By Alex Mathew V:
The other day, I was at KFC, I noticed a poster stuck inside. It was about a certain “world hunger relief fund”. The person at the counter asked me if I would pay 5 to 10 rupees extra towards the world hunger relief fund. I paid the extra amount, and I stood there to observe a few other people standing in queue. Almost every person that walked in paid the extra. Does this mean that so many people really care about the poor and the hungry? Well, I shall continue my story. Right outside the restaurant door, was a lady with a baby in her lap. She was sitting on the roadside and begging for loose change. Everyone I saw, who were walking into the restaurant were ignoring her. Most people looked at her with disgust, as though she were some sort of unclean creature who should be kept away from humankind.
So what’s going on here? Is supporting a cause today something people do out of conscience or has it become a fashion statement. Opening facebook, one can see a million causes to support, and a million people supporting it. But as far I can see, there is no manifestation of this. Nothing has changed. It seems that today, people care only about what they look like, not what they are. To me, the world hunger relief fund that KFC is contributing looks like a marketing strategy. People will show up and pay up when it becomes fashionable to eat at KFC, and supporting hunger relief is fashionable right now. So is a million other causes like going “green”, going vegetarian, recycling, etc..
If we actually supported these causes spending as much time, and energy as we spend talking about them, the world would be a very different place. It seems that today we are becoming masters of superficiality. We have become shallow to the extent that we are able to deceive even our own consciences into thinking we are doing a good deed. People today care more about writing achievements on their C.V. than they care about achieving what they write. The very meaning of human existence has been reduced to something so artificial and so fake.
It is really quite a sad thing to see, and it is getting worse, the youth today is discordant and impotent. We are not a voice to reckon with anymore, we are fickle minded and change what we stand for based on what looks good in society. We are a sham. Where is the youth who fought for this country during the freedom struggle? Where is the youth that once represented energy and passion? Beauty today has become skin deep, and that is not just a metaphor.
If we at least to our own selves, strip away our pretences, and look at ourselves for what we really are, I think most of us would be ashamed at what we would find.
It is better to be cold than to be lukewarm, it is better not to help the poor than to pretend that we do, for when we pretend, we are cheapening the value of those who genuinely do, we are destroying their credibility.
We need to stop fooling our consciences, let us at least be honest with ourselves. At least then there is scope for improvement. How can we change when we are blind to the need for it?
Image courtesy: http://www.globalenvision.org/2008/07/11/indias-begging-question