March 2, 2014

Can we look a bit further?

A couple of days ago on my morning walk I saw glistening things in the water in Male harbor along the stretch from the coast guard building all the way to the boats moored across HSBC.  The sun had not risen as yet, but the early glow of it reflected off these to seem like jewels in the water. Upon closer look however, I found that these were empty pet bottles and energy drink cans and cigarette carton wrappers all bobbing up and down with the billows of inward sweeping waves or on the wake of boats. I was not surprised, for this I noted was not uncommon in Male in the present time. Just as the streets were being littered carelessly by pedestrians, our pristine sea is also the dump yard for some thoughtless beings that inhabit our emerald islands. Even with the trash bins out as the new venture of the City Council (it is high time – dear public officials!), the good habit of aiming the trash to the bin seems a bit far-fetched still; we still seem too tired -- even after the energy drink – to make that trek to the nearest bin for disposal. Most trash still seems to linger around the bin or across from it when these should be inside. But that will take some time, I say to myself, as I continue my walk with a bit of lament for the past neutralizing some of the tonic of the crisp breeze that is never in short supply on these ethereal Maldivian mornings.  

In actuality, what we do in life is not for ourselves but for our future generations. At the Youth Ministry sponsored Kissaru at the Social Education Center a week or so ago, I was pleasantly surprised by how many young people expressed the desire and hope for a peaceful and harmonious Maldives where we all lived in a context of sharing. These were young people and I thought of how we adults are suppressing these sweet and hopeful dreams. If we reflect on what is happening in Maldives we see that our anger and envy is being projected by us adults who have instilled in ourselves over these years of growing up, a sense of competition and wanting to be one-up on our neighbor, and with the examples of the social menu we observe on our media for expansive dissemination of our negative anxieties, we perpetuate this ill feeling to these young people who have only sweet hopes for tomorrow.

What may I ask is the role of us adults if not to create a more able and positive society of tomorrow. Not one that will take years back again from the place we have had on the moral scale. We may think that our wealth is the indicator of development. I will say that this is following a lead that someone else has set for us. In this East of ours, we have had the moral compass as the indicator of human progress. We cannot be throwing these away to espouse alien concepts just because it is seen to be the path to development. We adults need to keep the dreams of youth moving in the right direction and only then can our Maldivian society survive the turbulent sea of discontentment that will be our future.

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