The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

TMID Editorial: Holy Week - A special type of sacrifice

Thursday, 9 April 2020, 09:31 Last update: about 3 months ago

Lent is a time associated with sacrifice for the Christian community. Some refrain from eating sweets, some bread, and some even fast. This year, however, lent has come during a very particular circumstance - the dreaded Coronavirus.

While any type of sacrifice is applaudable, this year’s sacrifice should not only be seen on an individualist level but more in terms of the public interest. The ultimate sacrifice one can make this year is that of respect and patience towards the community as a whole.

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Whether on a religious basis or just because one is a good citizen, one should consider making the special sacrifices required at this time.

On an individual level, staying home may be a sacrifice but the benefits will ripple throughout the whole community, and even the world. Staying at home, while idealistically may not sound all that bad with all the comforts we have, can bring about the need for further sacrifices.

That neighbour whose children have not stopped yelling and shouting, let us make a sacrifice and be patient to try and understand the frustration these children may be feeling. Your quarantine partner may have got on your final nerve, but let us try to understand each other’s worries and frustrations.

The elderly who are required to remain inside, do not forget about them. Make a small sacrifice and help them set up a video call - this might require some patience. It may be a confusing time for them, so take the time to explain what is happening, even if you may have to do so many times.

On a community level, let us all make a sacrifice and respect our fellow citizens. There is no need to buy all the disinfectants in the shop, leave some for the next person who will need it too.

The virus is no one’s fault and does not discriminate against race. Different races may have different ways of dealing with the situation, but they too are worried and anxious that the virus may affect them. Racism will not help the situation; it will only make it worse.

On a higher level, politicians too need to forget which party they stem from and fight the virus together. This is not a time to think about votes, but to do what is best for the country, regardless if it may not be the most popular opinion.

The government needs to stop thinking in populist terms and the Opposition needs to stop trying to fight the government. Only when the two will work together, will the nation benefit the most.

But, politicians and those in authority are not immune to the virus either. Just taking a peak at those in authority around the world, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is in intensive care due to the virus and a German Finance Minister committed suicide after being “deeply worried” over how to cope with the economic fallout from the virus.

Let us not forget that the pressure on our politicians is immense and they too are worried about their future, as well as the country’s future. They are human too and this virus is as new to them as it is to us; they did not plan this.

During this time of lent, whether you are a Christian or not, let us make an extra sacrifice to respect and be patient with each other. As the biblical reference to Jesus’s resurrection signifies a new life, let us understand that together, by making the necessary sacrifices, we too can come out of this, one day, as a better community into a new life.

 

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