We Live in the Age of Information, We Know so Much But We Feel so Little

A red strip was flashing on the TV screen. It read, “Bomb blast in Karachi, 27 dead 30 injured.” Charred, disfigured bodies lying in a pool of red; were on the screen. It was utter chaos. With moans, groans, shouts of injured, hooter of ambulances, it could rightly have been described as a tragedy, a dilemma. “The authorities say it was a suicide attack. Viewers let me remind you that it was our channel that first broke the news of this blast.” Hell no!!! What I am hearing. Are my ears betraying me or is this true!!!!! Standing at a place fouled with the blood of innocent, dead eyes staring at you, limbs scattered all around, a mound of corpses around you, and this reporter is publicizing his channel. How could this reporter muster the courage to use this human tragedy as a tool of to publicize his channel? Perhaps, he didn’t feel the pain of those having burns on their arms and legs.

20th century brought many changes in our lifestyle. The world turned into a GLOBAL VILLAGE with the introduction of internet and mass media. Population increased and with it came sky scrappers built out of concrete. But alas! All this came at a price. Cities may now be marvelous concrete structures but so are we. Our hearts are concrete like our houses. We may look like humans but we are devoid of what really distinguishes us from animals i.e. feelings and emotions. We are machines, robots, which are here in the world just to work round the clock. We may have all the information on our finger tips but we don’t have the sensitivity to care about the hunger of the hungry and the thirst of the thirsty.

I am a student. I have many important things to do. I have to complete the assignment given by his teacher by surfing the poverty rate and per capita income in Pakistan on net.` “Oh my God! About 40% of Pakistan population earns less than $2 a day. How can they survive in such inflationary times?” But this is the most he feels because he can’t give Rs. 2/= to the boy looking for something to eat in the waste. But then why should he feel? If he starts to feel for every one, how would he complete his assignments? “Shut your eyes to the sufferings of people, they are not your responsibility!!”

Get the most expensive and the fastest DSL connection available in the market. Use the high speed net to watch a new video but don’t feel the pain of the body lying unattended on the road because it’s a police case. You will waste a lot of time in the formal police procedures and your time is important! You have to watch a new video.

Don’t look at the frail legs, slender arms and hungry eyes of African children on National Geographic channel. They are not related to you and especially why when you have the pizza hut chef teaching you how to make pizza on another channel. Go out in your latest Honda civic to dine outside and scold the little child when he tries to clean your wind screen. Don’t give him Rs. 5/= after all, you collected all these rupees to buy yourself the civic. And when you come out after having pizza, don’t buy the old man bread for his family tell him, “Begging is prohibited in Islam. You should work to earn money. “After all, you also worked hard to earn yourself the pizza.

And the saga doesn’t stop here. Look at the politicians for instance. When Seth Sahab or Chodhry sahab drives his Land Cruiser through the streets of Bahawalnagar, it takes a lot of courage. Courage to ignore the hunger, poverty, and disease widespread in the area.

Does he not know about the suffering of the people of his constituency? Of course he does. The 55 inch plasma shows it all. But why should he care. When he can afford to host lavish Aftar parties when the poor are queuing up for a sack of flour, he should forget about their feelings. It’s not his job. His job is to cut ribbons, take hefty salary as minister and go on “official” tours abroad. Oh I forgot! He distributes Rs.100/= among poor kids on Eid in the presence of news reporters. Such a noble gesture indeed!!

Barrack Obama has proved himself as a champion peace-maker by winning Nobel Peace Prize just within 10 months of becoming US President. Perhaps because the children of Palestine are getting clean water daily or maybe maiming and killing in Iraq has stopped.If that’s not the case then surely Afghanistan has become a peace haven or the drone strikes on Pakistani civilians have stopped. If none of this happened then why did Obama get the Nobel Peace???? Perhaps because the jury could not hear the pangs of sorrow of Kashmir and Palestine women. Or perhaps they think that killing Muslim is peace. If this is the case, then surely Obama is the best choice. What is more worrisome is the attitude of world leaders towards this development. No Muslim leader has condemned this “justified’ award of the Nobel to Obama. Perhaps because living in fairytale palaces has turned their heats into stone which cannot be melted no matter how intense is the pain of others.

What has made us so cold?? It is because we are too selfish and obsessed with ourselves. The only thing we care about is ourselves. How much we earn? Where we get in our life?? Its money that is important. For this we are ready to work like machines and repel anything that tries to enter our heart. Its “US” we must think about.

As I continued to think about the “courageous” news reporter, I heard my elder brother say, “Hurrah! Bomb blast, holiday tomorrow!!” Really, we live in age of information. We know so much but we feel so little.

Above essay is written by Mr. Hassan Hamid - 1st Winner for the Writing Skills Competition 2009 conducted by Institue of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) having CRN 57170 - Tabani’s School of Accountancy, Karachi


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