SAFETY FIRST

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This two-word phrase is essentially the most important and perhaps the most neglected message in our lives that we must as individuals and as community learn, adapt in our daily lives, ensure it is followed in letter and spirit by all and constantly remind ourselves as well as others to make it our second nature.

Submitted: June 29, 2017

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Submitted: June 29, 2017

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SAFETY FIRST

This two-word phrase is essentially the most important and perhaps the most neglected message in our lives that we must as individuals and as community learn, adapt in our daily lives, ensure it is followed in letter and spirit by all and constantly remind ourselves as well as others to make it our second nature. In the advanced parts of the world the notion has been acknowledged as predominantly a top priority for the governments and organizations where SAFETY is strongly enforced and constantly tracked by top management. The concept however has not been fully cascaded down to an individual level as intended but it is heartening to observe that the focus is there and is being vigorously pursued.

While we still see pedestrians crossing roads with eyes glued to their smartphones, drivers using cellphones while driving and even texting at times, smokers freely tossing cigarette butts from their vehicles as if it is a great moment of joy, people walking down the stairs while talking on their phones, pedestrians taking shortcuts, conveniently avoiding the designated walkways and drivers who somehow believe that wearing seatbelts will raise a question mark on their masculinity. The good thing is that the numbers of such violations are on a decline as others around the violators of safety act as watchdogs.

What some people fail to realize is the fact that such precautions are meant for their own safety and wellbeing. The organizations or the governments will not gain anything except for ensuring the safety of their employees and citizens respectively. I recently saw a colleague talking on her phone while walking. I politely reminded her about the safety tip that one must stop to take the call if it’s urgent. She smiled, stopped, earnestly thanked me and continued the conversation while I moved on. That is the degree of maturity and understanding that we would like to see in our respective societies.

There was a recent incident, an utterly horrific and unimaginable event where more than 150 people were burned alive because they were collecting gasoline from an overturned tanker in Pakistan. They were drenched in gasoline while some were even standing in the pool of that highly inflammable liquid without realizing that the demon which they had themselves created was getting inexorably closer to end their precious lives in an instant. It was reported that a smoker tossed the cigarette butt that ignited the dreadful inferno. All those perished were poor and illiterate people but was that the only factor which caused their unintended mass suicide?

Taking someone else’s stuff without permission is equivalent to theft, a crime punishable under law. If poverty and ignorance are construed as drivers leading to such despicable behavior then all poor and ignorant people should follow that but that is not the case suggesting the aforementioned factors were not what led them to their gruesome demise. I watched the video prior to fire starting and engulfing them and did not find a single person there who actually tried to warn them about the danger they all were in. It appeared as if they were not even faintly aware of the immense hazard that the situation posed for them or were so blinded by their greed that they simply ignored it.

I firmly believe that ignorance and poverty have little to do in distorting a person’s character. It is the surrounding and the environment they live in which makes or impairs their character as it cultivates common values, good or bad. The vicinity I mentioned above is in the rural outskirts of the city and all such areas are ruled by feudal lords who treat people like animals living in the region they control, even worse than that because they on the other hand pamper their pets like dogs and horses etc. Not all of them are that bad of course but most are. They are like the malignant cancers which are still out of control despite the fact that the democratic process is struggling to get a foothold in a country of over 200 million people out of which 70 percent live in the rural areas under the direct rule of those landlords. So Pakistan is effectively a feudal society. All living in those surroundings share common values trickling down from the top while those living in the urban areas are not spared either because they have common legislators who are basically the same group.

The increasing education standard and use of social media networking sites are enhancing the general awareness level of the people hence the days of the feudal monarchies are numbered if the trend continues and sweeps across the entire rural population emanating light of knowledge, enabling them to see the reality first hand.

That is not the only inhibition which is keeping people below the human subsistence levels, the government which basically is controlled and dominated by the feudal lords deliberately keep their citizens where they are. There were some horrible and documented events lately where the influential feudal lords, their children or relatives blatantly killed innocent people in broad daylight and got away with it without facing the wrath of law. It appears as incomprehensible in today’s modern world but it happens every now and then and the people see that all in utter despair. As somehow they have accepted it as a norm which is indeed the most appalling scenario where people have lost all hope.

What people do not realize is that the so called shackles that they believe they are trapped in are basically unreal, they don't actually exist. it's the fear. If they just stand together and shout aloud then those freaks who appear to be as gigantic as Godzilla will instantly shrink to the size of bugs and will hastily crawl back to their crevices. But expecting such bold step from those who have been chained for centuries is a bit audacious. The literate lot using the social networking sites is vocal about such instances of injustice and brutality but they are outnumbered. In a flawed democratic setup the skulls beat the brains.

I sincerely hope and wish that the new government in Pakistan and elsewhere for that matter will focus on improving the standard of education in their respective countries, will ensure justice for all, select people of unparalleled integrity and abilities to lead their areas of responsibility, improve overall safety, develop the health and infrastructure facilities ensuring free access to basic necessities like clean water, clean environment, health and justice for all people.

If a team of good people takes over in Pakistan for example, the landscape will completely change in the next ten years or so. If however the current party continues to rule then the country will plunge deeper into a bottomless chasm.

One of the advantages of the incredible technological advancement is that distances have been shortened. What was achieved in 100 years some 100 years ago can now be completed within a period of 10 years or so subject to implementing an appropriate plan and putting in the right project team to oversee flawless execution of the strategy.

Good people at the top become role models for others to emulate and that aura helps build a culture based on solid moral values. The ones below adopt those values without any conscious effort.

It is like the effortless flow of liquid from the top to the bottom.

Just a polite reminder; SAFETY FIRST

Cheers!


© Copyright 2017 Razi Akber. All rights reserved.

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