Stray Reflections

This Article was published in
The Frontier Post (September 05, 2010)

By Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri

Many people agree that there are things missing from today's world. Selfishness appears to be epidemic at levels. A large chunk of populace seems to be so self-enthralled that they no longer respect anyone else. Many of the values taught by religion may be the only possible recourse. Lost human values may be regained.

There is nothing wrong with working hard to earn money. However, this can sometimes override sense and reasoning. When one places materialistic needs over and above the concerns for others, it denotes general loss for the humanity. A sense of community may vanish entirely. People may have no interest in helping their neighbours. Everyone comes home and remains behind closed doors. They might forget that when they help others, they help themselves in the process.

Perhaps much of the population should take the time to explore their motives. Are charitable deeds done solely for tax purposes? If so, they lose much of their ability to help others. In some cases, someone may give a large sum of money away. It may be simply for the recognition. It is a good thing, yet something is lost in the process. It may not be a good deed, if done for self gain. Much of the money may go to a fund raiser for his new car or house.

Parents are the most important teachers in society. They control whether their children have manners and respect for others. By the time they get into school, it may be too late for teachers to train them otherwise. It is very important to spare time for children. Remember, you may be old and have trouble getting around, some day. You will want the time and attention of your children. Do not expect it, if you do not have time for them now.

Systems of education are adept at turning out graduates. Many students learn how to get good grades. This means performing well on tests. However, tests may not be a true measure of learning. There are many courses that deal with things that may not carry over into real life. For example, treating people well and adapting to changing situations are lost in the shuffle. There are no degrees in being a good person.

Poverty has been around for a very long time. It is nothing new. There are programs for the underprivileged. However, they do not work. If so, there would be very little poverty around. These programs may not work due to selfishness and motivation. For example, many people wish to do something about the homeless problem. The reason is that they do not wish to see them. There is no real interest in saving or helping these people. They want someone else to deal with them. This passes the problem on and it eventually comes full circle. If everyone honestly helps one needy person, there is a chance that the problem may disappear.

Some may argue that these people cannot be helped. Those same people may have no idea what it is like to suffer that way. Until they do, they may be very hard to convince. This may be traced to the problem of lost human values. This includes apathy, selfishness and lack of concern for others. It is almost impossible to make the majority of the population care about others. Unfortunately, it may take a major catastrophe to convince many.

Most world religions have a common cause. Treat others as you want to be treated by others. This is extremely simple and is still overlooked by most people these days. Perhaps selfishness and uncaring attitudes cloud the thinking process.

Why treat others well? The answer is simple. All things eventually come full circle. The reward of every good deed that one does eventually comes back to visit the doer. In the short term, this seems impossible. Yet, it is a universal law. If everyone helps one person for no apparent reason, it will sweep the world. Why does this not occur? Maybe no one wants to take a chance. No one wants to be the first to take the leap. They do not think that anyone will be there to catch them. There are injustices in the world. However, they may only be a symptom of breaking universal law.

Many people do not admit that there is more to life than they will ever know. There are powers that are far beyond human comprehension. If this is not true, there is no mystery of life. Everything would be perfectly clear. This is not now, nor will it ever be the case. Many things must be taken on faith. There is no other course of action. Denying the truth will not falsify it. Hiding one's head in the sand does not make things go away ostrich-like.

This is why religion is important and should be relevant. It is not important to subscribe to a particular sect or belief system. However, it is important to accept the fact that human beings do not have all of the answers. Some things have to be taken on faith. When this happens, people can start to become part of a greater cause. It may help to end much of the selfishness in the world today.

It is humbling experience to look up at the stars and wonder. You have no idea what they are and where they come from. You can have theories, but they cannot be proven. It is the same with life on earth. No one has the answers. They can only guess. One guess is as good as another. Look at a new born child. Did human beings create that wonder? The answer must be no, as there is no current recipe for babies. People assume that is the way things are.

Religious values have other benefits too. They make people realize that there are repercussions of their actions. This may prevent many crimes and dishonest actions. It is not simply a matter of going to jail, when you do wrong. There are many people who do not find this to be a hindrance. If it is a true hindrance, there would be no overcrowded prison systems. Religious values may be a saving grace for lost human values. They may help to restore respect and a caring attitude. If everyone will treat others properly, many problems may disappear. Before you criticize, condemn, and complain, stop for a moment. Do you want someone doing this to you? Treating others as you want to be treated seems simple. Yet, it may hold the key to a better world for everyone concerned.