Monday, June 10, 2013

The good, the bad and the ugly…

I’ve always thought that people are all inherently good; that everyone, no matter how bad their actions may be, has the ability to change and become good. After all, it’s the actions that are bad right, not particularly the people. Sometimes I think that my understanding of the world is naïve, that I’m viewing things through rose coloured glasses so everything looks better than what it really is. I’d like to see myself as someone who is hopeful towards humanity, who can see the good in people when they themselves are unable to see it; who can hope that bad actions can be reformed and that people can turn towards good. I suppose this is why its difficult for me to accept people so blatantly harming others and not seeming to care at all, especially when these others are young children.
There are many ways that people harm others, but today I’m particularly talking about those people who sell drugs to innocent (or not so innocent anymore) school children. Drugs is becoming an even huger problem in our society. Recently we heard that children at our local schools are selling drugs and forcing other children to sell it as well. Now taking drugs is one evil thing on its own, but selling it is bad on another level completely. When you take it you are harming yourself, and of course those who love you. But how can anyone have the heart to sell drugs? Selling drugs harms so many people and it’s so completely selfish. I don’t know how dark and twisted people have to be to do this? Preying on young children, getting them addicted and then using them to sell the stuff… honestly this is pure evil!

But worse than the average street dealer is the ‘big guys’ in the industry. Those who manufacture the drugs and those who introduced drugs into society in the first place. These guys are in it only for the money and they are not stupid enough to ever take it, because they know the effects all too well. For these guys people’s lives seem to mean nothing and they obviously couldn’t care less who is being harmed. Their kind of “bad” is even worse because they use illusion to make their drugs look good and they portray the picture of innocence, blaming poor social conditions on drug abuse, to deflect from the reality.
It’s very sad when you see what drugs does to a person. No I stand to be corrected, very sad is an understatement, it’s tragic! People with so much intelligence and potential waste their lives because of drugs. Here in Johannesburg the streets are full (and I’m not exaggerating at all), of young people who once had their whole lives ahead of them, but now spend their days trying to get a little money from begging, or helping people park their cars or whatever they can do. And these are still better off than those who’ve turned to crime to support their addiction.
The thing that makes me the angriest however, is when people on drugs believe that they are “cool” to be taking it. Like it somehow gives them some kind of validation, and proves their strength. This façade that they are living in really gets to me, I feel like giving them a slap and telling them to wake up and face reality. This is because I know that someday they will realise that they were far from “cool” and unfortunately most times that realisation comes too late.
I feel hopeless sometimes- hopeless to make any long lasting or significant change. There’s so little I can do and so much I want to do. As a counsellor I think the hardest thing is facing the reality that there’s not much you can do if people don’t want to help themselves. I’ve had numerous occasions when I tried all I could to help someone, to no avail. Because in the end of the day we are all responsible for own lives, and we cannot change the thinking of anyone. In the end only Allah Almighty can help people to change!
This doesn’t mean I can’t wish for the best though, it doesn’t mean I can’t dream about a time when our youth will live up to their potential and stop wasting their lives and the precious talents that Allah Almighty has given them. It doesn’t mean I can’t feel saddened or that I should just stop caring. Like I said, I’ve always believed that people are inherently good, I’d like to stick to that belief and hold on to hope, because after all we are the best of Allah’s creation!
May Almighty Allah help everyone to stay away from the bad and ugly things and to seek the good, to find happiness and peace in the good and to spread the good instead of the bad!
Image from here