This article by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi was published in the Sunday Times of Malta on 19th December 2021.
Article by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi
“We reap what we sow”. This proverb reminds us that our present actions will inevitably have future consequences.
The recent discussion on the cannabis legislation has reminded us of this saying. It is not only true for the four plants that are now allowed to be cultivated at home, but also for the whole legislation which will definitely have an effect on future generations. Hopefully (hoping against hope), it will not be the case of reaping the whirlwind.
We need to think about other types of seeds – life-giving seeds – that we should sow at home, and which should certainly be accessible to children as they grow.
Honesty and integrity
Firstly, the seeds of honesty and integrity. They help us live a life where we do not only pursue what we want, where we do not crush others while seeking to achieve our wishes, where we do not only look for what suits us, discarding our principles in the process. We have more than enough models that lead us astray, and that give us the impression that this way of life is what constitutes success, what brings happiness.
However, experience shows us that this is a false view. It is honesty and integrity, even in the face of personal sacrifice, that give us true peace, and that make us genuinely happy as we fulfil our responsibilities over the years.
When we are guided by honesty and integrity, we will not consider money and wealth as ends in themselves, but we will bear in mind that money and wealth are a means to an end. They are good if they are our servants when we are doing what is right, but they are bad if they are our masters and make us do what is wrong.
There is a widespread mentality of greed, a craving for more possessions, even if this involves doing what is wrong. We have enough evidence of this in our streets, where we can see the result of greed at the cost of damage to the environment. Maltese society needs people who work with honesty and integrity, who know how to choose what is right, and who refuse to fall into the trap of greed.
Love and kindness
We are called to sow the seeds of love and kindness, of a deep respect for the life and dignity of each human being, from the very beginning.
We believe that every person should be treasured, whatever their age, race, religion, colour, gender, or any other diversity. Experience teaches us that society is enriched when we value each other’s humanity. Gentleness and sensitivity are not signs of weakness but signs of strength and dignity. They are the values that lead to true success. The more we consider the needs of others, and give them our help, the greater our satisfaction in life.
These are the seeds we should sow and the plants we should grow at home. We will certainly not need to conceal them from our children; on the contrary, we should invite our children to treasure them, care for them, watch them grow and enjoy them. May God give us the wisdom to distinguish what helps us build up our life from what ruins it. May these life-giving seeds bear fruit.
✠ Joseph Galea-Curmi