This earth is what we make of it, because whatever we put into it is what we will get in return.

If we spew garbage, we will reap stench! If what we sow is hatred, we will harvest discord and disharmony. If we emit toxic, we will all settle for pollution and poison as dinner. And when we spread lies and confusion, we are sharing and spreading division and destruction.

When we demonize, we are roasting this beautiful universe in the fiery furnace of hell! So why do people spew garbage and spread hatred?

Some do so to enjoy blind followership. Some use this deadly weapon to extort money. Some devise this means to propagate their own personal and selfish agenda. Many exploit this to promote their ideology.

Most exploit this avenue to enslave the minds and souls of the vulnerable, the blockheads, the emotionally unstable, the psychologically troubled, and the mentally immature. Sadly enough, many individuals that are supposed to be intellectually sound from the middle upper class segment of society are not immune from being brainwashed by those pushing death and damnation ideologies.

People emitting toxic care less about the future of this planet. The perpetrators never factored into the equation the need for peace for future generations.

They forget that without peace, there can be no partnership, productivity and prosperity. They feigned ignorance about the reality that the same red blood flows in the vein of each human. They confused some people to lose sight of the shared needs, pain and the ultimate death that awaited every creature.

Some even played “god” by labeling other human beings with outrageously demeaning descriptions – all in a blind bid to build a coalition that will never suspect the exploitative motives of those behind the plot! Every single day, some kids are brainwashed to see others as enemies – and subsequently raised to hate, maim, and kill. They were raised to see nothing good in others!

And so, in various parts of the world today, innocent people are being killed because of their faith, beliefs, tradition, ways of life, and even, for daring to disagree with some local practices.

In some parts of the world, another ordinary human being can easily kill another just because of a personal decision to switch faith. Places of worship are bombed or attacked just because of the hate speech of some leaders.

Places of worship are invaded and innocent people sprayed with deadly bullets just for their belief. The rise of nationalism and the erection of walls are becoming the norm. Political leaders are using divisive rhetoric to build an army of support despite the sudden emergence of a highly divided polity.

Human visions are becoming blurry as condemnation of “others” have taken over while “commendation” and “celebration” of the good acts in those that do not look exactly like us appear to be a fading idea. In all of these events, many are not bothered.

Many cannot be bothered – Why? Because they are too preoccupied with other personal businesses of life, or the busyness of worldly activities – and or possibly due to some personal financial, religious, or political interests. Some think they should not talk or join the conversation for the possible reason to protect their kind.

Some think it is unnecessary to speak up as doing so could affect their own personal agenda negatively. No one is thinking about future generations. No one is alarmed about the kind of heated and hated universe we will leave for those coming behind.

Some leaders with moral rights are contented with staying silent when they ought to have condemned a dastard act. Many that should speak up against wickedness are looking the other direction. The world is fast becoming a theatre of pretenders. Almost all of us have forgotten that we will all die, sooner or later!

When you hear that innocent people are being killed because of their faith, and you are not bothered, watch it, as you could soon be smothered.

When you hear that some governments impose laws on how people should or should not express their liberty to express their fundamental rights to relationships and worship, just look out, for you could soon be smothered.

When you read how young girls die as a result of drug addiction and prostitution, and you are not bothered, hold your breath, as you could be smothered sooner or later.

When the world chose to keep quiet the last time some people intentionally demonize others outside of their own group for the sake of maintaining cohesion and blind loyalty and allegiance, and we not bothered, just know that you could soon be smothered.

When we snatch children from a loving environment and we put them in strange places, and we are not bothered, then we should expect a smothered community. If we are not bothered by a generation that is so selfish and disconnected as a result of heavy addiction to social media and technology, then we should expect a future that will be smothered.

When we are not bothered that we baby-sit our children for too long, or oblivious to the fact that it now takes many of them a longer time to mature, then we should all await a future that will be smothered. If we continue to worship materialism and praise-sing capitalism, and we are not bothered about the growing army of poor people against a few multi-billionaires, then we should expect a universe that will eventually be smothered. If we allow our world to be routinized at the expense of cordial and friendly relationships, and we are not bothered, then we should get ready for a future that will be smothered.

When we focus exclusively on perfection, timelines, and non-negotiable productivity, but fail to enjoy a less stressful process of cooperation, collaboration, and communication that mothered an accomplishment; and if we are not bothered, then we should expect the future to be smothered. Be bothered when some countries are invaded and their strong leaders removed by force without any succession plan.

Otherwise, be ready to see our world smothered. Be bothered when you hear of the sinking and drowning of refugee-seeking migrants on the high seas. If you are not bothered, then expect to see humanity smothered.

If life is so tough, and death becomes so cheap; and some human beings live on less than $2 dollars a day in some parts of the world, and yet we are not bothered, then we should not be surprised when this beautiful planet is smothered.

If all we are told to see in others are our differences despite our outstanding similarities, and we are not bothered, then we should be ready to be smothered. If our children are no longer exposed to the teaching of abstinence as one of the most important ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies and deadly sexually-transmitted diseases, and we are not bothered, then we should expect the future to be smothered.

Our society withholds highly needed moral and material support that many struggling but unbroken homes need, and only offers huge moral and material support once such homes couldn’t hold the center together anymore.

If you are not bothered about this twisted approach, then you should expect to see a smothered earth soon. If you are not bothered about the legacy you will leave behind when the ultimate death bell chimes, then you should expect a future that will be smothered without redemption.

The good news is that one doesn’t need to have fathered or mothered – or even grand-fathered or grand-mothered a vulnerable or a deprived child, and or unprotected human before one becomes bothered about their plight; otherwise, one will inadvertently become a part of those that smothered our beautiful earth.

This is a call to sit up, stand up, and speak up. It is better to speak up and be damned than to shut up and be doomed. Let us join hands to make this earth a more beautiful place for all!

(❚ Dr. Sunday Akin Olukoju is the Director of Distance Education of Providence Theological Seminary, a community newspaper correspondent, and the president of a community organization)

Do Drugs, Lose Hugs, Get Shrugs, and Become Thugs!