“Student going home stabbed to death” is a headline you read often enough in the city section of the newspaper. You read and move on. But what do you do when it’s a name you recognise? How do you feel then? Do you still flip the page to read what’s next? Everyday hundreds and thousands of people are killed for standing up against something or someone. Not in any remote location, but at traffic junctions, on main roads, in restaurants, in broad daylight and full presence of the public. We’ve all been witness to at least one crime in our lives. Whether it’s a man beating his wife on the road or a group of boys harassing a girl at some junction. And what do we choose to do? We choose to avert our eyes and tune out the sound hoping that maybe, maybe if we act like we can’t hear or see it, it’s not happening. We hope that maybe it’ll go away. But it doesn’t. It comes up on the paper the next day and we read it without realising that we were right there and didn’t do anything to change it.
Thanks to our apathy, a good friend lost someone dear yesterday. The news was bad enough but the cause and the circumstances made me see red. the incident took place in one of the most crowded places in the city. One which is well known for being jammed at the time. Something like this could not have gone unnoticed in such a crowd. But it did. Are you really telling me that you would not see someone getting stabbed in the street? Or are you saying that it doesn’t matter to you? Either way, it’s a grim situation. We talk about corruption in politics, the country going to dogs, about the world ending, but we fail to talk about our dying empathy. The corruption in our minds and souls. Our lack of affection for people with lives and families just like us. The fact that we let so many people die on the streets is witness to our inhumanity. And still we talk about greed as the greater evil.
In our race to the top and in trying to evolve into a greater species we’ve left all that humanity stands for behind. We hide behind our masks of anonymity to get away from the guilt. Ignorance is bliss. We assume since it’s not related to our life, it does not matter. We don’t look up and come out of our stupors until it affects our lives. When it does, we raise a furore about the injustice and unfairness of it all. After all, isn’t that exactly what I’m doing right now?
“Another day in paradise” by Phil Collins is one of my most favourite songs. He sings about a beggar girl on the street. Begging for something to protect herself from the cold and how everyone turns their back on her and ignores her.It’s a song I’ve listened to almost all my life and one that is on my most played list. But it wasn’t until today that I learnt the meaning behind the lyrics. A 23year old song which can be the theme song for humanity as it has become today.
I can’t help but think. Think about how if even one person had raised their voice and caused a commotion, maybe I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Neville says to Harry, “You wouldn’t have stood it either. The thing is, it helps when people stand up to them, it gives everyone hope. I used to notice that when you did it, Harry.” All it takes is one person. For that one person to have the guts and the others will join. But I guess, we don’t have the empathy to do that sort of thing any more. Years of evolution and we’ve boiled down to this. A bag of flesh and bones filled with apathy, greed and selfishness. All I feel is contempt and disgust. For myself and for everyone else. What’s the point to evolution if this is the path we are headed down? Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that the world is ending after all.