Healing Societal Wounds through Clemency

Mar 18 , 2023
By Eden Sahle

I met Solomon Desta a couple of years ago. He lives and works in a religious institution as a guard, greeting everyone with a smile so genuine that it puts us at ease. The elderly man has no family or children but seems content with his life.

He is a respectful, kind man with a great sense of humour.  He always checks in on me and before long, we started exchanging hugs and chatting about life, ending with blessings to me as he does everyone.

A few months ago he suddenly fell ill. He always said he was well even though he kept getting weaker by the day. The pain faded his smile but not his kind greetings. At some point, he could no longer work and was forced to stay inside his narrow room.

The absence of the usual heartwarming greetings was noticed. One person curiously went looking for Solomon only to find him gasping for air. His entire body was swollen due to intestinal obstruction. He was in great pain.

Solomon requested to be taken to St. Paulos Hospital in the middle of the night. He knew young medical doctors who worked at the hospital. They were among the people he bestowed kindness and warm greetings, telling him where they worked during one of their conversations.

The doctors recognised Solomon in the emergency area and saved his life by performing an emergency surgery the same night. His attending physician said he would not have made it out alive if he was not brought to the hospital that night. His genuine solicitude for others saved his life.

Studies indicate that those who put others first have greater functional abilities and remained content later in life. A strong link between generosity and happiness gave people strong meaning and purpose in their lives.

The news of Solomon's hospitalization spread among the people; some did not even know his name but they recalled his benevolence.

There was solidarity to support him. Everyone raised money to cover hospital bills and offer assistance during recovery. We prepared fresh meals and took them to the hospital. Some even stayed at the hospital taking turns until he was discharged fully recovered.

He was known by the hospital personnel as the patient with many visitors that crowded the corridors. They thought he was a rich man to be visited by such a large number of people who took great care of him. They were shocked to find out he worked as a guard and none of us was related to him.

A senior British commander Norman MacEwan is known for his saying 'we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.' I agree. Solomon is not rich but he was influential. His respect and kindness inspired us.

In the society we live in today, it seems like benevolence is a rare occurrence while nerve-wracking incidents are common. Heartwarming deeds from a united society can even save a life as I have witnessed. Solomon is back at work with his smile and warm greetings intact. He is living proof of how united communities can do great things.

In the current era where society seems extremely divided, it takes individual courage to support others and create a balance. It eventually inspires communities to consciously start looking for the best way to help those around them.

In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every community, there is work to be done. In every heart, there is the power to do it.

PUBLISHED ON Mar 18,2023 [ VOL 23 , NO 1194]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at edensah2000@gmail.com.

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