For millions and millions of Christians throughout the world, Easter is their most important festival, celebrating the Resurrection, the Triumph of Christ over death, Good over evil.
After the trials, tribulations and sufferings, there is always Hope. And mankind should never give up hope even in the most difficult and challenging situations, in the most trying times and the darkest hours.
Religious and spiritual beliefs – whatever human creatures believe in, and however we make sense of the world – are highly personal and incredibly emotional, and should always be respected by everyone. It is the basic human right for all human beings.
It is useful and important to learn about other people’s religions and beliefs so that we can learn to live together in peace and harmony in this rather difficult, troublesome and complicated world.
We learn to accept, not only to tolerate.
This year, you might have noted that Easter coincides with the Muslim’s holy fasting month of Ramadan, the Indians’ religious festivals, and the Jewish Passover.
In most parts of the world today, you see absolutely unjustifiable and unconscionable atrocities, cruelty, bullying, rudeness and inhuman treatment inflicted on fellow human creatures, especially the young and the weak, women and the old, of all ethnic and religious groups, at all levels of the human society, from the most basic to the nations.
This happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even in the holiest months of some major religions. The horrors and atrocities of the last world wars are being repeated.
This is totally unacceptable in a civilized society.
At Easter and at all times, give a helping hand to the needy, the sick, the disabled, the vulnerable, the weak, the old and the persecuted.
Do not live to regret. Our human hearts are warm and capable of showing love, affection and compassion in abundance.
Let the incredible story of Easter take root in your heart, sprouting new life into the great dreams inside.
Let the story of triumph energize your spirit, giving new meaning to every challenge and difficulty you face.
Let the greatest story of hope shine into your soul, with light to overcome even the darkest of days.
Let the story of resurrection inspire you to rise up, again and again over the course of your life.
(Datuk Seri Ang Lai Soon is Sarawak social activist, philanthropist, founder of St John’s Ambulance Sarawak.)