There is so much in the media about Nelson Mandela, it
hardly seems possible,
or perhaps necessary, to saymore. I still find it amazing that anyone
set up the process of 'truth and reconcilation' to deal with
the aftermath of
"For hatred can never put an end to hatred; love alone can.
This is an unalterable
law." One of several translations from the Dhammapada. Martin
Luther King called
hatred darkness and made another famous quote. But to implement
it? How hard is
that? To bring perpetrators and victims into the same space to
talk. What an amazing
example Nelson Mandela set.
My new Pakistani friend, Omar Gilani, also writes about
dealing with evil from experience.
I cannot imagine how difficult it is to live in Pakistan. When
just going about your
ordinary life is dangerous and one may be bombed or shot
for just being who you
are or in the wrong place. He too, has an amazing message. ~
'Injustices' have been happening
since man first began measuring time. This is simply
the result of a conflict between our ideas of what should be and
the nature of what
truly is. This is why we are so appalled each time we hear of
unnatural or premature
deaths. We find it difficult to mentally reconcile freak
occurences because we like
to believe in underlying order, cause and effect, cosmic
determinism, and so on. But
the hard truth is that shit happens, and it will continue to do
so. Whats left then is
how we deal with it. [...]
It has now come to a point where
we are exposed to such unspeakable, unjustifiable,
unacceptable daily occurrences that we have to take notice. One
cant sit still
anymore, one has to speak out or take action against the evil
that one sees. This is
basic human nature. The problem is that our 'speaking out and
taking action' is almost
The internet is partially to
blame; it has made it too easy to be lazily compassionate.
Well put up Facebook status updates of indignation, share
pictures of bloody kids
out of context, get on Express Tribune blog posts and write
And if thats not enough, well
blame each other for the atrocities that we see: upper
class blames the poor, conservatives blame liberals, populists
blame the government,
Shias blame Sunnis, Muslims blame minorities, and when all else
fails, well blame the
unseen, unheard forces beyond our control: the fahaash, evil
empire of the West.
And then we can breathe easy.
Because weve sort of rationalized the evil, deflected
it out of our lives, put it in a neat little box, washed our
hands of any responsibility.
All that evil goes back to being disconnected images playing out
on our television sets.
It isnt our problem anymore, weve done our part. Weve talked.
But this attitude is fucking us
up pretty bad.
Evil exists. It will always
exist. But that doesnt mean that we should sit around and
mope and whine and talk about it. All that we can do is accept
it, and then take action
despite it. Talking about the evil helps no one. Pointing
fingers helps no one. The only
way to blot it out is through action.
Here is an alternative way of
looking at it. This is going to sound a bit strange at
first but bear with me:
Evil is an essential force in
Everything in the universe is
relative. Everything exists in contrast to something else.
Tall is tall because it is compared to short. And good can come
into being only when
there is evil to compare it to.
Deep down we know this. But it
seems like the message has been lost of late.
If all we can do is sit around
and talk, evil wins. If we let it affect our reality, and
we get sad and mopey because of events we hear about that dont
directly concern us,
The only way that evil doesnt
win is to do your work regardless. Acknowledge evil is
there, and be a force of good against it. Less talk, more
If you think talking about it
will make it go away, you are useless. You are nothing
more than a commentator, a reminder of the problem. You are not
part of the solution.
It isnt enough to simply voice your opinion.
But then what is enough? There
are so many problems, there is so much madness, there
are so many issues to deal with. What can one person possibly
Simply this: do your work. Do
that which is unique to you, do it with all the love and
energy and good that you can do it with. Push forward in spite
of the evil around you.
Remember that one story in a
thousand that you hear about, which actually warms
your heart instead of making you feel bad? Be that story in your
own unique way.