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The Erosion of Compassion: Navigating Intolerance in Society

When we repeatedly ask them, "Did you find a job?" or "Is there any hope for children?" we are not offering sympathy; we are, in effect, rubbing salt into their wounds.
by Sundas Behroz - 24 Jun, 2024 253
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Man is inherently a social animal, living within a society and adhering to its norms. Brotherhood is a crucial aspect of every community, under which every individual is expected to treat others with kindness and compassion rather than harm.

Unfortunately, these ideals often seem like mere words, as our society tends to focus more on each other's shortcomings than our shared humanity. Intolerance has surged to such an extent that much of the unrest we experience today stems not from terrorism but from our intolerance.

Consider the struggles of someone without a home, a job, or children. Such a person already faces internal battles and constantly seeks solutions to their problems. When we repeatedly ask them, "Did you find a job?" or "Is there any hope for children?" we are not offering sympathy; we are, in effect, rubbing salt into their wounds. We make them acutely aware of their perceived deficiencies rather than providing comfort.

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If we genuinely want to know if someone's situation has improved, we need not pry. A simple observation often suffices. Many personal matters are private, and just as we dislike others intruding into our personal affairs, we should extend the same courtesy to others.

Sometimes, a person might not even feel deprived until society forces them to see it that way. I have observed that many people desire children not because they feel incomplete without them, but to silence the intrusive questions of others. They are pressured into feeling a lack that they might not have felt otherwise.

We have established rigid standards for every aspect of life: marrying by 25, having children within a year of marriage, securing a job immediately after graduation, and so on. When someone doesn't meet these standards, we make their lives difficult, often pushing them towards depression. Our intolerance extends even to differing opinions, which we cannot seem to tolerate.

Every individual is unique, created by Allah with distinct characteristics. We must not only recognize but also respect these differences. We must strive to live our own lives and allow others to live theirs, embracing compassion and tolerance in our interactions.