December 15, 2014

Can I be the first?

Yesterday like on many daily occasions nowadays on Male's streets, I witnessed a young man throw an empty plastic water bottle onto the pavement. It caught my attention particularly because it landed right in front of me. Inasmuch as i wanted to suppress my sudden emotion of responding for the spectacle I might be causing among a large gathering that blocked that street curb where this happened, i couldn't yet help uttering an expletive. "You just had to throw it there, didn't you?" I retorted spontaneously, expressing an evident displeasure that has stuck me for the past several years as regards this truly degrading social behavior that has plagued us in our new democracy. Yes, the street was filled with similar junk and I couldn't have expected any other behavior from most. Yet this emotion keeps alive a-goading - the possibility that someone might listen. I quickly moderated this by saying " there's no place else to throw it, isn't it.?". He responded with a 'yes', his facial expression indicating a surprise that I had even asked such a question. Then to my surprise or should not be perhaps - another passerby further agrees when he said " it's not anything wrong, this is our abode isn't it?". Frankly, I was left with another confusion as to whether he meant it in jest or sarcasm or seriousness. Yes, that was an interesting response that made me raise today's blog.

Perhaps many young people feel it's just ok to litter these streets of Male because they feel it is theirs to litter - sadly an unfounded attitude many people seem to harbor about democracy; that one has cart-blanch of impunity to do whatever one wants with scant attention to the responsibility that goes as an absolute complement to this freedom of personal rights. Yet, one is irate when another infringes on his space. We all need to be aware of this duality in the democratic institution that we have accepted as our governing Principle. Our leaders and our teachers need to guide us on this path. It should not be as if those that promote our well-being lead us down a path that is the way to our social destruction. Leaders cannot allow their selfishness get the better of the mandate people gave them when they were put into these positions of authority-- to be both the governors and the mentors they were supposed to be.

Another way to deal with this keeping-Male-clean issue is for each one of us who have some sense of responsibility to feel and commit to the idea that we need to take a first step in doing the right things that would make for social harmony without thinking that our individual actions will only be a drop-in-the-bucket - so to say - that it will be of little value. Just as our pristine blue ocean is made up of many little drops of water or our beautiful coral beaches are fashioned from many grains of sand, can we all contribute to our social well-being too -- each of us in our small way? Can you and I be the first to make that effort? Can we make the effort of just sweeping the front of our own house every day ? A job that can be finished in five minutes will make the whole of Male clean for that day; and what else? We will save millions of our tax money that would otherwise go in wages to foreign labor! When we intend and make the decision, the Universe works to make this happen for us.


Anonymous said...

I have this half-complete shop, open to the road. You will be amazed at the kind of 'distinguished' people who come up in their dignified cars, park on the two-wheeler zone in front of my house, and then throw their emptied water of soft drink bottles out of the window and into the shop, perhaps to avoid littering the roads.

Anonymous said...

"sadly an unfounded attitude many people seem to harbor about democracy;"

Now you can be sure that it's not democracy but Demon-Crazy!

Abdul Sattar Yoosuf said...

Now that's one perverted way to not dispose of waste onto the street and let others collect it for them!. Seriously, our affluence may not come hand in hand with character -- just goes to show the folly of mere economic development. we need a paradigm shift, a home-grown approach to find harmony in our beautiful country.
.... and yes, we also need to get to befriend a truer democracy.