By Fr. Phillip Andruga – It was during my retreat in Mwangaza Jesuit Centre that, an insight fleshed through my mind in a form of a question. And I asked myself, why all this inhuman, brutal and senseless war in South Sudan? And to make the matter worse, it seems to me some people were enjoying and making merry out of it. And these are the people whom were entrusted with the role of leadership in the country.

Therefore, what becomes clear to me was our inability to understand our interdependence and failure to realize how important our individual contribution is to the true peace in South Sudan. The truth is we are interdependent on each other, and we need each other, regardless of where we come from, which tribe we belong.

Not only we need each person, but also we need each and every one performing his or her unique contribution fully positively and responsibly. Thus, humanness is a way of behaving with ourselves and with each other, is how we can and will realize the contributions of each person towards peace and harmony in the country.

Genesis 1:27, tells us that, we are created in the image and likeness of God and this providing our common ground. And when we assume that as human created in image and likeness of God, we are therefore, of infinitely good. Than humanness becomes our natural way of behaving because of our divine origin. As such the reasons to differentiate and separate ourselves from each other by focusing on all our difference disappear, exposing our fragility dependence on each other based on God or divine nature in us.

Therefore, rediscovering of our humanness is the sure way of behaving and interacting first with ourselves than with others, that supports and encourages us discover, develop and make our full individual and unique divine contribution to humanity, which in turn will enable us to live in peace, harmony and respect the divine life of everybody.

My little experience of life tells me that it is easier to categorize people into social class, tribes, religious believes or by the colour of our skin or by the political views we have. But I propose we remove each other of those identifying features and choose to see one another for our humanness, and not our preferences. Strip away our differences and we are people made in the image of God. We are made in the image of one, faithful, God who calls us to set our differences aside and love one another as the children of God. Being the same introduces the opportunity for empathy, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Fr. Phillip Andruga (MCCJ)

Nairobi, Kenya.