[Pt. 2] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us

Read “[Pt. 1] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us” here

…When the so-called non-conformists are not engaged in any act, they like to listen to music, especially those songs which express expletive vulgarity. When asked why they like to listen to such songs, they told me such tracks really depict how they feel. But how do they really feel? They feel that the world has neglected them. They think that nobody cares about them.

When they see their colleagues they were in basic school with, who have been able to climb the ladder to higher heights, mostly because they had some people to love and care for them, they begin to perceive how unlucky they have been, or how unfair the world is. They are not likely to vote or take part in any social obligations. Instead, they would invest their energies in building themselves to take back what the society has taken from them.

They can only do this by finding ways of bullying those who are privileged or affluent and taking part of their belongings or money away because such people would not voluntarily give them what they have worked for or in most cases, inherited. They know that when they get some of the things these people have, the society would show them love, at least that’s what the music they listen to, and the movies they watch inform them. That is not to say the music they listen to, or the movies they watch have corrupted their moral beings. It is the robbing of what they need by the society which has corrupted their conscience- the principal coordinator of the moral being.

When you critically examine the principles that govern man as a moral being, it would be clear that, man as a moral being is made up of three or four very distinct, but closely related components, which when not well regulated, could lead to corruption of the mind. These constituents are the desires and the affections including self-love; the will or volitions; the governing moral principles or what is commonly termed conscience; and lastly, the moral relation of man to his deity, or what has been termed religion.

These three or four constituents are one way or the other contingent on one another. An exercise of the will of an individual could be directed towards, first, an action to be performed to others; second, an object to be obtained; both of which are connected to a previously existing mental condition of the individual.  In regard to objects to be obtained, such a person’s mental condition would be that of desire- and that of actions towards others would be affection.

The conscience coordinates the exercise of volitions or the will of a man and how they are influenced by the affections or desires of such a man. Sometimes, the relation between a man and their Deity could regulate how they exercise their volitions. Clearly, it could be inferred that the desires and affections of an individual are the fundamental principles, upon which all other moral constituents build upon. That is to say, the affections or desires are the moving powers from which our actions proceed.

The affections, particularly, have been demonstrated to be that aspect of the moral being that enables an individual to relate with other men. They have been grouped into two, somehow contrasting groups: Uniting affections, including justice, benevolence, veracity, friendship, love, patriotism and domestic affections. Such affections bind a person to the entire community: an individual is obligated to demonstrate such affections towards others. In addition, there are defensive affections, including jealousy, disapprobation, and anger. How these affections are exercised depend largely on how other men exercise their own moral principles on an individual or how an individual perceive the morals of others to be.

If for instance, a person feels that he is part of a larger community because the community exhibits such uniting affection as love towards them, it is likely that such a person would exhibit one of the uniting moral principles, for example, patriotism in return. In a like manner, a person would employ a more defensive affection in response to the reverse situation-when they perceive other humans do not exercise a uniting affection such as love, justice or veracity towards them.

Such is the case of the four persons I interacted with, who do not feel any love, justice or any of the uniting affections from their immediate community or the society at large, so they employ defensive mechanisms resulting from acting on their defensive affections. The defense mechanisms such as bullying others are what society terms vice. But are these really vice or vengeance, serving only as defensive mechanism for those involved in such acts?

I do not intend to applaud these acts, but if our attentions are not directed towards the fundamental cause of them, regardless of how many churches we established, how many religious leaders we train or how large our prisons are, the number of criminals would keep increasing. So we should extend the uniting affections to everyone, especially those who are deprived of them, not because such acts keeps us closer to our Deity, but also such acts makes others feel a sense of belonging to the society.  As we celebrate this month of love, we should all endeavor to show more of the uniting affections to such people, as this is the most likely way to properly do away with acts of bullying and other ruffianisms.

[Pt. 1] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us

What kind of world are we living in where there’re always new motivational speakers, religious leaders, and many more new penitentiaries springing up, yet the number of crimes being committed keep increasing, or at their best, do not decrease? I do not know why this is happening but I know that the presence of this antagonism has been largely due to the inept methods employed in addressing various problems facing our society, especially crimes committed by gangbangers.

Specifically, the primary cause of crimes, especially those involving armed robbery and other brutal ruffianism has not been duly attended to. Motivational speakers talk against these crimes, yet encourage people to be filthy rich in one way or the other, for if this is not the central theme of all such speakers, what then is? Religious leaders keep showering blessings on people who are able to donate significant amounts of money to their respective religious bodies; at the same time encouraging those who can’t do similar to try harder, in one way or the other.

Penitentiaries are being built, or expanded to accommodate the ever increasing number of criminals, but in actuality the function of prison services has not been fully achieved. Do they transform, or reform or they just punish internees? I believe they only punish them, and have no intent to transform or reform them, because you can only transform or reform a person by giving them what they need; and not by depriving them of it. So what do armed robbers, thugs, ruffians and all criminals in general need? They need love.

Visit a secluded part of town that harbors gangs, smokers, and other persons engaged in activities that do not conform to the societal norms or values. You are likely to find people who had no parents to give them that ‘parental love’ or whose parent(s) either died or neglected them along the way. This is not to say that lack of parental care should lead young people to indulge in nonconforming acts, as there have been several people who have flourished in ways that are accepted by the society with little or no parental love whatsoever. I do, by stating the absence of parental love in these places, imply that the cause of the rising tide of ruffianism could be due to the begging for love which is widespread in these areas.

I interacted with four very young adults living in one area in Kumasi noted for breeding all sort of societal nonconformists. One of them, Gabby by name, is addicted to alcohol. According to him, he wants to drink anytime he misses his mum. His mum died when he completed high school, just as he was about to begin his higher education. Due to his mother’s death, he was unable to continue his education because there was no one else to cater for his education. To make matters worse, close relatives that he believed could help him fund his education, disappointed him.

At this point, he lost all hope of possibly achieving his childhood dream that one day he would land a well paying job, and take care of his mother. He has lost his mother, nobody else seems to care about him, and what breaks his heart even more is his inability to continue his education to achieve his childhood dream. The story of the other three is not any different.

The only difference being that, unlike Gabby, their parents are still alive. The parents of one of them are themselves homeless. They hardly eke a living out of the jobs they do, so they left him to fend for himself at a very tender age. He hasn’t seen any of his parents in a long while, at least not after he moved to the ghetto he stays now with his other friends. When I asked them how they survive since they are not engaged in any active job, they couldn’t give any direct answer. However, according to people living around the area, they are engaged in various rotten acts such as bullying passers-by to do away with their belongings…

Read “[Pt. 2] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us” here

An Intimate Letter to God by AlexRepGh

Dear God,

It’s your boy once again. I thought we should talk. Ever since we fought, I’ve been going through hell. Nothing has gone too well. I fill my lungs with smokes, and my belly with hard liquor. My heart is full of hatred, covetousness, and anger, and my brain occupied by thoughts I can barely describe. For instance, whenever I walk down the street and I see a beautiful lady, I only think of how she’d be when she’s without clothes. But when I see half-naked celebrities on TV, I censure them, rain insults at them, and wish evil befall them. At the same time, I wish blessings upon myself and the entire circle around me: family, friends among others, even those who dress just like those people I see on TV. LORD, I’ve been such a hypocrite. Forgive me.

As I write this letter, it’s Sunday but I didn’t go to church. The last time I went to church, I had a nice time. I enjoyed how people danced around, shaking their bum-bums, the youth exhibiting their exuberance, similar to the way people danced when I visited the night club last Saturday. But this time, it’s not at the night club, so it’s fine. And I also witnessed the appeal for funds that went on.

I wish I could describe how I enjoyed it as much as how I didn’t enjoy it. For those who were able to give very large amounts of money, I believe they enjoyed it. Special prayers were said for them, and those who couldn’t give anything were encouraged to do so the next time. But the encouragement was indirectly telling them that it’s very wrong to not give something when you attend church.

The same way that the ‘preacher’ in a public transport would expect you to pay him for telling you to repent from your evil ways. They even expect the ‘trotro mate’ not to charge them for boarding their vehicle. When I want to take something from another person, I would firstly talk about an unrelated issue which would stir the person’s moral feelings. Then being aware of the state of their moral feelings, I would then ask them to give what I really want to ask. Lord guide and guard your children from guilefulness.

Many people pretend to be the lights, but their hearts are filled with darkness. When my heart was filled with darkness, it was your seven stars that shone upon my paths. When I thought I had lost my soul, your word held it, and I found it again. But when I tell the world, they don’t believe it because I do not go to church. Or I do not update my social media pages with words that praise you, words that thank You for saving my life.

But I know YOU know how grateful I’ve been for all the blessings you bestowed upon me, especially throughout the year 2017.
2017 was an amazing year. It started with committing myself to paths I never knew where they’d lead me, but that’s when you told me to have faith. When the road got rough, and everything fell apart, you put my pieces together and made me whole again. In 2018, I don’t wish for a better year, I wish for a year as good as all the other years I’ve lived on this earth. I pray that your wishes come through in the rest of the years of my life.

I will write again.

Yours forever,
AlexRepGh