By Samuel Orekoya
All around the world, there have been renewed calls for parleys, for rendezvous and tete-a-têtes. To bring together people of varying opinions, shedding their individual personalities and preferences to adopt a collective goal and reach a pre-determined conclusion. This is the righteous diplomacy of the 21st century. The exact nature of this diplomacy is not known; deals are known to have taken places in churches, mosques, restaurants and offices, officially and unofficially.
This righteous diplomacy of the 21st century is a diplomacy which will attempt to mask the primordial instincts of man. The instincts which say fight or flight. This diplomacy of the 21st century tries to find the grey between the black and white, the neutrality between the victor and the loser, the neutrality of war.
The diplomacy of this modern man intends to break down our primal instincts; the very nature of our existence, that which all culture, behaviour and action has been built on. Indeed, is it not these instincts that have birthed religion? Wars, culture and power? Far be it that I would be called an anti-moderate. For I delight in the steady progress man makes! There now exists, a collective effort, to deconstruct the basic pieces of the primal instinct, to reform and rebuild, in a manner best suited to the builder.
These builders, who must not be named, then say to us, that we are at a juncture, one auspicious for the progress and further construct of man, a moment which would allow for the natural evolution of man, one in which our subsequent actions, desires and characteristics will be determined not by 2 instincts long encoded in our DNA millions of years ago, but by those, formed from habits, interactions, consultations and projections formed in our enlightened mind.
They say we will no longer war or run, but will begin to take actions for reasons which are just, upright and morally uplifting; for posterity, for our children, for the future of our race and the future of our planet.
This 21st century diplomacy, so noble and considerate, makes a fatal error in its quest. It forgets about the nature of man. It trivialises humanity’s greed and sense of self importance. It forgets about the nonchalance of man. The nonchalance in Darfur, The cries of the children in Syria, The weeping of the girls in Nigeria, The stench of the 2000 dead in Baga, and the horror of the 7 dead in France.
The 21st century man walks in solidarity; 100 world leaders, linked arm to arm, 100 metres they walk, to show that we are one, to show that ‘I am Charlie’. The carpenter in Baga, walks slowly, as he gazes upon the destruction, the bodies of friend and foe, strewn far and near. He walks without registration or contemplation, as only one thought occupies him. His wife and kids are gone and his existence now seems nought. He hears the news on the radio, the world leaders are marching, to say that we are one, to say that ‘I am Charlie’. He shakes his head in regret as he walks off in contemplation.
The nonchalance of man, more powerful a foe than thought, must be fought with all resolve. Our basic thoughts and conducts must therefore be rethought. The 21st century man has said that we are one, but I see that one is not for all. One has been redefined, to select and elect, those that possess mutual interests and resources. One will give and take, court and flirt, before it takes you into its fold.
The little boy in Syria, sat in the ambulance, staring eerily into the distance, replaying events past. ‘Mother was serving lunch, brother was talking to me, and father read the papers. My fork quavered in my hand, as i listened to my brother’s tales. He had seen the ‘no more’ planes. Why where they called ‘no more’ planes I asked? ‘Because once you see them, you see ‘no more’ my brother replied. My brother spoke about the coalition planes. The help which was to redeem us, now was fearful to my nation. The bogey man wouldn’t get you, the ‘no more’ planes would.
I shivered and looked at my mother, in the solemn expectation that she would rebuke my brother, for scaring me silly. And then I felt a boom, and a sense of impending doom. All went black, I didn’t see, i didn’t know and i didn’t feel. As I felt myself fade away, one thought resounded, the ‘no more’ planes have got us. Alas, it was not my turn to fade, and I heard voices and I felt hands. I was raised from the rubble and i saw flashes. Cameras were clicking, people were shouting, the floor beneath was moving.
A man picked me up, and said that he was Red Cross and all will be well, he sat me in the ambulance and said that he would be back. My head hurt badly, and I touched it to soothe it, but I felt a strange wetness, my head was covered in blood. The kind man came back, and told me my brother was no more, but that all will still be well, help was on the way.
I sat and i stared. Will the help bring back my brother? Will the help save my people? I stared for my brother and i stared for my people.
The nonchalance of man, will break instead of make, the dreams of all people. The nonchalance of man, will make all come to naught. Humanity must think as one, live as one and be united. Humanity must not, and cannot be extinguished. We must care, and void ourselves of partiality when we help and become greater united. Humanity must acquire knowledge, from the past and present, as we have endured unnecessary and tumultuous hardships from generation immemorial. We must learn from within and then without, and use our knowledge to form a shield of protection and a sword of advancement to take us to previously unimagined levels and to renew our zeal and give the whole of humanity, a renewed sense of purpose and commitment, to know what we live for.
Samuel Orekoya is a Public Affairs Analyst.