Thursday, September 13, 2012

Waiting For World To Change

Let’s stop waiting for the world to change

Most young men and women who move back to the Motherland after studying abroad usually layer each word with venom when they talk about their country.
They  find themselves studying in  a clean, orderly, polite society  and are shocked when the airport gates open to reveal  a grand homecoming made up of gawking eyes, an overwhelming stench, and a sky that isn’t quite a shade of blue.

During their childhood, they didn’t have a problem with the colour of the sky, the dirt and the muck or fanning themselves with rolled up comic books and magazines. But today whether its traffic jams, frequent power cuts or unfriendly neighbors with unhygienic habits, everything seems to attack them. So what changed? Is it because they explored greener and less populated pastures they finally got a rude awakening? Were they fine with corruption and potholes before they saw how a country can run smoothly and how people can work together to sustain what has been given to them? Perhaps.

Maybe when they were growing up the chaos that surrounded them just became a part of who they were. They saw neither reason to want to change things nor any reason to complain. Things were just the way they were, period. But now after four, five or even ten years, they finally seeing their beloved country for what it truly is. While a new, shiny building comes up, there is someone filling his pockets with hoards of cash. While a family of five learn to order in French in a fancy new restaurant, a family of ten haven’t had clean water to drink in days. While there are people who are starving themselves to make a difference, there are people screaming into loudspeakers making false promises. These examples are now clichés and we rarely bat an eyelid when we hear words like corruption, murder, rape. We live in a country where ugly and beauty live side by side but somehow the ugliness always prevails.

But like the ‘foreign return’ students, we can go on listing everything that is wrong but that will never make things right, will it? Instead of sitting on our cushioned behinds and now fanning ourselves with our fancy degrees, hiding behind articles of corruption, filth and horror and periodically shaking our heads in despair, let’s start doing something.  Let’s use our education and our awareness to make that change. Today the world ( like so many ads have aptly used to their product benefit) is truly at our fingertips. We have tools and platforms like social media to help us be heard. We no longer need to stand outside and have huge rallies and walk a thousand miles, we can use the mighty world wide web to ensure that we are heard loud and clear.

So even if you go to London, New York or the moon, don’t wait, point fingers and hide. Even if you feel you can’t do something big, just start with the small things that include donating time and money to charities, feeding hungry animals, voting, dedicating an hour a day to educate a young boy or girl, being helpful, smiling at strangers. Such simple things can make such a big difference and you’ll find that this list too is endless. 

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