Chassa Catholic Parish priest Fr Aston Tembo says “bad people filled with barbaric attitudes cannot be good leaders”. He’s right!
Fr Tembo says “some leaders are so evil that they can’t lead the flock because they fail to see good things in some people”.
We agree! The evil things we are everyday witnessing in this country are a product of their evil minds and hands. Without such evil leaders, there wouldn’t be all these evil deeds.
We are told in Proverbs 29:2, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” We are taught: “If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked” (Proverbs 29:12); “It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness” (Proverbs 16:12).
In 1 Timothy 3:1-2, the saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.” In 2 Timothy 2:24, we are taught: “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.”
Fr Tembo’s sermon is in line with Confucius’ teachings on this score: “The man of noble mind seeks to achieve the good in others and not their evil. The little-minded man is the reverse of this.
“Confucius laments throughout the Analects that too often leaders forget to take care of those under them. They spend too much time trying to grab glory and riches for themselves without thinking about others. In a time of crisis, they behave even worse, fighting to preserve their positions at all costs. That is exactly the opposite of what they should do, for themselves and for their nations. Acting virtuously is always absolutely necessary. Not only is it right; it is, in the long run, the way to peace, stability and progress. One of Confucius’ most important principles is the supremacy of virtue. He argues that acting ethically in all transactions is paramount, more important than striving to make money or retain power. He would be shocked at the way unfettered greed has poisoned our nation’s current political leadership. And Plato said: “Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue…Knowledge becomes evil if the aim be not virtuous. This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
We are also taught that “man is a tame or civilized animal; nevertheless, he requires proper instruction and a fortunate nature, and then of all animals, he becomes the most divine and most civilized; but if he be insufficiently or ill-educated, he is the most savage of earthly creatures” and that “the man who finds that in the course of his life, he has done a lot of wrong often wakes up at night in terror, like a child with a nightmare, and his life is full of foreboding: but the man who is conscious of no wrongdoing is filled with cheerfulness and with the comfort of old age”.
But how do we ensure that we are not ruled or governed by evil people? It’s through our own participation in the governance affairs of our country. If we continue to look at politics as a dirty undertaking fit only for dirty people, the scrum, evil people will continue to dominate us, abuse us. It’s said that “the price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men” and that “one of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”, the scrum, evil men and women. The price good people pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men and women; “the heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself”. Just look at the type of people ruling us today! We have all sorts of evil men and women ruling us, all sorts of crooks, liars, scoundrels bossing over us! And how else can such people govern if not with lies, crookedness? And we know that lies are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
How else can some of these empty or ignorant men and women be expected to govern? Ignorance is the root and stem of every evil.
And if the quality of political leadership does not improve, it doesn’t matter what type of constitution or laws we enact, evil will continue to take root. It is said that “good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws”.
Evil people will always think evil. That evil man, beast, Adolf Hitler used to say, “I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature.” And Josef Stalin once said, “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” Augusto Pinochet used to say, ” I’m not a dictator. It’s just that I have a grumpy face.” And that evil, genocidal Cambodian tyrant Pol Pot tried to justify his crimes against humanity by invoking patriotism: “I want you to know that everything I did, I did for my country.”
Clearly, evil men and women can’t be entrusted with leadership because they do evil things. You get nothing from evil leadership other than evil.