Where do we stand?

We need to pause and ask ourselves: didn’t most of us take up our careers to make a positive contribution to society? What happened along the way?

Naureen Aqueel August 05, 2010

The Express Tribune website recently ran an online poll asking visitors if they had made an effort to help flood victims in the current crisis. The results were a clear indication of the state of apathy our society seems to be sinking into: 92 per cent responded with a “No”, while only eight per cent said “Yes”.

For most of us, our lives revolve around the little worlds we have created for ourselves. So it’s always my family, my friends, my career, my home and my job that occupy our time and attention. Seldom are we able to step out of our little worlds and give a thought to the problems of those around us. After all, with so much going on we hardly have the time, right?

We need to pause our fast-paced lives just for a moment and ask ourselves: didn’t most of us take up the careers we have and the jobs we do to make a positive contribution to society, each in our own capacities? But then, what happened along the way? When did we lose that vision and get caught up in the rat race we call life? Are we really so busy that we cannot spare a moment for our fellow citizens who need our help in difficult times? We can help them in many ways: by volunteering our effort and time, by contributing in cash, and yes, also with a small prayer.

The death toll from the floods across the country has crossed 1,500 with over three million affected. The number of people affected is nearly as much as those devastated by the 2005 earthquake which saw an extraordinary outpouring of national sentiment and aid. Now is the time to act. Maybe if we could generate the same sort of spirit that drove people in 2005 we could avert a bigger disaster. There are many ways to help. But the question is: Where do we stand?

You can donate Rs10 to help affectees by texting 'D' to 2471. To learn more about how to help visit D for Donate.  

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2010.

Naureen Aqueel
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


fix-a | 13 years ago | Reply thanks naureen for raising SUCH an important and urgent issue! It is extremely upsetting to hear that there is not a similar outpouring of support as we saw in 2005. I wonder if it is evidence that we as a nation have, finally, become numbed and 'bored' enough that nothing shocks us into action anymore. Does it have to do something with the fact that the disaster-struck people hail from the northwest, a region whose troubles we have chosen to ignore lest 'we' come under attack. Is it that we as a nation, as an expansive imagined community, are becoming defragmented. Is it that 'we' are not 'one' anymore? It is important also to remember firstly that all was not well even during 2005. Though our memory is great at preserving the best parts of an event and maybe even rose-tinting them, we should remember that the episodes of people selling the donated clothes and blankets etc. in the streets of Karachi. (Which is not to belittle the exhilarating, almost spontaneous, camaraderie of that October) Secondly, we should keep in mind the backgrounds of the people who we expect to visit the Express Tribune site. It is not fair to paint everyone, regardless of their class and social background, as one. A few years ago there was a study in the US which found out that those who are the poorest give the most in charity.
Usamah | 13 years ago | Reply Thats not the case as reflected by the poll. there is a lot Pakistanis are doing and they are very concerned to current scenario. I have solid proofs for that but its not the time for it. There are more important things to think about. I request you people to spread awareness in a more positive way and encourage people to come forward and provide help rather than running such kind of polls.
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