Saturday, July 5, 2008
VIRTUES MAKETH A MAN
What I am going to write today has nothing to do with the environ. BUT it has everything to do with what we can do to make this world a better and safer place to live.
So, what is so important that I am putting aside the usual topic and spare time and space to it? Please bear with me and read on....
WE live in the best of times... and WE live in the worst of times. We are living in a paradoxical age... where good things happen in the midst of unhappy events and hope can help ease pain and sufffering. And smiles often replace tears and fears.
In times of disasters and tragedies, peoples from all over come together as one to help put things right again. Putting aside all differences, rich and poor nations pour out their coffers and loving compassion to the victims of the two most recent devastating disasters viz: Cyclone Nargis which levelled part of the Irrawady Delta in Myanmar and the Sichuan earthquake which destroyed a few areas in the western part of China. Loss of lives in both of these tragedies totalled up to over 150,000 and could reach a higher figure as many are still missing and unaccounted for.
I am proud that fellow Malaysians, as usual, rose to the occasion and empty their piggy banks and pockets to contribute towards the humanitarian efforts for these two countries. Many fund-raising activities were held and many are still on-going. At such times, we always feel blessed that we live in a 'safer' region with no fear of such disasters. Many other countries, some who are
considered 'poor' by international standard, came forward to lend a hand... especially Vietnam, Laos and even Cambodia. Their exemplary efforts, though 'small' as compared to others, deserve our respect.
How nice that we can rely on each other at times like this!
I thought so too! Sadly, it's not always the case....
Just a couple of days ago, I read that more than 80 women and children, victims of Cyclone Nargis, were rescued from human traffickers who tried to smuggle them across the border to neigbouring countries. These poor, defenceless people were being exploited and victimised by unscrupulous and low-down specimens who enticed them with jobs offers in neaby countries!
And what so insulting is, these traffickers posed as aid workers as a cover!
This scene reminds me of how vultures would hover in the air waiting for sick or injured animals to die and then swoop down to gorge on the carcasses. And you would agree with me if I dare say that they (the vultures) fare better than we human beings. At least they waited for their prey to breathe their last before they feed on them. No, not so with these traffickers.... their victims are at the most vulnerable time which offers the best opportunity for these heartless and greedy predators.
Thank God, their ploy was foiled and the women and children are saved from another life of hardship if they should be traded off into white slavery or to work in sweatshops where they are underpaid and abused. It is a violation on their rights. BIG TIME!!
Anti-human trafficking laws have not been able to fully curb this despicable activity which is still rampant all over the world. We, Malaysians are not safe from the evil intentions of these traffickers too.... we have our fair share of missing persons... especially young girls and children. Where do they end up? Your guess is as good as mine....
Sometimes, I wonder what is happening to ourselves. We live in an age where new technologies offer us so many pleasures of life. Yet, morally, some of us are still nowhere. Where has the compassion, love and responsibility we should have for others, gone? Or, do we have any of these virtues in the first place?
If you or your friends have knowledge of any such human trafficking activities, do yourself a favour and blow the whistle on them. Make this world a better and safer place for everyone....
I end today's topic with GLORIA STEINEM : "THERE is still slavery in the world. There is still a
valuing of human beings according to their race or class or gender or culture or sexuality. Part of this cutting off of empathy is the anesthetizing of our senses to the suffering of animals. Once we grow callous, we cannot feel fully for anyone -not even for ourselves."
Some websites on anti-human trafficking laws and what you can do to help stop the scourge: