Authored by: Julius T. Jaesen, II
Sycamore trees are historic trees. They symbolise strength, protection, eternity, and divinity. In time past, Biblical Israel in particular, those who sat under the Sycamore trees were called Sycamoreans. The Sycamoreans were upright and virtuous people. The lives they lived were prototypes of humility, honesty, selflessness, decency, integrity, modesty, meekness, altruism, courageousness, decorum and civility. Greed, selfishness, insatiability for material wealth, self-centeredness, egocentrism, narcissism, conceitedness and vanity know not their nature and upbringings. They were exemplars of the life Jesus Christ, the son of the Uncaused Cause, the Boundless Reality, The Unmoved Mover and The Necessary Being, commanded us to live. They frown at people that pursued vanity and vices over good virtues. They were earthly Ambassadors of the life that Jesus Christ lived according to Christian theists. Sycomoreans did not take delight in corrupting the poor. For them, if they do, their souls and spirits will be disturbed and troubled for the rest of their lives. They argued that even in their coffins or tombs, their souls will be tormented and littered ceaselessly and edgily if they corrupt humanity.
Whether it was in Jericho, Jordan, Jerusalem or elsewhere in Biblical days, Sycamoreans were brother and sister keepers. They shared with the poor. Most times, they were found under the Sycamore trees teaching and illuminating non Sycamoreans to emulate and cultivate the good examples and lives they lived if they must find a space in the heart of our Almighty Deity. They were ethicists and moralists.
Sycamoreans were men and women with daring consciences, adventurous spirits and the moral courage to stand up against injustices and inequality of all forms. They were champions of freedom, social justice and egalitarianism. They were hedonists not by all its definitions, but ethical hedonists. The argued that even in our pursuit of pleasure, pain must be avoided or there should always be greater pleasure and lesser pain. They supported pleasure not at the expense of the poor or pleasure through materiality. For Sycamoreans, such pleasure is not happiness accumulated through vanity or primitive accumulation of wealth. For them, such pleasure is found in humility, humanity, philanthropism, self-sacrificing, submissiveness, free-spiritedness, humbleness, graciousness, broadmindedness and tolerance. They espoused the view that admittance to ignorance is humbling and it is one of the unshakable foundations of knowledge and wisdom.
While teaching under the Sycamore trees, they touched the hearts and souls of many narcissists, criminals, sinners, gluttonous, conceited and self-seeking bigots whom after illumination under the Sycamore trees, got repented and lived a life of uprightness.
In the great city of Jericho, the Sycamore trees were mighty trees where sinners climbed and they repented and got illuminated. Even the corrupt senior tax collector, who is considered to be a descendant of Abraham, Zacchaeus, upon robbing the poor while working for the Roman government in Jericho, climbed on the top of the ‘Sycamore tree’ to wait for Jesus who was passing through Jericho to go Jerusalem. While on top of the Sycamore tree, Zacchaeus encountered the light and repented. He gave back what was stolen from the poor people in Jericho. Biblical theology had it that Zacchaeus got illuminated by a Sycamore tree that was standing in Jericho even before Jesus’s passing through Jericho to go Jerusalem. And if this can be theologically evidencing, I posit that Zacchaeus got repented but was only awaiting Jesus at that point for an official ceremony admitting him into Jesus’ discipleship.
Still living in the realm of Biblical history, there was a man those days called Saul. Saul was one of the many politicians who prosecuted God’s people for spreading the Gospel and living a Christ-like life. One day while Saul was on his way to Damascus, he encountered a Sycamore tree that illuminated and lighted him up. After that, with immediacy, Saul’s eyes were opened and he saw the Holy Spirit. Christian theism teaches us that Saul wrestled out with the Holy Spirit and insisted that the Holy Spirit will not go until it blesses him. With finality, the Holy Spirit after long delay bowed in submission to Saul’s will and blessed him. The Holy Spirit didn’t only blessed Saul but changed his name from Saul to Paul as well. After that ceremony, Paul got converted from a politician who prosecuted God’s people to an Ambassador and Minister of the Gospel. In Christian theology, we called it “Pauline Conversion”. For those who don’t know what “Pauline Conversion” is, permit me to help you out. For Christian theists, Pauline conversion is the conversion of Paul the Apostle to Christianity on the road of Damascus. However, for us revolutionary sovereign thinkers and philosophers, we define the Pauline conversion as any life-changing event in which one’s views are significantly altered. Fast-forward, theological history had it that Paul wrote the highest number of books in the Bible.
Haven discussed explicitly the Sycamore trees; let us ask ourselves being truthful and honest to our good consciences whether the tree opposite LoneStar Cell in Congo Town is indeed a Sycamore tree or a Fig tree. Let’s still move further and ask ourselves even it is not a Sycamore tree by all its definitions, does that tree in the CDC compound bears some resemblances of the Biblical Sycamore trees? What attributes as defined in my opening sentences about the Sycamore trees that resemble or likened to the Sycamore tree in Congo Town and its self-syled and so-called latter-day Sycamoreans? Do they carry in their DNA tolerance and humility or arrogance and snobbishness? Are they selfless or selfish? Are they also altruistic or egotistic? Do they bear semblance of people-centeredness or self-centeredness? Are they humble, meek, and modest or are they narcissistic, egocentric and self-conceited? Does their definition of hedonism think of pleasure at the expense of the poor or the reverse? Before I answer these intriguing questions, let move further to another tree that existed in Biblical days according to Christian theology.
Besides the Sycamore trees, there existed another tree called the “Fig tree”. After Jesus’ cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem, He turned to the Fig tree and saw it withered. The Sycamore tree and the Fig were cousins. But when Jesus descended the Mount of Olives, He was hungry and wanted something to eat. So, he looked at the Fig tree and He saw no fruits, it was barren. And so, He cursed the Fig tree.
In Biblical theology, the Fig tree symbolises the future destruction of the Temple according to Mark 11:12-25. The Fig trees also symbolises barrenness, unfruitfulness, infertility, emptiness, unproductiveness, sterility, bleakness, greed, inhumanity, callousness, arrogance, selfishness, self-centeredness, loot, ransack, burgle, plunder, corruption, immorality, dishonesty, pillage, ignorance, incompetence, ineptitude and clumsiness.
Now, haven gotten illuminated about the Fig trees, let’ ask ourselves again! Do the Fig trees define CDC and its ruling clique? Do you see semblances of the Fig trees in the CDC, George Weah and cabinet? Are they altruistic or egotistic? Are they people-centered or self-centered?
My honest responses to these questions will be: George Weah and his CDC and band of marauding criminals are epitomes, prototypes, models and exemplars of the “Fig trees”. They represent barrenness and unproductiveness. Look at their almost three years of statehood or running the state of affairs in our country! They cannot point to any tangibles that benefit our people and country, except their luxurious mansions and palaces they have built for themselves through loots at an industrial proportion. Our health sector is in ruin. All government health centers across the country have turned into mortuaries and cemeteries for the dead. Our education sector under the offspring of the Fig trees who are running our country is non-existing.
At least they say, for them, they inherited a broken economy from Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf but they will turnover a collapsed economy to their predecessors.
Sadly in my country, Liberia, what we have is the Fig tree falsely pretending to be a Sycamore tree. That’s why men of high intelligence who seek convenience under the so-called tree end up losing their intelligence, character, morality, integrity and daringness. Most times, immediately after their matriculation under the Fig tree that pretends to be a Sycamore tree, those initiated are repositioned automatically into an alternative universe that’s impervious to societal reality and bereft of critical thinking.
I will stop here and hoping to release part II of this.
About the author
Julius T. Jaesen, II, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the African Methodist Episcopal University on 34 Camp Johnson Road. He is a licensed grassroots political organizer, message development specialist, researcher on Harvard University Academia.com and Grin.com. He is also a published author. He is an Associate Managing Editor at the Parrot Newspaper. He can be reached on the following:
Contact numbers: +231886661061/+231776585152
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