Easter: a time of pain and hope

Poverty is on the rise and inequality has reached unprecedented levels, even in the developed world.

No-one expected a world with so many intelligent minds and with such abundant methods of communication between them to decline in such a manner, in spite of our astonishing technological advancements.

As members of this race we thought that science would do it all; that if we allowed erudition and research to take a leading role in shaping our lives, it would eradicate poverty and carve a more equal landscape.

However, more than 200 years after the Age of Enlightenment, wars continue to dominate events around the world, conflicts linger unresolved, and the trading of arms as well as the plundering of natural resources continue unabashed.

“It is not the fault of science – how could you expect it to fix everything?” one might exclaim.

That is precisely the point: we need more than scientific advancement to better the lives of people.

We need values that guide us as to how to use science and technology, how to distribute wealth equally across the globe, and how to stand firmly against policies that protect only the interest of those with financial might. Only then can we realise the dream of a more equal, just society.

The legend of Christ and the values he strived to implement must be revived. They must not be regarded as ‘old’ or antiquated ideals. People are people and the scruples that govern their interactions are the same – whether they live in the 21st or the 1st century, whether they use coal, wind or nuclear power as their primary energy source.

Universal ideals surpass time and place: be it for our parents or our children; or be it in the Levant or in London. Principles must never be dented or eroded by any force. What was noble in the eyes of Christ and others who forged a better way is still noble today. What was evil at that time, should still be viewed as such.

One may argue against this by using slavery as an example. The practice of human subjugation was acceptable in the past and humanity has only recently developed to reject it. Yet the likes of Christ never viewed slavery as a good thing – the practice was always wrong in their eyes. It us up to the people – to us – to transform those higher moral standards into reality.

Easter and Lent come this year to a world full of pain and suffering. Their arrival is timely. They bring back hope; hope in the people themselves. As we reflect on the life of Christ and the principles that he called for – whether or not we view him as a religious figure – people of faith and none can find the morality that the world needs the most in this period.

The values of Christ – and Hussain ibn Ali – are what people really need to effect change in a world that needs it more than ever before.

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