The Tumbling Value of Life

The human life is the best characterization of the creative skills of nature. It is the prettiest embodiment of the beauty of creation. The whole environment celebrates the arrival of a new life, much like a beautiful garden that jubilates when a new flower blossoms.

The past six to seven decades have seen a tremendous growth in the number of human blossoms on the landscape of humanity. During this period, the human population has jumped to disquieting levels. Although this has added more splendor to our world yet at the same time it has given rise to a fierce competition among the constituents for grabbing a size-able chunk of the natural and developed resources essential for the sustenance and enrichment of life. The technological innovations have not only aided in changing the lifestyles but have also introduced a stifling chase for the latest. The human desire to surpass others has become a hallmark of the society; a characteristic not confined to particular segments or communities but evident as a notable trait in the personality of all striving individuals across diverse sections of the expanding populace. The race to overtake only gets fiercer with each passing day, leaving many faces red with envy and even jealousy at having been nudged out and left behind.

The downbeat fallout of this chase has been a rapid erosion of respect in the eyes and hearts of the people for the life of a fellow human being. In the good old days people nurtured the habit of looking at others with great dignity and respect. There emanated a feeling of reverence for others even if they did not know each other. The society showed an abundance of compassion, empathy, sympathy, concern and kindness for the less privileged. Those passing through hard times could gather enough strength from the support extended by a vast number of known and not-so-well-known people. It never required much persuasion to garner physical, emotional and even financial support from others to tide over an unfortunate situation. It was a big reflection of the loving and caring attitude of the people towards other members in their social surroundings.

The stiffening competition due to ever increasing challengers, the intense thrust on advancement, the relentless pursuit of materialism, an easy access to conveniences of life, rapidly growing expectations, the inevitable acceleration of the pace of life and the resultant lack of sharable time have all taken a toll on the sincerity with which we maintain our personal relationships and the social connections.

There is little room left for thinking about and showing concern for the troubles of a next door neighbor, who appears more distant than a virtual acquaintance on the other corner of the globe. The heavy indulgence in self-gratifying chores, a misleading trust on the perceived realism of the virtual world, sacrificing real life relationships on the altar of digital interests, a blatant shift from societal concerns to self-centredness, swiftly corroding familial bonds, a shrinking regard for moral values and a darkening view on social responsibility have seriously distorted the way individuals look at and treat other constituents of their society. In this degraded scenario that reeks of utter indifference, the pitiable profile of a poor fellow, covered in rags and looking at you from behind an unclean face, stirs no wave of kindness in your well absorbed mind even if his dirty hands knock hard at the window panes of your well scrubbed car.

The value of life – in fact the value of other’s life – has steeply gone down over the years and has swiftly tumbled in about a decade that has witnessed an ever widening gap between people’s aspirations and their actual accomplishments. Over this period, boastfulness has gained more respect than the real charisma and a majority of people have sadly succumbed to the temptation of creating multiple layers of desires irrespective of the capacity of the resources available to them for their fulfillment.

The growing desperation due to feelings of inadequacy, heavily clogged arteries of trustworthy counseling and a decaying moral environment have given a steep rise to deplorable human attributes of uncontrolled anger, icy indifference, insatiable greed, domineering lust, imprisoning addictions, ravaging jealousy and even an overpowering urge to display brutal aggression. These inhuman aspects have driven a large number of insensitive people to unimaginable depths of ugliness and meanness when it comes to valuing the life of another individual.

The dissemination of information from around the globe unveils several instances of dreadful misdemeanors shown by thoughtless people from varied age groups and social strata, exemplifying their apathetic concern for the life of others. The compelling reasons behind such shocking behaviour can leave you dumbfounded.

A traveler just considers it ‘cool’ to push a life under a moving train, a reveler finds it cheaper to snuff out a life than to pay a tiny bill, a mother finds it more convenient to throw her baby into the lap of death than to cradle her in her own arms, a drug-addict finds no intoxication in the love of his wife and kills her, and her resistance, instead of destroying his own wicked habit.

A young mother finds it more useful to sell her toddler son to buy a mobile phone and a pair of jeans, some drunk tourists find the blood of an eatery owner tastier than the food his employees served at a late hour in the night, a heartless boy finds a television show more interesting than the presence of his caring mother and eliminates the disturbance by pushing her to death, a candid child pays with her life for disclosing the names of her friends who stole pomegranates from an orchard.

A self-indulging woman extracts the life of her husband as a gift on his unpardonable offense of not remembering her birthday and not bringing her flowers, a landlord obtains compensation by snatching the life of a laborer who attempted to steal some vegetables from his farm, a house owner makes more space in front of his house by getting rid of the life of a man who un-mindfully parked his car there and a student gets thrown out of a moving bus and collects a pass to heaven for not possessing a ticket for the bus ride.

These are just a few examples of the globally sliding value of life. Every new dawn ushers in more excuses for its further devaluation. In addition, there appear regular reports of mass killings of innocent people, for absolutely no fault of theirs, at the hands of those who wish to establish themselves as distinct from the rest of the society.

Is it that the human life has become an easily accessible currency for the boastful display of brazen power? Or is it that its abundance itself has steeply depreciated its own value? Or is it that the dazzle of materialism has blinded our outlook on the worth of a creation in flesh and blood?

The human mind seems to have developed some serious fault lines in its sub-terrain of thoughtfulness!

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