My mind is consumed by the news of yet another life lost in Durban recently. The community is reeling from the heinous death of little Sadia Sukhraj, 9, and just a couple of days later, a father was shot dead in the presence of his children.

Media was engulfed, the community is up in arms demanding that justice prevail, parents are shattered by the death of innocent Sadia and now another family feels the depth of suffering as they mourn death of the husband and father. All rightfully so, however, can we really say that we understand the full extent of the pain experienced during this time? No.

As a nation we celebrate freedom, look at our success in terms of infrastructure and other accomplishments over the past two decades or so. Not realising that these are only material accomplishments. Have we lost the plot of knowing and understanding that life itself is far more valuable than the monetary value attached to material possessions? Have we not come to the understanding that acquiring material possessions will not offer us salvation at the end of this lifetime?

Although I am a parent, I cannot fathom the emotions felt by Sadia’s mum. When reading about Sadia’s death, I somehow felt a sense of relief that her younger sibling is much too young to understand what exactly happened to his older sister. My thoughts escape me, to the children who witnessed their father being shot. Can we imagine the fear experienced within the hearts of those children? The Bhagavad-Gita together with other holy books reveal that there will be a period of lawlessness and degradation of society. The principle of ahimsa (a Sanskrit word) is based on non-violence, in the crudest state means not to harm others. The ancient practice promotes kindness, compassion and love on the levels of the body, mind and soul – where respect for the next person is displayed through all systems of the consciousness.

Ahimsa extends beyond the self but rather sharing both the joy and suffering of others too. If practiced sincerely, this beautiful concept should be honest, real and inclusive which extending not only to those within our close circle but to the community at large. The true power of ahimsa is felt as it becomes more inclusive, achieving it’s strength and magnitude as it extends to the greater humanity. It can be truly realised by limiting the pain inflicted on others, both physically and emotionally by respecting and honouring the lives of others and preventing suffering.

It is amazing how we can view the ancient African term of Ubuntu (Roughly translated to: A person is a person due to other people, which is essentially the values of humanity) to be similar to ahimsa. The time is now, to stand together, pull together and stop this insane crime. Should violence permeate our surroundings, we will never be a progressive society. Our children will be traumatised, our lives become even more valueless.

I dedicate this column to Sadia and the many others who we do not even know of whom have lost their lives through violence – it would be irresponsible of me not to do so. Let us all become responsible individuals, and only then will real freedom be experienced.

About the columnist: Krsangi Radhe is a public relations practitioner, educator, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. Visit her blog: www.vearth.org.za