accumulation of wealth. The accumulation of wealth is spurred by desiring to look important among one’s peers. Otherwise, it is as foolish as creating future problems. The person, who sought Jesus’ intervention over his greedy brother, reveals problems arising from wealth accumulation.

The man who died, leaving wealth behind for his children, created problems, rather than solutions, for his children. The parable confirms this as being another definition of stupidity. The person concentrated on the accumulation of wealth that left children fighting, rather than teaching his children to take responsibility in the business of livingness. Would it not have been better, if that man had invested in educating his children?

With education, the children would have not only known how to support themselves but would have also understood tomorrow’s responsibilities. A person is not born to create money but is born to solve problems. In Zimbabwe we have a syndrome of the so-called Gold Mafia, looting the country’s resources. Zimbabwe is blessed with a lot of minerals.

Out of greed, some few thieves have abused those mineral resources and, supposedly deprived citizens. This brings us to the legendary question of Which is more important, between humans and minerals? The majority of Zimbabweans assume that we are poor because of those greedy characters comprising the Gold Mafia. That statement is twenty-five per cent true, but seventy-five per cent false, due to the following reasons:

The twenty-five per cent truth acknowledges that those thieves are, indeed to blame. But this is weakened when considering that those thieves ascended to power due to the failure to take responsibility by complainants. Someone may blame all this on the 2017 military coup, but, still, that does not hold. People matched in massive numbers to facilitate that coup.

Another scenario is that without governmental structures, people are susceptible to killing each other with pangas when scrambling for gold. Decent people know how dangerous the makorokoza (artisanal mining businesses) can be. I wouldn’t dare go for that business, even if given a mine for free. Thousands of people have perished, mercilessly, through the Makorokoza business ventures. Those involved cannot even plan for their future, except scrounging to feed their families, under such dangerous mine shafts.

Before the white settlers, Africans ignorantly co-existed with those mineral resources but failed to take advantage of such minerals’ existence. Anyone can create emotional hatred against white settlers, without questioning what those Africans were doing with such minerals, before the settlers. There is a difference between greed and wisdom. Greed symbolizes foolishness, according to Jesus.

A human being is more valuable than minerals. That ought to be the starting point. However, without education, humans are worse than mineral resources. Hence, the affirmation that seventy-five per cent represents falsehood in that general poverty is caused by thieves. Whichever way one looks at it, the blacks were poorer, before the whites came, but with unexplored huge tracks of mineral resources.

Copying the greediness of the whites is not the answer to African problems but perpetuating their misery. The consideration of being more valuable than mineral resources is the only answer. That consideration restores African dignity. This was advocated by Jesus, to those desiring to attain freedom from being manipulated by others.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV).

Such Scriptural references cannot be taken seriously by those of this world. They vilify them as having caused random colonial looting of mineral resources. Such Scriptures can also be blamed for the current inactivity by most Africans. The derision is that Africans spend most of their time following miracle crusaders rather than creating wealth, which is true, to some extent. The only problem is that it includes the falsehood that causes such people to continue under the yoke of ignorance.

The ultimate value associated with wisdom is the Heavenly treasure. Stupidity is associated with wealth accumulation, according to Jesus. The value of a person ought to be viewed as more significant than mineral resources. Education is necessary, before reaching the condition of significance in life. However, not all education is essential. A person who gets educated to make money is not different from the makorokozas. Life is about the preservation of integrity and nothing else.

Let us consider a person waking up to evaluate his current status. He puts no value in past mistakes, although having learnt something from such mistakes. He aims at creating better conditions for the future. Rather than concentrate on wealth accumulation, he concentrates on making himself valuable, under the circumstances. The definition of value is in benefitting others.

Every human is born with special talent; eroded along the way, due to focusing on falsehoods. The person may need some training to restore his inborn capabilities. At least, he would be alive to measure his current value. Age may have caught up with him, but there certainly would be something to identify with his/her abilities. He asks the question of what could be done for his fellow humans.

Value-addition is not about self-benefit, but benefitting other people. What can one do to benefit his fellow men? This could include narrating his valuable life experiences whose impact could enable younger generations to adopt in shaping the future. At the present time, it means the condition of someone who becomes conscious of currently being alive.

That person realizes that his worth is more significant than any mineral object. That is the truth of all ages. The person was born to be the only one of his kind, known only by God. His identity alone motivates him to rise from his slumber. He realizes that there is none like him, in the entire universe. He may have been severely bruised by suppressive elements, specializing in invalidating other people in the environment.

Because there is no one like him/her in the entire universe, it becomes impossible for him/her to succumb to suppression. He would have become aware of this datum, at the point of his awakening. In his endeavour to selflessly serve other people, that person majestically shapes his future. There is no reason to regret about past mistakes except to pick up the pieces and move on. Wasting time regretting past mistakes is unnecessary.

Each person is a giant in his own right, unknown by anyone else, except by God. This is why Jesus indicated that the knowledge of being God’s child is the real foundation of Christianity. Jesus was the Christ. But each of us was created to be whoever we are but known only by God. The person needs only to stop the idea of imitating other people and become oneself. That person does not even need to become like Jesus, except to be what God created him/her to be.

The person cannot fantasize about the unknown future. Dwelling on the experiences of the past, whether good or bad, and pursuing useless achievements is also unnecessary. The most valuable obsession is to pick up significance, after realizing being oneself. This means concentrating on the purpose for which God created the person. A human being is invaluable and cannot be compared with anything in the physical universe. The challenges faced are a result of not knowing one’s identity.

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. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

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