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We have lost our insaanyat…our humanity – Mark Ulyseas
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive. - Dalai Lama
The continued bloodbath in the Middle East and other parts of the world does not appear to be abating. There is a savagery the likes of which has never been seen since Attila the Hun. So where does this hatred originate from? What fuels the slaughter? And what makes normal people join armies of gun slinging malignant beings hell bent on mutilating people?
From childhood we are taught to loathe people that wear a different religious emblem or flag.
From childhood we are brainwashed that we are better than others, those of a different skin colour.
From childhood we learn how to revel in the suffering of others.
From childhood we begin to throw off the mantle of humanity and replace it with the sign of hostility and suspicion towards all that is alien to us.
When we become parents we teach our children the same things we had learnt. And so the cycle of septicaemia of us and them continues.
We are now part of the river of inhumanity that flows through areas of conflict, disease and mind numbing poverty without any acknowledgement of the same. An embedded sense of disconnection from the images is reflective in our obese children and pets and a mean attitude to sharing our wealth and/or knowledge. These are guarded with a viciousness that amounts to committing culpable homicide of humanity.
Inhumanity has fine-tuned the ‘moral’ compass within us that points immediately to other factors like religion or ideology when confronted by the smell of blood in our nostrils, but never to us. It is always someone else’s fault, someone else’s problem quite forgetting that it is the inherent cultural concoction that awakes the beast in us and prompts us to commit unspeakable acts and that our indifference makes us complicit in the carnage. Our morals and ethics have become elastic.
In the last century we witnessed two world wars, millions massacred in smaller wars, genocide and more.
And we have learnt nothing from this.
We are into the first quarter of the 21st century with renewed vigour to exterminate each other with all possible means at our disposal. More money is being spent on weapons that can deliver death more accurately, whilst millions continue to rot away in horrid conditions.
What a waste of all the wisdom we have garnered over eons.
We have truly lost our insaanyat…our humanity, for we have no use of knowledge that teaches us love and compassion.
Bertolt Brecht sums it up in the following words, “The first time it was reported that our friends were being butchered there was a cry of horror. Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread. When evil doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out ‘stop!’ When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable, the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.”
And George Bernard Shaw has the last word – “The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity”.
But is all lost?
In the midst of the mayhem there exists people across the world who still cherish and preserve, in their own way, the sanctity of life. Perhaps it is these folk that prevent us from completely destroying ourselves and the only home we have, earth.
I shall leave you now with these words of Mother Theresa (in the 1970s) when asked why the Little Sisters of the Poor picked up dying destitute people from the streets of Calcutta – “In life they are rejected by humanity. So we cleanse their bodies, clothe them and feed them until their last breath. We give them dignity in their dying moments. This is the least we can do”.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om