Lack of empathy

Adnan Kiyani


The writer is a journalist and teacher also.

Allah Almighty has created man as the noblest of creatures for man been bestowed with intelligence and conscience to fight his self-ego otherwise strength, body, nutrition, drinking, smelling, sleeping, and procreating is also a characteristic of other species but they don’t have the ability to think or reason.
Due to this conscience and intelligence, man has been granted an exalted status than angels for they might be no parallel in worship; angels do not have their own ego and an inherent quality to disobey God and are constantly in submission. Only when a man escapes his ego and sets on the right path will he be crowned as the noblest of creatures.
Man can be trapped by the devil and go on a downward trend as his self-ego can be taken over. This is when a man goes astray from the right path and is unable to control his ego.  He doesn’t just become worse than a vicious creature and is rather devoid of any humanity. Man’s faith begins to weaken when he takes the first step towards this path of destruction. He realizes he is heading towards the wrong track but remains either silent or goes ahead with it. He gradually begins to accept his wrongdoings without understanding the repercussions. He tries to convince himself that his misdeeds are harmless and man should have independence, and sometimes he tries to distance himself. 
Eventually, he is so numbed that he can’t differ from disobedience to God, violation of human rights, harm, sorrow, evil, fraud, deceit but only goes on to appease his self-ego. He is still oblivious that he has become a worthless human being and still considers himself a smart and decent person. He doesn’t even realize that his self-esteem has also faded away with his reasoning. The conscience which urges him to commit a good deed and sometimes keeps him safe from evil is now dead.
Nowadays when we look around, we see this dead conscience among many who had reasoning and were supportive. These people showed pity even when they saw someone in the scorching heat but now they have no feelings. Those who would provide water to a stray dog now have bent on suppressing the rights of others. We consider the dead as emotionless but I have seen those with a dead conscience suppressing the rights of man.
While a man might be testing the patience of a woman, I have often seen men who are suppressed at home but rather than portraying themselves as the victim, they have faced the burden and immense tolerance to brush it aside and put on a smiling face. I cannot narrate the heart-wrenching story when a woman poured acid on her husband merely for joking about contracting a second marriage, but he did not lodge any complaint, seek a divorce, and still agreed to live with her.
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudry opposed public execution for child abusers over a resolution passed by his fellow minister. The same minister slapped a journalist when his own self-esteem was being tarnished, while his conscience seems dead over the abuse of minor boys and girls. Those who locked down Islamabad for several months, attacked public buildings and policemen, and were awaiting an umpire’s finger, are now declaring that others should be tried for treason.
Whether it is the government or the public, there is no dearth of people who have lost their conscience and are concerned about themselves and nothing else. While governments have been looting the people, man has been suppressing those he is responsible for. While a disobedient son has pushed his mother outside their home, a sister is suppressing her brother’s right. While someone has forgone his due right for his brother, the same brother is suppressing his own brother’s share. When our religion gives us the lesson that even a prostitute who feeds a thirsty dog will be forgiven, we are playing with the lives of our followers.
The death of conscience is slowly eroding our moral and ethical values of patience, virtue, and manners. This has corrupted the beauty of women, sacrifice, and nobility. The sanctity of the home is no longer the same. If anyone does you a favour, you should be wary of his gratitude. This saying was meant for our present times as our conscience has surely been buried. A conscious man once said: ‘Conscience dies in the silence of feelings; this is the death which we are unaware of.’
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