A reality-check for all of us

December 3, 2023

A bitter reality which you and I would eventually be exposed to, sooner or later. So better late than never!

A  reality-check for all of us


ot too long ago, just two months back, I believed in a real world; a world full of kindness, where every action had accountability, every human a bit of heart and every leader a bit of leadership quality. Movie plots and fairy tales had some reflection of reality.

Terms such as ‘shortcut’ sounded like a loser’s excuse. There was still some hope, still a feeling that actions done with good intentions paid off.

Just two months ago, proverbs linking hard work to success sounded less like clichés and more like words of a wise man, having some relevance in the modern world. This sometimes kept me motivated, even when days were rough. Even motivational speeches on YouTube made some sense.

Fast-forward two months. Thank the war for showing us the reality of the world we live in; the place we call home; the place where leadership comes with dollars and power; a place where you fear for your life if truth slips off your tongue; a world where money can either silence you or buy you; a world where love for power can make a human devoid of humanity (what’s then left of them?)

It’s a bitter reality you and I will eventually be exposed to, sooner or later. So better late than never! Realise this today in order to save yourself from a heartbreak tomorrow.

Better realise today that not every success has effort behind it; not every rich country today has people who once struggled. Some are built over blood and some made their food tastier with spices taken away from lesser human beings.

Human beings forget pain (if it’s not theirs) and tend to accept as master the oppressor as long as they’re not the ones oppressed. Blood and gore in movies make people cry but the same people are hardly ever bothered by real-life footages shown in the news. The same people recommend putting PG warnings for content having a bit of violence for their children to stay unaffected. They don’t really care if children in another part of the world are living through it.

Their taste-buds won’t cooperate either. Sipping on a carbonated drink and eating a burger dipped in blood-red ketchup is hard to stay away from, as it pushes them out of their comfort zone to make some hard decisions. It’s that unique taste that’s found nowhere else. Hence no reason is good enough to stop contributing towards killing children.

“The First World worked hard to be where it is now; the Third World is still paying for its mistakes,” is an example of sentences shoved down our throats so that we can keep on the path we were put on 70+ years back.

V-loggers and influencers narrate stories of their favourite nations — Nations of Light — where their ideals were born; the kindest of people who won’t hurt a fly. Tell them there are not only children, women and the elderly stuck under the rubble, but flies and pets too. Somebody show them the pictures of cats and dogs that don’t (unlike some premature newborns) support any political party and hence don’t deserve to be killed.

The writer has taught at NCA, FAST NU and PU. She currently teaches writing, communication and linguistics at FCCU. She can be reached at maheenzia03@gmail.com

A reality-check for all of us