By Nna Anulumadu

A priest of Onitsha archdiocese-cum-parish priest of St Albert the Great Catholic Church, Oraukwu, Rev Fr. Joseph Nkwankwor, recently called on Christians to embrace a life of compassion. His words: “Compassion is a very loud and expressive manifestation of love and care. It is, pre-eminently, the face of love, and in a deep way the true manifestation of God’s image and attribute. It signifies a feeling of deep solidarity with the human race and deep connection with the history of the new man (reborn in Christ).”It is, in a deep sense, a tearful echo of a need for love, care and humaneness.Compassion is what we are invited to imitate today. Our experiences today unfortunately show that men and women are perplexed by questions about current trends in the world, about life today, tomorrow and the next, about how to live well and happily. Men and women, in their struggle to provide themselves and their families with the assurance of a happy today, an assured tomorrow and a hopeful distant time, amass wealth and riches that are far beyond what they need, leaving so many impoverished, hopeless and abandoned. This is the sad narrative of our situation today. So few live in affluence whilst too many live in penury and abject poverty. Yet we are expected to live in peace, love and unity. It is a scam! It is fake because it cannot work; the instinct of survival in the lives of the “too many poor” would rise and fight its way through thereby making it impossible for the “very few wealthy ones” to enjoy their loot.What’s more is that those who have impoverished others are quite unwilling to let go so that the possibility of a new hope and a new order, for the greater number, would materialise. They are unwilling because they are afraid of the looming new order. They are afraid because their hands are not clean.Indeed, the Nigerian situation today typifies a classic case of the picture we have in mind here.  But there is HOPE!There is need for all of us to be sensitive to our collective problems. In truth, every one of us must get involved and be poised to show compassion. It is a sign of showing compassion to the situation of our country if you and I insist today on owning a useful PVC and determining to let our votes count.It is a sign of showing compassion to our situation if we make up our minds today to quantify the cost of our consciences more than anything money can buy, in the coming election. And to vote according to our consciences. Live consciously and be sensitive to others. Live for others believing that they are living for you. (Even when you are not very certain about that.) Let everything human find an echo in your hearts and, indeed, in our lives. Anyone, anyway, can be in need of compassion or in need of help. Be willing, be ready, be courageous enough to show compassion, to show mercy and to get involved in helping others. If truly you want others to show compassion to you, then you must learn to be compassionate to your neighbours. “It begins with you and me,” Nkwankwor advised.


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