By Musa Khan.
It is well known, “Man is a social animal.” No man can live by himself and thereby men live in gatherings – we call it ‘society’. Here the word ‘man’ means both man and woman – all Homo-Sapiens.
Broadly speaking, societies can be categorised into two: Good Society and Bad Society. A society in which individuals get their rights from society and perform their duties to society are good societies; and in which they don’t (perform their duties and get their rights) are bad societies. Individuals are obliged to perform their duties in a society and, at the same time, society is responsible for ensuring the rights of individuals. If there happens any imbalance between the two (rights & duties) they both, individuals and society, suffer.
Now some light should be shed on the duties and the rights.
In society an individual’s duty is to keep away from harming others. Others can be harmed in three basic ways: physical harm, material harm and moral harm. All of these types need a little explanation.
Generally when we hear physical harm, what clicks into our minds, is to slap, kick or punch someone. And we feel satisfied with ourselves that we are good; but these are only the extremes. Any of our actions which disturbs the five senses of others is to harm them. If we play very loud music and our neighbours get disturbed by it; we harm them physically. Especially the hostel boarders must consider it. On roads, if in a traffic-jam we press the horns despite the fact that we know our horns can’t make disappear all of the vehicles is to cause physical harm to others. Throwing rubbish in appropriate places is to physically harm others. Garbage can be found thrown in almost every city on roads. It harms others when they see it or through its bad smell. We should rather throw it in the place assigned for it; in dustbins. These acts committed carelessly harm the society.
Material harm means to get something from someone through illegal means and which is not our right. To the material harm too we take to easy. We take it as stealing, robbing or snatching. As rarely people does so, hence they are satisfied that they have not harmed any one materially, but this is not the case. If we let the water tape running carelessly without any need, it is to harm others materially. Water is wasted too much in our homes. Wastage of a single drop of water means to materially harm those to whom water is scarcely available. Furthermore, everyone is aware of the energy crisis in Pakistan. We, in Pakistan, have shortage in supply of both electricity and gas. Still we let turned on the lights, fans, stoves and heaters without any necessity. We should be careful with their use. If we see any of them turned on without being in use, we ought to turn them off. This energy could be used in industry and agriculture, which provides jobs and are a source of income of labourers.
Moral harm is a serious issue and is worse than both previously discussed harms. The extreme case of moral harm is to dishonour or to disrespect someone. Cheating or letting others cheat in examination, giving or taking of bribe, abusing etc all comes into this category. Cheating and bribery are moral corruptions through which unrightfully someone gets a position deserved by someone else. Abusing is, nowadays, a common practice on social media, particularly, between supporters of political parties.
These, above, were just a few glaring examples of not giving appropriate inputs to the society by us. There are many more; which if thought about, will come to our understanding.
Our rights from the society are physical safety, material safety and moral safety. The society must give these rights to us.
But who makes society? – Individuals. When we as individuals perform our duties, our rights will automatically be given to us. Because it is we, the individuals, from whom the society is formed. It is the acts of we which will keep our rights safe. When we rectify our actions, the society will automatically get functional in an appropriate way. Our society is our reflection. It is in our hands either to make it good or bad.
Musa Khan hails from Nowshera, Pakistan. By profession he is B.Sc Electrical Engineer and has interest in social sciences.