The significance of the misery and suffering of one’s fellow men
Now more than ever the news is filled with one natural or man-made disaster or the other causing untold suffering for many people. Whether it is the economic distress in many nations or the terrible individual or mass suffering in accidents, diseases, natural disasters and the like, our daily news is replete with them. These have become so common place that many of us have somehow become numb to it all and often go our own way with a shrug of the shoulders.
Something is definitely astir. Never in the history of the world has there been such an accumulation of events. Something is definitely wrong and it does not seem to abate but if anything it intensifies year on year. Each year seems to be worse than the last and so on and in the midst of all this stands man who must try to make sense of it all. We can make sense of it all if we want to.
The misery we see on our television screens and also in our immediate neighbourhood should make us reflect and try to find out the root cause, if we can find time for it. We do not have time, however, to think of such things. After all what business of ours is it if other peoples are experiencing hardship? As long as we are not directly affected and as long as our loved ones are safe why bother? After all if these bad things are happening to those people they must have done something wrong to deserve their fate.
This is then the crux of the matter isn’t it? They must have done something wrong. Well, already here we touch on what many people superficially call karma, thinking that since we have a name for it then we understand its meaning. These events cannot be dismissed casually by the expression “they must have done something wrong”. We have all done something wrong. Every single one of us without exception, and our own fate and day of reckoning is just around the corner.
Today, it is the turn of our neighbours to experience the consequences of their own wrong doing but tomorrow it will definitely be our turn to experience ours without fail. Therefore, we should be a little more sympathetic and offer as much help as we can to our neighbours knowing that we are not actually much better that they.
These events are to be taken as a warning so that we can use the little time that we still have to change ourselves for the better in the way we think, speak and act so that a similar fate might not befall us. We should learn from other people’s experiences to change for the better and then perhaps we might avoid a similar fate from befalling us. We should try and become better human beings spiritually, within ourselves. We have hitherto been completely materialistic and one-sided in our views. We recognise only this earth, not realising that there is something greater and of more value which we can also recognise if only we wish to.