All Lives Matter

FR. John MURRAY, Member of the Order of St Augustine,

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

There are many pandemics in our world, not just Covid-19.  Pope Francis was the first one I heard preaching this message but now I hear many using this line which is now being applied to the “Black Lives Matter” Movement.  Even such a general name of a pandemic is too local as racism is universal, not being aimed at black coloured people alone.  
I know that only too well living in Thailand. 
In the Bangkok press this week, an opinion piece bemoans the local culture where “attitudes prioritize agreement over objection, complacency over resolution, image over voice, peace over justice”.  So social and personal conflicts fail to be confronted and resolution is hardly ever found.  It is not there are no bad behaviors at play in a society based on such principles.  Rather it is they are never acknowledged and life goes on in a somewhat socially sterile but unhealthy bubble, with people suffering without public acknowledgment of their suffering. 

Selective Focus Photo of Green Plant Seedling on Tree Trunk

Photo by David Alberto Carmona Coto from Pexels

The truth is there are many pandemics.  While not wanting to downplay it, it is not just a pandemic of how black lives are abused, but a pandemic of how human lives universally are treated, devalued, and unappreciated.      
Out of this health pandemic, respect is the key theme I see arising regarding human behavior.  Leadership that shows no respect for the other is not leadership but control.   The authority that shows no respect for the other is not authority but brute power.  Care that shows no respect for the other is not care but compulsory humanitarianism.  

“Respect is at the heart of being a good and decent human being.  Without it, we may survive but we will go nowhere. With it, all lives matter.”


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