By Jaime Yaya Barry
Times are challenging in Thampèreh, and there’s no sign of them getting better any time soon. We must brace ourselves for what lies ahead. But the most important thing is ensuring we overcome the present times together as a village. More than ever, we must rely on each other’s strength to get through these challenging times.
It is, therefore, a critical moment to reflect on our shared suffering in Thampèreh and transform it into shared love. It is time we lace our arms and move together with empathy, respect, and care for one another.
Let us appeal to all citizens of this resilient village.
If you have a car and know neighbours who go to work around the same location as yours, please give them a lift. Please give them a ride if you see kids going to school and can’t catch the school bus. Please resist the urge to take their phone numbers, especially the girls.
If you have food, please share it with your neighbours who may not have food to eat. It may not be enough for you, but it will make a tremendous difference if you share part of it with others and put smiles on their faces.
If you have a house helper that has a small family, please provide extra support to the family.
Even if you can (and you should), please stop by your neighbour’s house occasionally to greet and see how they are doing. Show them you care and listen to their stories. Don’t judge.
If you hire a taxi, please share it with others. You can occupy the front passenger seat and allow people to occupy the back seat, especially if they are going your way.
Tempers are high right now, and families are dealing with a lot. So, please be kind to people and say comforting words to them. And if someone says not-so-nice things to you, try your best to respond with love and kindness.
If you have a generator that provides more than enough energy for your home, please connect a cable to your neighbour’s home and light a bulb or two for them. In your compound, please make space for your neighbour’s children to use the electricity outside your home to study.
If you have a well or borehole in your home, please let your neighbours fetch some water from it.
If you are a police officer or a member of Thampèreh’s armed and other security forces, please minimize the number of times you carry your guns around your community. You don’t want to put people in a state of constant panic and fear when they already have so much going on in their lives.
If you are a minister or other government official, please make sure your bodyguards are less intimidating to people when visiting communities.
If you eat at a restaurant and have a decent leftover, please put it in a takeaway bowl and offer someone on your way home or to your neighbour.
If you are the head of a religious body (Mosque or Church), please use the offerings you collect to support some of the most vulnerable members of your congregation.
If you donate to someone or a family, please, please, and please avoid taking their photos or videos to share on social media.
And if someone offers you help, do not abuse it by constantly asking for more and putting all your burden on the person.
If someone offers you something, please be grateful and say, “Thank you for your help” or “Tenki, leh God bless you.”
Please note that these are not the new official governing rules or laws of Thampèreh. In fact, we don’t make the rules. If we did, some people would have resigned, been dismissed, or been in jail by now. But since we can’t make the rules, we are asking citizens of this great village to be kind to one another, show love, and be respectful. Or just be human.
Because this too shall pass.