Introspection is the examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings. In psychology, the process of introspection relies exclusively on observation of one’s mental state, while in a spiritual context, it may refer to the examination of one’s soul.
Introspection, a faculty far too alien to most of us and much needed considering the overall fabric of our society. The monumental challenges spread all over include but are not limited to overall values, health, education, religion, sectarianism, ethnicity, terrorism; the list is never ending and ever growing. In this vociferous age with ‘agents of change’ growing in number, one may feel hopeful. Pakistan is witnessing unprecedented number of protests, both in electronic form (on social media) and on the streets, quite often organized and mobilized on social media only. The number of petitions moved and participation in the same is rather impressive. Protest calls by citizens for minorities (term used for reference although a more apt term would be ‘lesser Pakistanis’) and the subscription to the public display of rage and registration of concern is once again inspiring.
These petitions and protests have been perpetrated in response to societal issues with varying degree of impact. The subjects have included but have not been limited to dilapidated state-run schools, failing public health system, promotion/protection of those employing children, inadequate water supply, apathy towards poor, culture of royal/VIP lifestyles at the cost of tax-payers, spreading of sectarian/religious hatred, etc. And the number of voices, protests and intensity of the same is growing by the day.
With such developments, one would hope to witness some sort of abatement, arrest or some nuance of amelioration in any of the issues against which voices are raised. As a citizen, the exact opposite is witnessed. The incidents not only seem to be on the rise but the level of blatant shamelessness is of another level. Ever wonder why? The answer is fairly simple and much closer to home.
While we are out fighting for justice, there is too much unjust at home which is conveniently overlooked. How is it possible to be out there raising a voice against child labor and expect to make a difference while leaving own children with underage maids at home? The food insecurity must be addressed. Indeed a pressing issue which requires attention at all levels. But let us not remind ourselves of the same while we spend thousands in restaurants. Sectarianism and religious extremism are eating away the foundation of this country. It is important to go out and raise our voices and register our protests. But let us not spend time with our children and speak to them of peace and co-existence. Prevalence of justice is considered the key to progression in any society. By all means speak up on the streets and on social-media, take part in demonstrations, but when faced with an actual situation within the circle of family, friends, colleagues, stay away and make sure you don’t take a stand for what is right and just as it may get you in trouble and have an impact on your relationships, employment, livelihood, etc. We don’t bother to turn off the tap while shaving, but let’s take part in the demonstration for water conservation, shall we? Simply put, we like to speak about the unlawful situation without missing a chance of running a red traffic light.
In so many ways, we all contribute to the issues and problems we raise our voice against, knowingly and unknowingly. Who are we fooling? There are just too many of us on the “unjust” side. There is no hope till this changes.
Time to introspect… We need to stop blaming others because they sin differently! Should we decide to take a stand for something, we need to own it and make sure we are not a party to it. That is the only way to ensure at least one less person contributing to the problem.