Must we only care about something when it affects us? Human beings are selfish, and even when selfless, will act only if there exists some benefit through happiness, content, or material gain. So logically, it probably makes sense to only care for ourselves. I’m sure it is, to mind one’s own business and cater to only personal needs. But from a general perspective, where does that leave us?
It leaves us in a world where the weaker ones are lost, where the physically stronger dominate in the societal world – taking control with the pure brunt force of mob rule. It leaves us in a world where diversity is only accepted if there is a majority that enjoys it. It leaves us in a world where love for anything unconventional will be crushed. It leaves us in a world, where people who undergo unearned suffering will be ignored, forgotten if they cannot put their thoughts into pretty words that the world finds moving and pitiable. We are left in a world where everyone is at the mercy of luck and chaos, where nobody can attempt to work with the belief that faith and dedication is rewarded, and a world where the person most noticeable is the only one heard. It leaves us in a world where people without a voice, aren’t spoken for.
Are we okay with such a world? Perhaps some people are, perhaps people believe that chaos and survival of just the majority is good enough and makes sense. But the funniest thing, is that the only people who believe so, are those already in the majority. It’s very easy to agree to something when it benefits you, it’s very convenient to have a sense of inertia and never change from old practices, because hell, it doesn’t hurt us!
But logic also tells one, that there will always be disagreement and difference. There will always be a thought that might differ, and at that moment we become the minority. Where strength in muscle and strength in numbers will last for one case, when the status quo shifts, so will that number as well. And at that moment, caring just for ourselves will not help us. It will not cater to our benefits. It is then, when things aren’t on our side that we sympathize with caring. When we need this, when we require care, only then will we be willing to think about other people and their needs. It is this practiced selflessness, this logical compassion that is required, which is the need of the hour.
What does this mean? It means that we do not have to be a victim to speak for the affected. It stands to say that we can create our values, we can establish them, and we can uphold them, and the only situation where we can coexist, is if we are ready to defend those rights and values even when not affected.
So if a friend, a student, a stranger, was to be victim, to be treated as if their views were insignificant, like they are small and their views will not be heard, must not something be done, for our own benefit? So that we will enjoy the same rights when we need it, isn’t it most logical to care, to think of other people’s wants and needs? And not simply stating an opinion, that’s easy enough for the world and India. From nationalism to intolerance, everyone has opinions. Yet it means for nothing if not acted on, if not stood up for. To be selfless is to care – to know the facts, make a judgement, and act to defend what we believe should be defended. And this defense is required. This defense is needed, not later or subtly, but out loud and now.
The voiceless must be spoken for, not for them, but for us. So we can be selfish, so we can benefit and break away from the dominance of societal oppression. To create a society where ideas are equally heard, and although we may not agree with what is being said, we will defend to death their right to say it.
With sexual harassment, ragging, free speech, oppression, or anything that is believed to be unwarranted, undeserving, or irrational, we must free free-speech. If anyone asks us who gave us the right to do so, let’s point it at ourselves.
For our own sakes. For the sake of being selfish.
Let’s stand up even when not in the spotlight.