Connecting local responses around the world
The skill or art of communication is a two edged sword, similar is the skill or art of empathetic listening, both important elements for the SALT agent. However If your life is not grounded or rather built on the foundation of universal principles that stimulates and facilitates a win/win solution to our many societal challenges, such as HIV/AIDS all you would be as an agent in the response is just another mercenary, looking out for yourself and manipulating, and conveniently using others to produce and preserve lopsided agendas. Do not pretend to be confused or do not know what is the truth because deep down inside all human beings is a conscience; that still small voice that always speaks to you when you are about to do something wrong, and mind you, you do not have to believe in any religion to know right from wrong, that is the amazing thing about Almighty God, irrespective of what you choose to believe or where you choose to be you are always in HIS presents. Now sometime your ego or conditioning can cause you to choose wrongly but be assured you always pay the price/suffer the consequence for wrong choices. Understanding that you are the salt of the earth, understanding what and how powerful salt is, you should realize how profoundly important it is to represent as SALT.
This principle and practice which seeks to enhance human relations can only do so by your conscious CHOICE; be it as the receiver of the act or the one transferring the act. As human beings we are all dependent on each other valuable contributions; the garbage collector is just as important as the medical doctor; think for a moment about the absence of the sanitary engineer for the proper disposal of the doctors’ hazardous waste, what would happen to us as a society? The problem here however is the value placed on each other valuable contribution; the SALT agent for example is the one to advocate for change in this scenario and so many other societal facts that cause us to be vulnerable, to be easily influence to become self-centered and selfish and openly discriminate in the negative. I say this to say that discrimination has its’ place, like to know and do what is right instead of what is wrong.
Each person has a specific space and purpose, specifically designed to enhance “our” living experience. We experience and witness societal ills because our education/conditioning is lop-sided.
Emile Durkheim had a dream, his dream was that even though society is filled with selfish individuals, specializing in different areas, we would have seen and appreciated each other’s contribution and that would have held us together in unity, perhaps free from exploitation, he was hoping that we would have seen and understood that even selfish people need one another to survive. He also said “likeness allowed people to experience solidarity. Similar circumstances (like HIV/AIDS in this scenario) would have led us to have shared values, ideas and goals; this is what he called “collective conscience”. My question to the PLWHA community and some key stakeholders, Is their collective conscience? What should be done is exactly what SALT has requested of us from the very beginning, REFLECT ON THE HUMAN HEART AND AGREE THAT THERE ARE MUCH BETTER WAYS TO WORK. It is time for us to go beyond transactional leadership into transformational leadership where we would be able to transform the individuals involve as well as the relationship. We need to focus on the issues severely challenging the HIV response and not on personalities and positions. Do not misunderstand this statement because for a surety the HIV response does not need stooges in leadership positions nor does it need, deceptive individuals coated with fictitious warmth founded on their personal agendas, to look after those people who are always presented to stakeholders as not having the capacity to resolve their situation…one of the foundational believes of the SALT program is that every community had the capability to solve it own problems, I truly believe that the PLWHA community has the capability to solve its’ own problems. What is required is that we create a positive, cooperative energy focused on thoroughly understanding the issues and resolving them in a mutually beneficial way. We have to become committed to the principle of understanding each other’s point of view and deeply committed to work together for and on the solutions that suits all of us.
Salt of the earth let us dialogue, from the heart, the seat of your conscience. Look deep into yourself, be still and listen to that still small voice, and you know the one I am speaking about, the one that tell you what is right and what is wrong, not the one that tries to rationalized the wrong to make it look right.