After twenty years of US-sponsored government and security in Afghanistan, the Talibans have now occupied Kabul. Many Afghans including the President have fled the country, many more are desperately attempting to flee and the rest are scared in their own country. Why? The people of Afghanistan are fearing that the Talibans might avenge for working with Americans or previous government, and they would enforce the harsh Islamic rule in the land (apnews.com).
Back home, we have a King who works more than His citizens to keep everyone safe from the pandemic and showing the infallible direction into the future. Each moment unfolding in Afghanistan is a real feeling of being in a paradize for us in a country blessed by the Triple Gem, protected by the various guardian deities and cared by the peerless Kings. If anyone asks if there is a heaven, we should not fumble answering it. It is an unequivocal one.
While we can only show compassion and pray that all be well in Afghanistan, sooner than later, I am reminded of our own Talibans in the country. One need not be donned with salwar-kameez and pakol hat to impose fear in the minds of others. One need not be brandishing the machine guns or drive military tankers in the street. A dangerous thought coming from the place of ignorance and misplaced intentions is sufficient to enable one’s internal switch to activate the ammunitions of harsh and unpardoning words, and harmful and dangerous demeanours. A mind and heart charged with wrong or unbridled emotions is enough to create fears in those around, irrespective of whether those around are insiders or outsiders.
Firstly, I am referring to abusive spouses that are ruling and terrorizing many families. Sometimes I desperately wish I had the power to read their minds, and I had the power to rectify all their narratives and scripts. The other spouse is in constant fear unable to predict what this person would do next, and the children too are caught in between the physical might and strident words of the abuser and the helplessness of the abused. Some loving parents are not so loving quite often thrashing small children who are hardly equipped and able yet to pronounce even simple words. How mindless to forget that parents are supposed to love their children, not shove them into dread and suffocation! How mindless of some spouses to forget that they have initially avowed to keep their spouses ‘happy ever after’!
Secondly, I think of those tyrant officers/bosses whose job is to be good leaders showing the way to those lost, mending those that are broken, and nurturing those that are growing. After attending numerous leadership training, and learning and understanding that one should be guided by the larger vision and interest, discern the two areas of personal and professional matters and not mix the two, and that one really cannot achieve much alone, etc. some cannot really come out of the cocoon of conceit and ego. It is not really about what the idea is when suggestions are made, but who has made it. It is not really about what is right or wrong, but who is right or wrong. It is not really about harmony in the organization, but harmony with him/her. It is not about how someone is helping the office/organization, but how he/she is helped. Such a personality is a constant source of pain and stress burning all the buds of talents, disappointing all the enthusiastic eyes, and dimming all the bright smiles. This is not confined to officers occupying high chairs, but also others who are not appreciating harmony and comradery or forgetting that others are human beings too.
Thirdly, I cannot help but wish that the youths that are abusing drugs and alcohol, loitering in the streets carrying a dagger ready to harm anyone who would utter a word to them, would find solemnity, maturity and wisdom sooner. Whoever their adversaries may be if they are angered, the fact that they are not in their able mind is a menace to everyone passing them. During our times, we would be disciplined and silenced even by strangers if we were doing something untoward. We would be controlled and corrected by a face we had never seen before. Today, it is a scary as well as an uncomfortable scene to see youth abusing alcohol/drugs, smoking, kissing and cuddling openly untowardly. If we should show some genuine concern and speak some real advices, or even set our eyes towards them, the stern response would be ‘what’s your problem? not a soft ‘thank you’. Where are we going wrong, at home or at schools?
Then there are people who are so vocal and shameless that even when they are at clear fault, they would be the first to point fingers at others, and try shifting the culpability at lightning speed. That too confidently, unawares that the other party is a rationale human being too who knows a thing or two. Such a scene can be witnessed during vehicle accidents (either as a third party or primary one). Such villains are there in many communities that would encroach into the neighbours’ land bit by bit. Very often, the fearful ones manifest as house owners with ferocious countenance, unforgiving words, and unfathomable acts. Then there are noisy neighbours least bothered about their neighbours’ peace and if approached, ready with a callous remark “I am paying my own rent. I can do whatever I want in here”. There are babysitters who would be heartless with the baby/toddler in the absence of parents, the very reason why she’s kept. Time to time, there come disdainful characters in schools – demons disguised as teachers until the covers are shredded. Among the students too, occasionally rogues appear who in a cowardly group so unpityingly victimize another boy/girl.
Likewise, this talibanistic tendency is there in every sphere of our lives – knowingly or unknowingly. I am tempted to mention that some of those feeling sorry and praying for the Afghans may be the very people acting like Talibans back home. Just like the space surrounding the lap is dark, we are often least educated about our own selves and our own people. We are all the time busy looking outside, finding faults in others. But let’s change a bit now. Let’s look inside ourselves more. Let’s be mindful. Let’s be emotionally intelligent. Let’s be humane. Let’s respect each other. Let’s be mutual. Let’s live harmoniously – at home and in the community.
Contributed by Namgay Wangchuk