Taking our efforts to a higher dimension
The past week’s events have attracted attention from all over the world. The incident that shook our very own Dar-es-salaam brought more than just lost lives and broken families to our community. The painstaking fate of all the people associated with the victims of the ‘Dar tragedy’ is unfathomable.
However; that isn’t all the incident came with. Over the past week we noticed something innate to us humans: humanity. When time called for it, everyone, independent of affiliation, was there to help. Rescue efforts, and aides to those efforts were on a scale we probably haven’t witnessed for a while. Without a doubt, we have to be grateful for such a wonderful community. We have to be appreciative of these blessings and honor those who sacrificed, night and day, to recover the victims trapped under the rubble.
Yet I can’t help but ask the question – when did humanity become the exception and not the norm?
Often, disasters like this help us put things in perspective. We try to value life more, appreciate our families more, be thankful for our blessings and even engross ourselves in religion. I’d like to think these incidents are really a representation of life in the long run. However, the elements of such incidents differ vastly from the reality of life.
When the pain of this incident has subsided and the anger extinguished, what lessons do we take away from this tragedy? The victims that were trapped under the rubble, who do they represent in our lives? If this was meant to be a wake-up call, what message was the caller trying to convey?
As members of the Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania and the East Africa community, I believe we do not have to look any further to deduce this message. If we look around us, we will see who the victims represented in our lives. Poverty is a stark reality in our region. With over 30% of Tanzanians trapped below the poverty line, where else do we need to search for the faces of the fallen souls of 29/03?
The better, bigger and more important question: where are the rescuers of these trapped victims? If we humans are indeed human, as the past week showcased, why aren’t we rushing to the aid of our fellow Tanzanians, just like we rushed for the casualties of 29/03?
Where are the communal efforts to uplift our brethren from poverty? Do we have to wait for another disaster, so that our humanity can resurface? When did humanity become the exception and not the norm? Why do we have to wait for another ‘wake-up call’ to be reminded of our nature? Sometimes we argue that we have a duty and responsibility to those less fortunate. No, it is in our essence to want to help, to want to support, to want to assist, independent of the recipient.
If we nurtured our humane side enough, we would be out there rescuing our trapped brothers and sisters. We would be out there helping them out of the ‘rubble’. We would be standing with them, feeling their pain and anguish as if it was ours, and
sacrificing things dear to us to uplift them from their troubles. Indeed the Qur’an echoes this:
Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it. (3:92)
Translate the rescue efforts of 29/03 to a higher dimension, look at the big picture, and understand our struggle against the poverty disaster isn’t over. And yes, we require assistance, we need sacrifices of time, money, education, a smile, and we need