On Peace: T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E.
Amb. Barnabas Akinrinola
The movie, The Hate You Give (2018) remains one of the most profound movies I have seen in my life. It’s a compelling story of black people, of crime and of cops who place no premium on the lives of black people. At the end of the day, black lives also matter and racism is a wicked mentality that always comes back to mess things up.
It was from the movie that I came across the acronym, T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. which means The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. Basically, it means that hate can be transgenerational, and the reaction to or consequence of it – which, more often than not, is violence – can also be transgenerational and unhelpful to all the parties involved. I mean, children or, as in the story, little infants can be consciously or unconsciously taught and shown hate, and they’ll react in the most drastic ways.
Hate, just like love, is a very strong and powerful emotion. When you treat people with contempt and disrespect, and behave in a way that shows to them that they don’t belong or matter at all, it results in several things. Some of the obvious, natural ones are low self-esteem or self-worth, depression, corresponding contempt and hate, and reactive violence. This is especially dangerous where the people that are shown hate are the vulnerable like children.
But just like hate, love is a very strong and powerful emotion. When people are treated with honour and respect, and you behave in a way that shows to them that they do belong and do matter, it results in several things. Some of the obvious, natural ones are balanced self-esteem and self-confidence, happiness, corresponding honour and love, and reactive peace. This is especially helpful where the people that are shown love are the vulnerable like children.
And so, it is always with glee that I take the news of people showing love and kindness to other people in this lockdown situation. Of course, a situation like this is not palatable for many people, but when some of these people reach out and empower the vulnerable and disadvantaged ones, it makes my heart glad. It is good for our society because The Help U Give Little Infants Frees Everybody. We should be sure that all the good we do comes back to us whether as individuals or as a society one way or another.
Big ups to the governments of various countries and states who have continued to work assiduously in ensuring order and compliance. To the ones who have continued to stock clinics and other healthcare facilities with personal protective equipment, and the ones who continue to effectively run isolation centers, big kudos to you. To the ones who have promised – and will indeed not fail – to reasonably compensate the healthcare workers and those in other essential services who have continued to risk their lives amidst all of this, you deserve commendation.
Our healthcare workers who work night and day, and are on the front lines risking their lives, we commend you. Those on the ground at the isolation centers, our hearts go out to you.
Essential services workers – the ones who, among others, ensure we still have electricity, water, food, subscription, safety, and access to radio, print, and TV – we see your work and appreciate you.
To every Good Samaritan that has shared or given anything to anyone else that isn’t a member of their immediate family, God sees you and will bless you. To everyone that has lent a helping hand in relieving others of their pains and stress, thank you. You deserve all the good that will come to you. To the ones who make us smile and chuckle on social media with creative content, thank you. You continue to lift our spirits. The Father of spirits (God) is watching and will reward you.
T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. The Hate (or Help) U Give Fucks (or Frees) Everybody. You decide. We decide.