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When was the last time you saw a disturbing news item or skimmed through yet another tragic story of injustice? How long did you take to ponder on it and then move on?
Chances are that your response to the story on the news feed of your social media accounts did not go beyond alike, an emoji or at most a comment. Even if the news was as disturbing as to warrant several weeks of media coverage (case in point, Zainab’s murder), it still has a limited shelf life and gets replaced soon by other sensational feed.
So, let’s try our hand at a little introspection here, shall we? There is something that is preventing us from playing an active role in combating the myriad of social issues that we are being confronted with every day. Instead of opening our eyes to the horrifying reality of child abuse and the inhumane treatment of fellow Muslims in Syria, we are content in keeping them shut and in remaining silent, pretending these issues do not exist as long as they do not directly impact ourselves.
This alarming phenomenon is called apathy and it is constantly on the rise in Pakistan. The lack of concern about the sufferings of fellow human beings coupled with an indifferent attitude has taken away the precious quality of feeling from us. We no longer understand what it is to be in the suffering person’s shoes because we have become desensitized and detached.
In our self-focused race of achieving our personal milestones and set goals, we have forgotten that true contentment can arise only from co-existing in an environment where such atrocities are not carried out every day. It is time to return to our core values and highlight real-world issues for empathy to get a chance at winning in our society.
In the words of Albert Einstein: “The world won’t be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything”.