Open the newspapers and what do we read? Sordid stories accompanied by photographs of bloodshed, of brother killing brother, of honour killings at the hands of the poor unfortunate’s own family, of terrorism and of suicide bombings. Sensationalism is on the front pages. This creates a feeling of negativity amongst the readers. Inspiring stories of courage and of generosity are hidden somewhere in the back pages.
Spurred on by the media that puts one-upmanship on a pedestal, we are constantly striving towards power, prestige and material wealth by fair means or foul. We have forgotten how to give. Let us not be slaves of the media and think for ourselves.
Wise religious leaders have preached a doctrine contrary to the sordid culture of exploitation, of insatiable greed. They taught of LOVE. An unconditional love bestowed gratis from a munificent God on everyone on earth even though no one deserved it. They taught of caring for one’s fellowmen. The strange thing about this love is that the more we expend it, the more deposit of love grows within us. If we keep God’s love to ourselves, we will get none in return and we will be increasingly unhappy.
Many young people live with their parents in our country unlike in the west where they live separately much earlier. While our way of life makes the bonds stronger between generations, it is regrettable that many youngsters feel that they must make the most of these years through self-gratification. “Let’s make the best of these wonderful, carefree years”, they feel, “for they will never come back.” This attitude results in endless and inane messaging, spending precious time of sending silly messages on what they ate, on Facebook, partying, going for movies just to while away their time.
Enjoying yourself in a wholesome way without resorting to binge drinking and drugs is fine. But it should not be the be-all and end-all of your existence. It is time to grow up and to act like an adult which implies taking on responsibilities. Lend a helping hand to your mother who may be rustling up a delicious meal after a hard day at work. Help your kid brother or sister with their studies.
As we grow older, we have less time for social causes. It is here that the youth could step in with their vast resources of energy, dynamism, talents and positive attitude. Armed with his guitar, Benny sings for the sick at a nearby hospital and thus spreads cheer. Siddharth entertains paediatric cancer patients with his magic tricks. My daughter, Minal, recollects the satisfaction she got in teaching young orphans during her college days. Some join the movement of keeping Mumbai’s beaches clean. There are opportunities galore. It is up to you to tap them, thereby making the world a better place.