Beyond Borders

Human nature knows no frontiers. Humans have an innate propensity for love and care for fellow human beings and this is what the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates as well. When it comes to the battle of survival, we are all united. This is accurately manifested in how China sent medical supplies to Italy and the United States, despite the built-up narrative that China rivals its western counterparts. There are plenty of examples flooding the internet about how countries are trying to help and cooperate with each other during these tough times.

This calls upon us to reflect on why, despite the innate feature of humans to love and help each other, our history is tainted with blood and hate. Why have we experienced so much xenophobia and animosity in the name of ultra-nationalism and jingoism? It is time for us to reflect on whether ordinary citizens are made to go through a process of indoctrination in the guise of education, overwhelming our natural tendency for compassion and altruism. I am not against basic education. It is indispensable for a decent civilized life, but when this platform is used to manipulate young minds, it can become destructive for humanity at large. It becomes destructive when Christian children are raised to loathe Jews, Hindus and Muslims. It becomes destructive when Muslims are preached to hate Jews, Hindus and Christians. The destruction cannot be described in words.

But if we do have a proclivity towards love, peace and inclusivity, then who engages in the propaganda of provoking us to confront each other in deadly wars and precipitate carnage for petty gains? The propagandists must also be some human beings. Where do their traits of love and kindness go? It is at this point that we ought to realize that when humans have a tendency to love, they can have the tendency to be intoxicated by momentarily gains at the same time. They have a propensity to be selfish beyond reason. They have the tendency to be devoid of any sentiments of right and wrong. It is this tendency which prevails when Christians celebrate the deaths of Muslims and Jews while Muslims celebrate the deaths of Jews and Christians. But today, when we are endangered by an invisible virus, we realize that we are endangered because we are all the same, because we are humans.

Fortunately, the cold type of humans are in minority. It is just that they are at the helm of affairs. They have somehow managed to seize power and since nobody seizes power with an intention to relinquish it, they want to keep holding on to it as long as possible. They employ various tactics to attain their goals.

The warmer human beings, who are humans in the true sense and have compassion and love for their fellow beings, are still in the majority. But their only fault is their submissive, sheep-like behavior. They tend to fall into the trap of the elite, never question anything and never speak and stand up for their rights. The famous writer George Orwell refers to such people as the proletariat. They wish to love and create a just and inclusive society but can sadly only wish because the dystopian regime will not let them cross this limit.

Let us utilize this quarantine period and reflect upon where we are headed. Let’s unleash and embrace the true power of humanity. Let’s use this time to introspect and rectify our mistakes. Let’s make the post-COVID world a society where we rise above national borders, sectarian divides, religious divides and ethno-cultural divides and where we defeat all propaganda that instigates us to hate and pull each other down. Let us live in peace and harmony.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of or any organization with which he might be associated.

Ali Hamza Malik

Author: Ali Hamza Malik

The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad. He has pursued Bar-at-law from City, University of London and LL.B from University of London (International Programs). He is also part of the visiting faculty at Lord’s College International (an affiliate teaching centre of the University of London) where he teaches legal jurisprudence to third year law students.