Sometime ago, I saw a movie titled “Best of Enemies.” It is the story of the friendship between a black woman, who was a community organizer for black people and a white man, who was the leader of anti-black racist group in a community called Durham at that time. While watching, I saw depth of wickedness that people exhibits just because that is what they grew up seeing to be the norm, without investigating the credibility of what was told to them. Also, I saw how kindness can change the coldest and hardest of hearts. Indeed, nothing and no one is beyond change if we believe enough.
Too many times, we think explanations, exegesis, criticism and the likes would bring the change we seek in people; what we often fail to realize is that kindness, though often misinterpreted by people, is capable of changing the strongest resolve. In Yoruba proverbs, when kindness is done with patience, it can boil a stone into pulp.
However, it is a gross error to abandon a changed person to the consequences of switching sides in pursuit of truth and peace. If someone discontinues his or her allegiance to a community because of change that comes from conviction, it is suicidal to abandon such fellow, without offering a new community with more love and a sense of belonging than the old community. Nature inhibits vacuum.
Surely, redemption and restoration requires more than a message and a conviction; a healthy community, in love, creates the environment for joy to flourish without reservation.
So, leaders, leave no one behind.
Followers, do not walk alone.