A World Without Common Sense, Compassion and Tolerance

It usually takes a disaster to bring people together at lightening speed. However unfortunate may these situations be, commonsense takes over and one gets to see the goodness in human beings, irrespective of who they are or where they come from – at least one hopes that commonsense prevail. This collective behaviour could be dictated by religion, politics, terrorism, nationality, culture or death of a famous person. Most people believe in God or a divine power and one should not forget the few who believe in nothing, or so they have us believe. It is almost as if people are just waiting for something to happen so that they can gear into action. Preventive measures are not given the importance that they deserve, which culminate in all kinds of disasters all over the world.

Having a leader, be it the head of a State, family, organization, university or a religious group, has its advantages and disadvantages. A leader who believes in honesty and integrity and who has the ability to implement these principles should have no difficulty in guiding his or her people in the right path, but the opposite will have devastating consequences. We have seen examples of these in politics, religion and families. The recent wars could have been avoided only if the leaders had taken the right steps and informed the people in their own countries. The dictatorial attitude and the self-righteous beliefs did not help the countries they were ‘supposedly’ trying to help. The war in Iraq is a great example of this and sadly the situation is far worse now. Innocent people are still dying even as the rest of the world is talking about the Iraqi invasion that started five years ago. When one learns to behave with restrain or use common sense, situations could be avoided or won over without killing innocent people.

When political leaders project religion in the forefront and recognize fellow beings only as Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians or any other religion, it spells disaster. The common bond is forgotten and fanaticism wins over commonsense and intelligence; people behave like robots controlled by a remote evil power, murdering each other because the other does not belong to the same religion or sector. All one needs is a little compassion and understanding to avoid situations that lead to mass murders and destruction of beautiful cities and ancient cultures.

If this is what religion does to human beings, why does one need religion and places of worship? One needs places of worship with the knowledge that each religion should respect each other and accept the principles and limitations of each. People should be allowed to follow the religion of their choice without being persecuted. Unless we overcome this fear of those whose faith is different from our own, we cannot build a free, just, and caring world – we need to do it individually and collectively without waiting for governments to take the lead. One has to believe in oneself and the fellow-beings, to wake up to the situation and allow commonsense to prevail.

© E Menon

I am a doctor working in the UK. I love to write and my articles have been published in the UK and abroad. My hobbies include reading, writing, gardening, cooking, watching films, listening to music etc. Visitors to my homepage get the unique opportunity to read my monthly write up, ‘Corner’ and articles written by me on various topics in two languages, English and Malayalam (the language spoken in Kerala, otherwise known as ‘God’s own Country’!).

My homepage: http://omana.net