Wednesday, December 08, 2021
image
Op-Ed

From Betrayal to Integrity : Another Way

1
By EMN Updated: Dec 11, 2013 12:21 pm
A A A

(This article supersedes my first crude draft which was published on 10. 12. 2013 on my fault.)

Kuolachalie Seyie                   

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]istory has shown repeatedly that a morally corrupt person inevitably betrays in one way or another because corruption is the result of self-interest becoming more important than God in a person’s life. The betrayal of his family and the common good of his people and nation start with his betrayal of God and himself. As such divisions have weakened families and society at all levels. Our cities and towns reveal our character as a people. No wonder some foreigners have described them as ‘just mud and dust’ after visiting Kohima and Dimapur.

There must be another way. One may have great ideas in the head and plans on paper to develop a state or country with sustainable economy or even to build a new world order. But without new people with unselfish motives that reject the corrupt ways that have become acceptable today, and with commitment to fight for change, the ideas cannot be implemented.  We must see what ‘can be done’ to the present crisis and act rather than stay with it as it is. Capacity or ability is just our sincere and committed ‘state of mind’. How much good we can do for our society depends on how much we can wholeheartedly think we can do. When you really believe you can do more or better, your mind thinks creatively and shows you the way.  Believing in a solution paves the way to the solution. Eliminate the word “impossible” from your mind. Don’t let tradition paralyze your mind. Be receptive to fresh approaches. God is interested in our crisis.  ‘Know thyself’ does not mean to only know our negative selves but also to know the latent potentialities. The ‘We-can-do- or-live-better’ philosophy works magic.

In order that the new Naga society does not remain just a romantic vision, we must transform ourselves into a people who can truthfully trust and commit to each other. This confidence can only be built in a people of strict integrity and commitment who are not swept off by immediate selfish indulgence and moral corruptions. A morally corrupt man will always try to achieve his personal goals or pleasures without first paying the price in pain or would not bother that his selfish actions jeopardize the ‘sacred right’ of another person. This is illicit pleasure, the product of unbridled liberty and absolute individual autonomy that undermine the moral convictions and ethical philosophies without which sustainable and fair growth of society is impossible.

We the Nagas are too carelessly creating problems by not guarding our originality, integrity and culture which reveal and protect our identity. We do not care to evaluate and respect genuine God-fearing leaders, but promptly follow leaders who are guided by self- interest. We thus enable them to become stumbling blocks to positive change, progress and development. Naturally if you want anything for yourself selfishly, everything goes wrong with you in whatever you do. As such our problems – socio-economic, political and spiritual, health and education remain unsolved. And the core

issue seems to be our lack of integrity and our casualness about the consequences of illegitimate pleasures. There has to be another way if we are to survive as a people and a nation and go forward in the world with dignity and self-respect.

The Naga society today seems to be under a famine of truth, mutual trust, fair play and justice. We hide behind a façade of arrogance displaying a soul-less culture of get- rich- quick-by-any-method regardless of the harm done to our society and our own character. Highly questionable short-cuts adopted to draw money doing practically nothing are now accepted as normal, and too many have come to think we cannot survive without government jobs, contracts or extortion. This results in too many people chasing very few government posts and contracts, followed by fighting, rampant corruption, creating animosities among ourselves ending often in fratricide. What is most important in a situation like ours is to nurture the “human element” by healing the souls and hurts in individuals which enables them to find the right attitude and direction.

The good news is that crisis means danger and opportunity as the ancient Chinese taught. If we will learn to apply absolute integrity and sincerity to deal with our weaknesses and failures which are producing our crisis, we turn our crisis into our opportunity for change and growth. And the danger is thus made our strength. So let us convert our crisis or weaknesses into our opportunities and strengths through reconciliation with courage, integrity and faith in God. In this connection the open air evening crusade launch by Sinai Ministry wef 1st Dec. 2013 to 10th Dec. 2013 at Kohima can be taken as a relevant example. Cure yourself of excusitis, the dangerous disease of character, believing fully that you can succeed and overcome whatever crisis you may be facing, and you will be surprised by the positive outcome. A person is a product of his own thoughts. Adjust your divine thermostat forward and making your mind work for you and our Naga society wholeheartedly, instead of letting it work against you by self- devaluation.

“Nagaland for Christ” our favourite declaration claims that all Nagas abide by the teachings and principles of Christ we call our Lord and Saviour. It is a covenant between God and us to which we are bounded without choice. How beautiful! But the question is are we true to ourselves or are we decadent and purposeless? Are Christians so unlike Christ as was claimed by M K Gandhi? Let us restore and retain transparency and make “Nagaland for Christ” genuine and a blessing. If not it becomes a curse for us. Truth and integrity cannot be borrowed or purchased; it will have to come out of our lives. Let truth be truth and lies be lies. A person of integrity seeks the truth in all things, and attempts to apply it all the time. Truth simply means that which explains life the best, the exact contrary of betrayal. Truth is that which best explains how life is to be lived, and what life is all about.

1
By EMN Updated: Dec 11, 2013 12:21:14 pm