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“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”
I was raised in a middle-income family in Bangladesh, which is a small third-world country in Southeast Asia. A lack of adequate resources for a population of about 170 million has made living difficult for many of us.
Since an early age, I have witnessed the baneful effects of the lopsided distribution of assets, flagrant disparities, religious extremities, and innumerable other problems. But growing up, I have eventually come to a realization that all of these problems boil down to one single thing—our “lack of concern” for others. However, by eradicating our evident apathy for others, we can readily build a better world for everyone. Allow me to clarify my standpoint.
Two years back, a horrifying conflagration destroyed the entire bazaar at our locality in a winter night. The fire was caused by some homeless people trying to warm themselves in the extreme cold. Before the devastation occurred, other residents had hardly cared about those destitute people and paid no attention to their suffering. However, if those locals showed a little bit of concern for the disadvantaged people around them and took such action to help, such a frightening occurrence, which affected everyone of that area, could have been avoided.
Only trying to ensure our own well-being is not enough, we have to make conscious efforts to better the lives of others, too.
A popular proverb in Bengali says—“when the whole city burns, can sanctuaries escape the fire?” The bottom-line of this saying is quite deep. Imagine that you are a very good driver who has all of the required skills and follows the rules of the law. But these alone can not assure you total safety if other on the road are bad drivers who are inattentive and do not obey traffic law; you are likely to face deadly accidents. So, given a chance, should you not work for raising awareness about safe driving—at least in your own locality—to ensure your own safety?
Albert Einstein once said, “the world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Not doing anything bad does not necessarily make one a good person. To be good, one must do good deeds. Take the prevalent “rape culture” in my own country for example. Here, the rapists escape punishments most of the time because common people are not bothered about this menacing issue as long as they themselves are not victimized.
It’s true, these people are not the criminals due to their apathy; however, by remaining silent despite having a VOICE, they are indirectly being complicit in these crimes.
What we people do not understand is that the rapists we are letting go today may someday victimize our own family and even us. The most heinous cruelty is our casual blindness to the despair of others. Who are we as human beings if we ignore the sufferings of others?
I know that we are inadequate, we are afraid of our own safety, and we think that someone else is more qualified to bring about a change. But, trust me, being ordinary is not an excuse to give up and remain oblivious of the world that runs on egocentricity, fear, and false control. Since I have come to this realization, I have tried my best to contribute—in whatever small way that I can—to making this world a better place.
I am passionate about writing and have been exploring this medium and putting more energy into using it to change people’s particular viewpoints about their surroundings. I have reached people with my thoughts translated into words on day-to-day family problems, flawed child upbringings, bullies at schools, social stereotypes, political unrests, and many other things that bother the “inner-me” repeatedly. I am still endeavoring to bring about that change.
Life is a priceless gift. To savour the true essence of it, we need to cooperate, not compete. We need to possess a greater sense of purpose and love humanity as a whole. “Empathy” is what we need the most now, not “pity.” Our sincerest concern for others is all it takes to build a promising future. So, what are we waiting for? Let us make “empathy” our greatest tool in marching toward a world of everyone’s dream.
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