Written by Staff Writer
17 Apr, 2019 | 4:05 pm
Colombo (News1st) – As modern human civilization progresses at a rapid pace, questions are being raised as to whether the progress is coming at the cost of our norms and values?
Today even though the world is more connected than ever before, we are more alone. Even though our combined population has surpassed 7bn we choose to surround ourselves with virtual worlds. While the possibility still exists to interact with one another physically is it being shunned and in lieu of it, we choose to communicate through technology.
It is human nature to be selfish and think about your own well being, however, centuries of cultural practices as well as religions have taught us the value of loving-kindness and compassion towards others.
In Sri Lanka, one of the pinnacles of our cultural teachings is the celebration that is the Sinhala and Tamil new year. The new year is celebrated by everyone working together, however, some incidents that transpired during this festive season raise questions whether we are deviating from our selfless culture and devolving to more primal and selfish human beings.
Recently released CCTV footage of an assault in Trincomalee showed the manner in which a young man, who had his throat slit, wandered the roads begging for someone to help him. He eventually bled to death on the road and breathed his last. The question is why didn’t anyone come forward to help this youngster who was begging for assistance.
There may be a couple of reasons for this …
The first thing that springs to mind is all legal trouble that the good samaritan would have to face. If someone came to help this youngster, it would eventually mean that he would have to go before the Police, then appear in Court and these things drain both time and money. So even a good samaritan would hesitate and think twice before helping a complete stranger.
What if he is a criminal?
With the recent crackdown on drugs in the country and the skirmishes being reported between criminals and the police, people could think that the victim was a criminal. Who would want to come forward and help a dying man if it means that you will eventually be in the crosshairs of rival gangs or the security forces pursuing him?
While all these are valid reasons, it is unfortunate that we as a nation are retreating from the values that have been enshrined in us. You only see a few people who come forward to help even in the case of a motor accident; the sad part is that one day that could be you or me begging for help that never arrives.
When similar situations occur in other countries they turned to science to address the issue. The administrations turned to psychology and counselling to mould the mindsets of the people and then they improved their infrastructure and emergency services to reach locations within minutes.
However, at the end of the day, the best way to regain our lost cultural values is through education. Educating our youth regarding selflessness and educating the children about helping our fellow human beings.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall have mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5: 7-9
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