Should I kill myself if my labour in society do not result in ‘profit’?
by wakawaida Posted on 16-04-2016
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Should I kill myself if my labour in society do not result in ‘profit’?

A friend of mine, a fellow board member in an international organisation, and fellow Christian brother, recently committed suicide. I did not believe it when I first heard of the report. I thought someone hanged him and made it to look like suicide. But, during my friend’s funeral, all doubts were cleared. He left notes: for his wife, church, the people who would attend his funeral…. he left no doubt.

As you might expect, all of us who knew my friend are struggling with very difficult and unanswerable questions: How come that none of us who interacted with him regularly, in the board, socially, in church, never saw it coming? No, forget about us: how about his wife, with whom he spent time the day before the fateful night; or his mother, with whom my friend had dinner, all the time having secured all the tools he needed for his fateful action. How did she not notice anything in his tone, or in his demeanour as he said goodnight, then walked out into the night to execute his unbelievable action? We will never know, at least not in this life.

The note etched two thoughts in my mind: I drew them from the note our friend left for those who would attend his funeral. He thanked all for coming, acknowledged that many present would have questions, indicated that he, too, had had questions. He decried the social ills (corruption, poverty, unemployment) and injustices ins the society, challenged those present to confront these issues, indicated that he had done his bit, said that he had opted to end his life, and that he was leaving the rest to God.

First, it explained why my friend had his calendar full of social change programs: creating employment; active involvement in church; advocacy against corruption; economic development programs for his rural area; voluntary service in boards such as the one in which we both belonged…He was doing it to change the world, and got frustrated that no change appeared forthcoming.

The second thought has to do with delineation between our sense of duty, and responsibility for the outcomes of our labour. When people do not change when I preach, how much of it is my fault? When I help found a cooperative to empower my rural community and its leaders become corrupt, should I kill myself? When I elect a president who fails to fight corruption….

This last thought, the frustration of not seeing results from our labour, is troubling. People get fired from work as a result. Contracts have performance and results obligations. So why should it be different in social service, one ponders. Quietly, of course. Often we try to deal with the frustration of not realising results from our labours of love in the society privately.

I do think the apostle Paul gave us an adequate answer, in relation to where the delineation lies:
1 Corinthians 3:3: So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters (i.e. our labour) is anything, but only God, who makes things grow (the result), and
1 Corinthians 3:10, 12: …the foundation on which we build is laid; let each person be careful how he builds on it; the choices of materials he uses (the quality of one’s labour).

So, our side of the deal revolves on our effort/commitment and the quality (Paul side, like a master builder) of our work. As for the results, the fruit of our labour… that, we should leave to God, who makes things grow (1 Corinthians 3:6, 7). A good benchmark to look back into are the many so served before us and did not see the results of their labour in their lifetime: the missionaries who got killed by mosquitoes before they saw their first convert; Or got eaten by the cannibals they went to preach to; the heroes who fought for independence and died before realised the parents who gave up everything to educate their children who turned out as drunkards.

So, friends, please, if the thought that drove my friend to that tree has featured in your mind, stop it there.… talk to someone. If someone has hinted to you that they are frustrated to the extent of suicide, don't ignore it. Get them help. Let’s all stay the course to the natural end. Let’s not pre-empt God. Let’s leave it to Him to judge the extent and the quality of our labour when we stand before Him in that day (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Author: Haron Wachira - CEO Akili Holdings




   

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Mwananchi wa Kawaida
About the Writer wakawaida

Mimi ni mwananchi wa kawaida. Mapato yangu madogo. Matumaini yangu ni kupata lishe kwanza kwa wanangu na kisha kwangu mimi. Ombi langu ni kwamba serikali yangu haitonidhulumu. Eee Mungu mwenye kuneemesha neema ndogo ndogo isikie dua yangu. Amina.

 




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Should I kill myself if my labour in society do not result in ‘profit’?

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Should I kill myself if my labour in society do not result in ‘profit’? A friend of mine, a fellow board member in an international organisation, and fellow Christian brother, recently committed suicide. I did not believe it when I first heard of the report. I thought someone hanged him and made it to look like suicide. But...

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