Analysis: KABAMBA MWANSA
THE two natural attributes of God are that He is love and truth. Love and truth are the two faculties that God shares with the rest of humanity by creating them in His image and likeness.
In His love “God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27. Therefore, within the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of human beings there exist truth and love. Then acting contrary to the two realities of love and truth is analogous to acting against human nature. That is why in most circumstances, lies or hate are more strenuous acts which require extra amount of energy for they are against a well- formed conscience of human beings’ DNA.
Truth and love are natural entities of human existence; hence they just flow without any caprice. Truth and love lead humanity to self-fulfilment for they are faculties imbued in the nature of human beings. In truth and love, one’s purpose of existence is actualised. As read in the Scriptures, truth sets one free. Truth sets before human beings an environment where humanity can multiply since oftentimes the truth permeates the innermost of our being and resonates in each one of us the desire to share it with love regardless of its cost. Truth and love make human beings to grow in maturity; maturity in realising the God aspect and in recognising their human original identity.
Advancing authentic relationship through love, truth and respect on social media
Love is a passionate affection for another person; it is an intense personal attachment and a strong enthusiasm or liking which is said to be a score of zero in tennis. Social media can advance relationships between people through the expression of the gestures of love, not hate. Love is profoundly tender, hence at the heart of love there is a demand for tenderness to our fellow human being. Therefore, in the use of social media either, individually or institutionally, there is a need to come to the awareness that the seed of God’s love is planted in the heart of everyone, through the love of our fellow human being which should keep on growing. The love of fellow human beings can transform the lives of other people. For instance, when one discovers that he/ she is loved by others in the social media fraternity, they gain a sense of belonging to the society regardless of the relationship. One gains confidence and comes to know who they are, discovers and carry on the society’s identity. Love is godly and all-embracing. So people should love one another equally even as we interact through social media. Since love multiplies and frees a person, through social media platforms it can set one’s eyes towards the other and sees oneself and what is missing in oneself and appreciate what one has.
Social media can be used as a very important instrument of sharing love and truth. It makes easy the exposition of love and truth in communication. Through the use of social media, you will never be a victim of love but a victim of lies because love will never imprison you but will give you the freedom of expression. The abuse of social media can again demonstrate the other side of abusing freedom. The manipulation of truth, the propaganda of lies and the delivering of corrupt information is part of abuse of one’s own nature.
Respect is a feeling or attitude of admiration and deference toward somebody or something. The state of being admired differently is in many circumstances an expectation of everyone in the society. The old adage puts it explicit that giveth respect is the respect earned. There is unnegotiable respect towards every person regardless of his/ her deeds, and that is the spirit we need to inculcate in each one of us in the use of social media. When respect is at the centre of the society, the dignity of all members is therefore constantly re-affirmed, and young people gradually learn to accept more and more responsibilities. Ultimately, the equality of dialogue embedded with respect in our society will determine whether the good ideas of democracy through social media will actually be of service to genuine human development.
There is a grave responsibility to exercise wise discernment on how we use social media as a nation, for the decisions made will be decisive for shaping the nation of tomorrow and that of future generations. Thus, if we want a more secure future, one that encourages the prosperity of all and a moral fibre in the young, it is necessary to keep the compass continually oriented towards truth, respect and love.
Even as we empower, challenge and find solutions to the problems of our time, there is a need to realise that the dignity of human beings should be at the centre in the use of social media. Social media is there to enhance human life by a simplified way of communication. According to Pope Francis, “It is a moral imperative, a responsibility that involves everyone, to create the right conditions to allow each person to live in a dignified manner.” In our case, social media should help us become more accountable of one another with a view to extending respect, love and truth to each other. It is very disappointing to see people committing suicide out of public humiliation and discrimination.
There are so much negativities on social media platforms which are putting before humanity many barriers of injustices, of loneliness, of distrust and of suspicions which are still being elaborated in our day. The world of social media is called upon to be at the service of humanity and to the protection of our human rights rather than lies, hate speeches, corrupt messages and incidences.
It is a moral imperative, a responsibility that involves everyone, to create the right conditions to allow each person to live in a dignified manner and exercise freedom of expression by the use of social media. Hence, let us use social media to enhance human livelihood intelligently and orderly. Let us bear witness to the truth with love, and avoid malicious content of information which degrades our human dignity. Let us also be mindful that what we write on social media platforms is not only intended for entertainment and information but also to educate. Education correlates with developing someone’s abilities in character formation: and if we misinform, we disorient someone’s character, too. By and large, the propaganda of lies through social media sets a bad tone on a developing nation like Zambia.
The author is a pastoral worker.