At any other time, the Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a story about chaos and anarchy, has never been more accurate. While it talks about a group of boys stranded on a deserted island and their disastrous attempts at self-government, it is the interplay of the different character types and their action leading to the climax which is oddly similar to the present situation where we find ourselves in today. During this year of the novel corona virus, one of the human traits that is most notable is our social behavior (or rather misbehavior) during this time of calamity.
We may all have, at varying degrees, a semblance of an established order in the countries we live in. However, it is the input of presence of threats to our societal structure, they be in the form of invasion by another country, as in war, or by inner conflict, and manifested by natural calamities, plus how we react to these, that define us more than anything.
It seems that the concept of one earth is merely nothing but a romantic fantasy when we consider the knee-jerk reaction of citizens, especially from the most advanced nations in particular, to harass and discriminate other races not their own, in an effort to be free from the virus. True, a protectionist stance is usually the first recourse at the outset of any outbreak, but seldom, it is also the lack of knowledge and education in both government and its people that seem to be the moving forces behind such actuation.
While others are level-headed enough to seek a rational solution and cure, a growing number among the population of the world just go into that trance-like, irrational state where for some, blinded fear is dangerously mixed with culture-deep antipathy towards other races. Other say that gross ignorance of course, has a part to play in all this, but nothing else excuses from the lack of empathy sleeping just below the surface which is suddenly jerked awake once one’s position is threatened.
All over America, the number of cases of violation against person in the form of both verbal and physical abuse had steadily grown. It is not enough to surmise that the perpetrators are ignorant because such generalizations may at once find a quick rationale for their chosen behavior. The why of such is not even accidental, because there is no such thing. Everything has a historical precursor and the deeper explanation could be that from the very beginning, some people are actually discriminate by nature, only temporarily reined in and forced to be civil by society’s stricter mores and ethics, and that ignorance is nothing but a short fuse.
Because of all these, the descriptions that pertain to a senseless mob akin to shark frenzy, become grossly inaccurate because the said portrayal only depict their actions and never their intent. They are actually one in belief and thought, therefore not senseless, and that they are what they are because it is merely a case of protecting themselves.
Actually, government has this role to play; to educate their masses and to preach the acceptance of diversity for a start. This might as well be the foundation towards any positive course of action. However, other factors such as politics, religion and culture are likewise in on this drama, as hidden actors behind the cast of thousands spreading their wings, much like the British boys in William Golding’s book. What the leaders of the world fail to realize is that they cannot preach divisiveness in this dire hour; because in the end, the maxim United we stand, Divided we fall, is true.
For all our sake.
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