The world is much more than the news

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October 12, 2016 by freakychakra

In this world of social media, we all have come across articles which inundate our feed with the worst of humanity. From crimes against mute animals, to crimes against children and women, to-strangely-acceptable crimes in the name of war. Pick up any of the mainstream media news channels and the top 100 news stories are about rapes, killings, murders, thefts, betrayal etc. Being pounded by such stories minute in and minute out has made me numb. It isn’t a surprise, that unconsciously I have begun to accept these as a part of daily life. What should have been exceptions, our mainstream media would want us to believe them to be the norm.

I wouldn’t blame you if you too like me have begun to lose faith in our species. In a world where surprising results like Brexit take place, and people like Trump have attained trust and faith over other able leaders, it would be only too normal to start feeling edgy over where we are actually heading. The problem being, it wouldn’t be easy to live with that feeling.

Statistics and studies have shown that poverty has reduced overall in the world, the world has the least amount of conflicts as compared to any other time in history. More human interactions are taking place than ever, and the world is increasingly coming closer. The fact is that, we as humans have understood and learnt from history that peace is the only way to go forward and have largely begun to tread in that direction, notwithstanding the exaggerations that the media houses and politicians would want us to believe.

The fact is that the silent majority thinks about logic, solutions and peace and would try out every possible means to avoid conflict. The problem is that the rare vocal fanatics consume the airtime and space. Let me cite some examples:

  1. It is 2 AM in the morning and I am standing desolate on the road leading out of the Mumbai International Airport towards Bandra because of some miscalculated decisions. I am awaiting a taxi driven by a driver who got his license a mere 12 hours back and has been driving around the airport for 15 minutes now. We are in touch, but unable to meet each other. Here my first hero without cape enters. This private security personnel in night shift at the airport tells me that the road is dangerous for pedestrians as vehicles are legally allowed to be driven like Salman Khan on this stretch of the road. However, instead of dismissing me back to the airport, he decides to take matters in his own hands and talks to the driver himself, instructing the driver where to arrive. The ignorant driver still has a hard time finding the place and it takes the security guard more than 20 minutes of shouting, rebuking, patience etc to get the driver to the place. Not for once did the security guard leave my side, despite him not requiring to do so. He was one amongst the numerous silent majority.
  2. It’s 9:30 PM and I am traveling by a sparsely populated AC bus from Vashi to Borivili. At Powai, the bus suddenly halts by the side of the road. I look at the driver, he is still in his seat. I look at the conductor, he is still in his seat. I look at the six other passengers, they are still in their seat, except for a young lady who is talking animatedly on phone with her friend, ostensibly giving her some directions etc. I am puzzled as to why the bus has stopped when nobody has even requested for an emergency loo break (not that it is normally entertained). It’s 15 mins since the bus has paused while the engines are still on. The good old Bollywood music gracing the AC cooled air has managed to keep my nerves totally intact, though the curiosity is building up. Then suddenly an SUV leaps from the side to the front of the bus and a girl just runs out from that car towards the bus. The girl in the bus waves excitedly receives this escapee and then thanks the conductor profusely. The driver smiles and pushes the acceleration. I put 2 and 2 together and understood that the driver and the conductor chose to stop the bus and give a safe and comfortable ride to a lady in the night. They were amongst the numerous silent majority.

The fact is that we meet heroes everyday, one form or the other. From the watchman who doubles up as your car washer for a monthly salary of what would be less than the cost of our occasional dinner to the policeman in low-quality sandals braving the muck and the rain to only reassure you that you have someone to look up to in case things go South. From the bureaucrat who is working hard to implement a new policy that could make your future brighter to the teacher who ensures that you or your child is getting ready for the world. From someone who is doing a simple thing of following a traffic light thus ensuring a disciplined traffic, to someone who is calling up the authorities to come and fix roads and potholes, because that’s a problem everyone faces.

Heroes are everyone. The world has more of heroes and like Batman they prefer naturally to be hidden, wearing the mask of a common man. They believe in getting up, smiling at their family, dreaming up a bit with open eyes, exulting into squeals of laughter with their colleagues and family, shedding invisible tears in the form of worries on deaths around the world and then retiring back to their beds with the hopes of a better day at the end of their sleep.

The world is a much better place than what the politicians and the media would want you to believe. The world is much more filled with hope than what the BREAKING NEWS would want you to believe. The world is filled with heroes, it just depends on what you prefer to watch – exceptions which are lied to you as the norm, or the norms which are not bought to you as truth.


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