OUTLOOK — By Ahmed Al Falahi — Once I received an email about a school trip in which the bus was stuck under a bridge that had been rebuilt recently. The top of the bus had got stuck against the underside of the bridge as it was passing through it. There were discussions on how to retrieve the bus from this position and ensure the safety of everyone inside. One student came up with a brilliant idea of deflating the air from the tyres, which would lower the bus, thus solving the whole problem.
What attracted my attention most in this story, which need not necessarily be a real incident, was that the one who wrote it would have been an highly intelligent person who wanted to deliver a number of messages: first, when the student said: "We learned last year in the Festival Book, a small lesson about how we can pass through a narrow gate. The teacher told us that we must remove from within the emptiness of pride that makes us so arrogant in front of people. If we remove from inside ourselves the pride, vanity, selfishness and greed we will all go back to the normal size as Allah created us so that we can pass through the narrow gate into the kingdom of heaven. The supervisor said, please explain. He said: “If we apply this on the bus and we removed a little bit of air from the tyre, gradually it will move away from the tunnel safely.”
The self growing is a social problem, it is true that it is personal and related to the individual himself, but it has many implications at the community level, like restricting the safe area where the individual is moving or interacting with others, as he isn’t able of communicating with them to accomplish the full social role that he is entitled to, or as one aspect of the social contract. Nor are others capable of dealing with him to reinforce the faith instilled in him, as a result of his behaviour which has forced people to believe that he is an arrogant and unfriendly person that people should keep away from so that he doesn’t get more arrogant.
The society is full of such people. This undoubtedly hinders the system of social work, apart from the organised work in the institutions to which such people belong. This could be natural, and the person deals with it in utmost satisfaction as he doesn’t realise how many people are aggrieved by his behaviour. But this certainly will not be an excuse that could prevent him from discovering himself.
It is important that people rearrange their papers from time to time. It will be our fault if we continued in the same rhythm all the year long, especially when we know deep within ourselves that we are doing something wrong. If the society criticises a person for such behaviour, it will not be out of envy, but out of the people’s concern to guide him. They say: “Better late than never”. It is never too late to correct our behaviour. We only need to take the first step and eventually we can do it.