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Regional leaders during the third Inter-Congolese dialogue under the EAC-Led Nairobi Process on December 5. Courtesy

February 3, 2023

Take our country, Rwanda, at over 26 square km in size. In comparison with you as an individual, however endowed in mass you may be, she is a giant, isn’t she?

However, don’t tell that to anybody in our huge neighbour, D.R. Congo, at over 2million square km. They’ll laugh themselves to bits. Still, let them enjoy their moment of merriment, then remind them about Russia at over 17 million square km in size. They’ll wish the earth could open up and swallow them!

Yet more. Our planet earth with a surface area of over 510 million square km is a colossus, right? Well, wrong! Next to planet Jupiter, clocking in at over 61 billion square km, Earth will wish you never mentioned anything size-related!

The two do not live alone, though. They are wandering around in the company of eight planets and other celestial bodies which orbit the sun, their main star. That’s our solar system. That’s not all. Our solar system is not alone, either. Scientists have identified 3,916 solar systems this far. And so, still counting. The Milky Way galaxy is their home.

But our galaxy, is she alone? Well, nope! The exact number of our neighbours is a mystery but today’s telescope technology has enabled scientists to put our neighbouring galaxies at a rough estimate of 170 billion, plus three most distant ones that have just been discovered.

So, quite a crowd, ain’t we? Then how do we, as galaxies, manage to breathe comfortably and wander about smoothly, without colliding?

The wonders of Mother Nature are many and varied. She has given us an accommodation whose size is inestimable by even the most ambitious of our scientist know-alls; the universe. The best they can tell us is that the part of our universe they can observe is approximately 93 billion light-years in diameter for now. They can only cut through the observable part because they cannot hazard a guess at the distance of its circumference; the distance around it.

If one light-year is estimated at 9.46 trillion km, you can imagine this multiplied by 93 billion!

That’s space. What about time?

Our earth is said to be 4.5 billion years old and to have another 2 billion years before it dies and recreates itself, on-n-on. As for the solar system, it’s 5 billion years old and likely to be around for another 100 billion years. And our milky way galaxy? Its lifespan is 17.6 billion years while our universe is 13.77 billion years old and will live up to the ripe age of 140 billion years.

Pray, in this whole immensity, what can you call us, little humans?

Leaders of NATO countries, of Russia, in the final analysis, when you take time to think over your place in this stupendous space, what are you fighting over, Lilliputian hobgoblins? For one of you midgets to occupy this vastness alone?

We are not talking about two parties in conflict here. We are talking countries and groups of countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Colombia and more. We are talking multitudes of countries in conflict.

President Kagame pointed this out recently at a prayer breakfast when he said an individual country is a mere grain in a peapod compared to our earth. Indeed, as individual humans, aren’t we smaller than the littlest ants, in comparison? Small ant D.R. Congo killing its own and baying for the blood of smaller ant Rwanda! Why? They don’t come any more puerile!

But see all the actual little ants and the way they are calmly coordinated in their businesses.

What’s impossible that we rational humans cannot emulate them? In comparison to everything that makes this universe, in size we as humans are practically invisible dots. In our lifespan, we last a shorter time than shooting stars. So, why our tiny but deadly squabbles?

Why don’t we see the sense in coming together and working to advance together? Surely, we’d enjoy life better and make our world a paradise for the short time we have to enjoy it. We’d put our strengths and heads together to fight off any common enemy or sufferance and live happily.

For it’s easy to improve the health of our earth and lengthen its lifespan.

It only needs working together for a seamless integration of our countries. As regions that work in collaboration or as an integrated world. Thus, we can pool our knowledge and adopt best methods of its management, shedding the selfishness of keeping new discoveries to ourselves.

As example, last December 25, a veritable miracle happened. Two nuclei were combined to release energy that resulted in power that was stronger than the heat at the centre of the sun. This was fusion power rather than fission power that splits nuclei. The difference is that fusion power is more powerful. It means a lot as we can easily power the world with green energy.

But, bet on it, the malicious and moronic megalomaniac momentary minuscule dots we are, some of us, US scientists, will never share this discovery with the rest of the world.

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