The dynamics of involvement
Daily Mirror Editorial
Feb 22, 2011

The unprecedented fuel price hike is having an explosive fallout, with more bombshells in the coming days and weeks and independent analysts warning the economic crisis may explode.

Millions of people are finding it difficult if not impossible to meet their basic requirements. There were those who on the strength of their being affiliated to certain organizations, chose to get involved in showing their displeasure and protest and were able to seemingly get some redress. The voiceless and powerless people on the other hand are left to fend for themselves.

What seems tragic is that there is a part of society that is quite unconcerned about what is happening around them. They may hear of and see clearly the anguish of the poor and helpless; yet they choose to ignore the cry of the desperate. The society people have busy schedules to keep; keep fit gyrations and extracurricular activities, that help to maintain their status quo. They would rather shamelessly, with little or no concern for others suffering, wine and dine in the most upbeat restaurants opening up these days, willing to spend tens of thousands rupees in one night. Yet, life for such could be so unsatisfactory and unfulfilling, that depression and despair will soon set in.

True freedom and liberation could only come when we accept the challenge to get involved in the predicament of other people. To run away from involvement on the pretext that one would have to face unnecessary problems and burdens, is a misnomer. Such could lose a part of their humanity and meaning to their own existence. As is said, ‘He who tries to save his life, would lose it and he who is ready to lose his life for another, would find it’.

The Daily Mirror of February 16 carried a picture of three youth carrying a fisherman with gunshot injuries, when the fishermen of Chilaw were protesting over the unprecedented fuel price hike. This picture has deep spiritual undertones; reminiscent of the Biblical story of ‘The Good Samaritan’, who involves himself to take care of a stranger, brutalized and left on the street to die. This man, in accepting the challenge to get involved, won for himself that day true liberation that would last forever. The others that passed, closing their ears to the pitiful cries and refusing to see the plight of the helpless man, carried with them a little less of their humanity and the guilt of their own condemnation that could last for a time.

A true human being is one, who is moved with compassion, pity and mercy. We would probably see in the coming days, the savage struggle to survive and the mournful groaning of children on empty stomachs. Each of us is called to involve ourselves, not only in raising a voice of protest, but deny ourselves any ostentation. This sacrificial involvement to care and share with the less fortunate, would lead to going beyond this dark period, to the bright horizon of tomorrow.

The Opposition, on its part, has to stop taking advantage of the situation for its own purpose and self-interest. Its goal should be to become involved in uplifting the suffering people and not itself. The Government on its part should allow persons knowledgeable on the subject of economics and right living, to get involved in solving the nation’s complex economic and moral decline. Herein lies the opportunity to enter a new era in our history.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka