Why Do People Suffer?


“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” -Helen Keller

Every day when I wake up from bed and every night before I go to sleep, there is one question that I always ask myself: “Why is it that there are so many people suffering in our world today?” Who is to blame for this situation, and is there anything that can be done to arrest this issue, which is growing bigger and bigger as the days go by?

As I write this article, I recall the story of Angel (real name concealed to protect her identity), whose parents died while she was still so tender. Little Angel barely managed to navigate her way through primary school and hit a stumbling block in her attempt to go to secondary school. With no means of support and other siblings to look after, Angel went to work as a house help for one rich family who not only maltreated her but abused her. Life was difficult and unbearable for her until she was rescued by a Good Samaritan who took her into his own house and sponsored her in school. She is currently doing well in her studies and hopes to become a medical doctor in the future. The story of Angel is not new to many of us as I am convinced that many of us have come across people suffering from one thing or another.

I also remember the sensational headlines of most newspapers here in Kenya approximately a year ago. The son of the then-finance minister of Kenya did what some people do when they have lost hope – he took his own life by hanging (suicide). People of God, there are too many people suffering in our society today who want a better home, a good education, a better life, better food, a better everything.

I am convinced that there are enough resources for everyone in this world; and while a decent number of people have more than what they need, the majority have little or nothing to content themselves with. That is why I am writing this article, and that is why I have decided that henceforth, I will do something about this great disease of neglect in our society. I believe we all share the responsibility of eliminating or reducing suffering in the world. We all have the duty of reaching out and making a difference in other people’s lives. I have come to realize that I am more fortunate than so many people in this world – and perhaps so are you. So no matter how great your troubles and difficulties are, you can still reach out to someone. You can be the person who will give a child the education his parents cannot afford; you can be the person who will prevent another person from taking away his life; you can be the person who will prevent a married couple from divorcing because of petty and/or serious issues; you can be the person who will prevent a young girl from teenage pregnancy and consequently, dropping out of school; and you can be the person who will inspire someone to become a successful individual in the future.

Therefore, I believe I have a mission to eliminate or reduce suffering in the world. I also sincerely believe that I cannot do this alone, and that is why I am sending this message to all who would read it. It is our responsibility to step up, reach out and make a difference in our lives and more importantly, in the lives of others. As John Mason rightly puts it, “One of the most exciting decisions you can make is to decide to be on the lookout for opportunities to invest in others.” Lest I forget the words of our Lord in Mathew 25:34–36: “I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to me.”

People of God, there are suffering people everywhere in the world even though our beloved Africa is often portrayed as the hub where all the suffering in the world exists. My message to you is that you should reach out to someone – no matter where they might be. In case you do not know such a person in need of you, then I will gladly assist you in finding one. Finally, if you forget everything I have written above, then kindly remember these words from a popular writer, Mike Murdrock: “What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.” May God bless you all!

[image via]

About the Author:

Brother Cho Nchang is a young and enthusiastic Marist Brother, who is dedicated to serving God and encouraging people to believe in themselves. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya. Connect with him here: Cho Nchang

Facing Our Fears


“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” -Edmund Burke

The only thing more tragic than any act of terrorism is for those of us who bear witness to its evil to feed on the frenzy of fear that abounds in its wake. We are not made in the spirit of fear, and have nothing to fear but fear itself. To be afraid in a singular, uncertain, shocking moment is to be human, but to constantly live in a state of fear as a result of the isolated act of a coward or the coordinated/systematic act of a group of cowards, is to display even greater cowardice! evil is like a snake; a slithering, sneaky creature with a venomous bite. It could be far, it could be near, but there’s no mistaking its nature. But Good…oh God, Good! Good is the mighty heel destined to always crush evil’s ugly head. Good is constant, timeless, and far reaching; and even the shadow of Good is vast! Even the whisper of Good is thunderous!

We must understand that it is not by some naive fallacy, childlike fantasy or mere coincidence that in our holy books, history stories, movies, novels, fictional tales and other literature, Good consistently triumphs over evil; no matter the odds, no matter the ills, no matter the long suffering. No, it is the very fabric of human nature. It is at the very core of the natural order. It is by the very perfect design of our Creator. Yes, evil may be bold for a moment, but its day of reckoning eventually dawns. No matter how dark the night in the aftermath of a tragedy like the one our nation has just witnessed via the Boston Marathon Bombings, the sun shall yet rise in the wake of a new day. And its blinding light shall serve as a daily reminder to us that it is light that will drive out darkness, that it is waking to the morning sun that will end our nightmares. It will undoubtedly remind us that it is unrelenting good that will overwhelm unsolicited evil. It will also remind US that while it sets on us momentarily as darkness befalls us and our own darkness consumes us, it never stops its tireless work (shining light on ALL the world) but remains shining elsewhere…perhaps on another distant land, in another foreign nation that experienced similar or greater terror on the eve of our own, or may yet experience similar or greater suffering in the morrow, when the sun returns to shine upon US once more.

This is our defining lesson:  the Sun is constant! God is constant! Good is constant! Love is constant! We too must be constant! We must be Good. We won’t all be Good. We won’t always be Good. But by God, We MUST be Good! In the face of evil, we must look it in the eye, and boldly say, “It’s all GOOD!” Let us be as indiscriminate in spreading our Good as the sun is in shining its light. Evil has played it’s card. Now, it’s clearly our move. So, let’s do some GOOD! Right here, and everywhere! Together, let’s be light. Together, let’s be constant. Together, let’s be Good! Godspeed Boston!

P.S. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” -F.D.R.

This is really a tribute that extends beyond Boston. This is a message in honor of the multitude of innocent people around the world (in Pakistan, in other parts of the Middle East, in many parts of Africa, and elsewhere) who are victims of failed politics, vile, corrupt and inhumane systems, powerful, faceless, and nameless individuals, who perpetrate evil “acts of terror” from the secrecy and false sense of security the shadows in which they linger gives them, whether they be so-called “terrorist organizations”, foreign and/or domestic, or whether they be our very own US Government. We must combat evil in all its manifestations, as indiscriminately and unapologetically as we spread Good. Ultimately, whatever is done in the dark will be brought to light, and upon a day, we shall all atone for the roles we each play(ed) on our shared Earth, in this life or the next. God help us all.

[image via]

A Stranger’s Shoes



[image via]



“The man who chooses to not recognize his home is worse off than the man who has no home.” -kR

My life, your entertainment. No scratch that, I prefer the term infotainment. Mine is just the story of a little drummer boy marching to his own African beat; We Three Kings conspicuously on repeat, seeking to redeem the essence of my illustrious culture in the presence of naysayers who parade about me like a conniving vulture. Yo Kennyrich that shit you wrote was dope, but behind my back they sling my name around like I was dope! Or yay, but nay I say unto thee. Between me, myself and I, there’s already a crowd of three. So please depart from me before my political correctness falls apart. Otherwise (and that wouldn’t be wise), I’d be tempted to split you like the Red Sea and leave you as alive as the Dead Sea. You dare label me naturally violent when I choose to go on a rant, and yet somehow you expect me to be so tolerant of the rampant oppression of a God damned tyrant? Ah the audacity of the ones who’ve caused us such calamity never ceases to amaze me! What’s a month to our legacy? That’s heresy if you ask me; please don’t fall for that sort of fallacy! Oh Black People! My people – once noble moors, pharaohs of ages ago haplessly reduced into mere dominoes. Our history has been a diminishing domino effect, a hallucination of sorts, closely resembling the butterfly effect. It’s like we were the weed that was smoked but never inhaled, which might explain why in this day today there are brothers like me in jail still waiting to exhale. Now I’m no Moses but I ask you Sir – Mr. Joe Schmo – let my people go! We are salt of the earth and deserve to be exalted on higher ground, not shamefully and despicably buried underground. And our bite is louder than our bark, so for your sake please do release us while there’s still room on Noah’s Ark. My life, your entertainment. No scratch that, I prefer the term infotainment. Mine is just the story of an African King, who unlike Prince Hakeem, his Coming to America had nothing to do with finding his Cleopatra. But rather, who was forged in truth to crash the Board of Chess and clean up the foul mess; not to acquire fleeting fame but to remind the black pawns that they are indeed kings and queens, just caught up in the wrong damn game! I pray this message is entrenched deep within your dome; my brothers and sisters your Kingdom awaits, so please sing along with me, “I’m coming home, I’m coming home, tell the world that I’m coming home. Let the rain wash away all the pains of yesterday. I know my Kingdom awaits, and they’ve forgiven my mistakes. I’m coming home, I’m coming home, tell the world that I’m coming home.”