Friday, March 5, 2021

Wicked people

Amongst the maladies that have afflicted our society today, dehumanization is surely one of the gravest. Things appear all the more dreary when we think about the problem bearing in mind that, in the times gone by, bonhomie and warmth used to be the defining characteristics of our society. The malaise of dehumanisation is at work covertly. The rat race, of which most of us, willingly or unwillingly, have become a part, has rendered us, more or less, incapable of discerning the magnitude of the problem. It is difficult to say what inaugurated this process of dehumanization and what actually led to it. The only thing that one can be sure of is that the problem is very much there. For the ones who care for emotions, feelings and the spirit of camaraderie it is too onerous to contend with the problem of dehumanization. The materialistic outlook that the majority of the masses have on life is, in all probability, the most potent source behind this dehumanization. Pecuniary benefits and worldly ends, for a large majority of the populace, have become the centres of attention. It is really unfortunate that money is looked upon as an end in itself when it should have been regarded as a means to end. Why do people make promises and then renege on them? Why has it become so easy for men to cheat and wrong others so heartlessly? Why do people feign humanity when it suits them and revert back to their normal cruel selves when it doesn’t? Finding answers to these heartrending questions is a tall order indeed. We are aware that when one has everything going his way he usually tends not to understand the real purpose of life. Nothing seems to be more fulfilling than a life offering its best to a person. A person goes out, plods all day, earns a few bucks and thinks that he has fulfilled his purpose. Maybe he is excused, for, more often than not, the false and misleading glamour of the world in which fate suspends him, is bedazzling. As one casts aside this false feeling of being happy and successful in life he realizes that there are some much more serious things that need to be taken care off – God-consciousness, the sense of responsibility and one’s veracity and moral values, if there are any. After all life is not all about earning names and fortunes. This naturally keeps one more humane in his outlook and once such humanity pervades things like treachery, faithlessness and deceit vanish on their own. Unfortunately the courtesy, chivalry and civility that were and should have been the order of the day seem to be on the decline. What is more irksome is that acerbity and meanness have replaced the aforementioned virtues. There are so many things that hurt. Expect kindness and you are treated with barbarity, give someone a smile and it will be returned with a vicious glare. You come across a once-good friend, expect him to treat you as enthusiastically as he used to, but find out that he is not that good a friend now. Elders are treated in a way in which they ought not to be. Juniors are bossed and bullied instead of being loved and honoured. Members of the down-trodden classes are made to feel that they are not in the same league in which people belonging to the so-called elite class are. All these are portents of an awfully deleterious malaise called dehumanization. What can pull us out of this vortex of dehumanisation? The first thing that comes to mind whenever one thinks of respite or relief is prayer. Praying always makes one feel more humane and kind, but so often one is shocked to see that dehumanization has laid its hands on our religious nerve centre as well. The thing is that if we want to humanize ourselves in the true sense the propensities for being money-minded, materialistic and deceitful need to be curbed big time. It is cankers like these that warp us and make us cheat and deceive. And when one means to cheat others he can easily find thousands of pretexts or ways of doing so. It is time we awoke our conscience so that we are true to ourselves as well as to others. This in turn can go a long way towards humanising us.