By Abdi Guhat:
Animals destitute of reason live with their own kind in a state of social amity. Elephants herd together; sheep and swine feed in flocks; cranes and crows take their flight in troops; storks have their public meetings to consult previously to their emigration, and feed their parents when unable to feed themselves; dolphins defend each other by mutual assistance; and everybody knows, that both ants and bees have respectively established by general agreement, a little friendly community.
But I need dwell no longer on animals, which, though they want reason, are evidently furnished with sense.
In trees and plants one may trace the vestiges of amity and love. Many of them are
barren, unless the male plant is placed on their vicinity. The vine embraces the elm, and other plants cling to the vine. So that things which have no powers of sense to perceive anything else, seem strongly to feel the advantages of union.
But plants, though they have not powers of perception, yet, as they have life, certainly
approach very nearly to those things which are endowed with sentient faculties. What then is so completely insensible as stony substance? Yet even in this, there appears to be a desire of union. Thus the loadstone attracts iron to it, and holds it fast in its embrace, when so attracted.
Indeed, the attraction of cohesion, as a law of love, takes place throughout all inanimate nature. I need not repeat, that the most savage of the savage tribes in the forest, live among each other in amity. Lions show no fierceness to the lion race. The boar does not brandish his deadly tooth against his brother boar. The lynx lives in peace with the lynx. The serpent shews no venom in his intercourse with his fellow serpent; and the loving kindness of wolf to wolf is proverbial.
But I will add a circumstance still more marvelous. The accursed spirits, by whom the
concord between heaven and human beings was originally interrupted, and to this day continues interrupted, hold union with one another, and preserve their usurped power, such as it is, by unanimity!
Yet man to man, whom, of all created beings, concord would most become, and who stands
most in need of it, neither nature, so powerful and irresistible in everything else, can reconcile; neither human compacts unite; neither the great advantages which would evidently arise from unanimity combine, nor the actual feeling and experience of the dreadful evils of discord cordially endear. To all men the human form is the same, the sound made by the organs of utterance similar; and while other species of animals differ
from each other chiefly in the shape of their bodies, to men alone is given a reasoning power, which is indeed common to all men, yet in a manner so exclusive, that it is not at the same time common to any other living creature. To this distinguished being is also given the power of speech, the most conciliating instrument of social connection and cordial love.
Let’s engage one another as brothers and sisters who profess the same religion, speak the same language and share a lot that unite us, as opposed to the negligible differences that divide us. Let’s embrace peace for in war the gain is temporary; the loss is irretrievable. The gain is that of one country; the loss is humanity’s.
Everyone can calculate how war destroys the nations’ wealth, how their capital dwindles until no one will be able to pay the war indemnities. But the loss in human values, the greatest loss of all, is never calculated.
Guhat is a teacher at Furaha Mixed Day Secondary School in Wajir County.