Real Stories of the Kind and the Not So Kind

Updated: Jun 30

We live in a society where, on a daily basis, a million stories unfold. These can be stories that tell of kindness and humanity or those that speak of selfishness, cruelty, and describe absolute horror. Such stories teach the observer or one who has experienced them a lifelong lesson and at times, they leave an indelible impact on the mind. So much so that they can never be forgotten.


When we speak of kindness, we can all think of the social work carried out by people like Abdus Sattar Edhi or Ramzan Chhipa whose names are well known in many countries across the world. Then there are people like Dr. Adeeb Rizvi, a pioneer in the field of nephrology in Pakistan whose untiring work has resulted in the formation of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). There are many other well-known as well as lesser-known heroes and heroines in our society who keep busy trying to do something beneficial for the common man.


Today I am going to narrate those stories of kindness, justice, and humanity that I have seen unfold myself. But also those where I have experienced a display of injustice and cruelty, specifically because of existing bias against certain ethnicities or communities. I hope that readers can learn a few lessons from these stories of humanity’s kindness as well as injustices.


My mother has been a lifelong teacher who belongs to a family of scholars and educators. She started her teaching career in one of the most esteemed and prestigious girls' schools in Karachi which is run by a minority community. The principal of the said school was a very humble, and disciplined lady who only used to take one rupee of her salary, as a token, and the rest of it was distributed to different trusts that provided education to needy students. Another example of her humble character was that whenever anyone from the support staff was fined for a mistake they may have made, the money collected was equally distributed among all of them so that none of them would feel hurt.


I would like to share another story of humility and humanity. This is about the father of a family friend who rose to great heights in his profession and went from being an uneducated laborer to a proficient builder. It is testament to his honesty and hard work that he had never bribed anyone to get contracts. Instead, he focused his efforts and earnings on helping relatives and friends in his native village as well as many other people after he settled in Karachi. He kept his charity secret from his own family and they only came to know about it at the time of his death when people came to condole with them. I believe, Allah rewarded him in this world as he got buried in the most blessed Muslim graveyard, Jannat-ul-Baqee.


My mother is herself in the habit of helping the needy. Over here, I don't mean beggars, I mean those who are genuinely in need but do not spread their hands whether these were the support staff of her school, her house help, or her village people. She has never said “no" to such people when they came seeking a solution to the different difficulties they faced, may it be medical issues or the need for basic ration or clothing. My mother was also in the habit of giving tuition without taking money from the underprivileged students.


There are many other examples of goodness and kindness but now I would like to share an incident where ethnic bias was given precedence over the genuine need of a young girl’s education. This girl belonged to a lower-middle-class family who could not afford to pay her fees.


This young girl was a student of my mother and her father had requested my mother and her headmistress to arrange funds for his daughters' school fees. His request was heard and my mother managed to acquire the needed funds.


Being a bright child and having an interest in acquiring education, the girl after passing her matriculation got accepted into a prestigious private college with a fifty percent concession to her tuition fees. However, it was still difficult for her parents to pay her fees. They contacted my mother for help again and she told them that she will try to do whatever she could to help them.


At that time, my mother was on friendly terms with a lady who belonged to a multi-millionaire family. She was part of a certain community of our society that is known to be well-off. My mother asked this lady if they could provide two thousand rupees–what should have been a meager sum for them–from their zakat fund to pay the girl’s fees. The answer which my mother received shocked and surprised her. The lady told my mother that her father-in-law had said that they cannot help anyone outside their community.


At that moment, my mother thought that the lady could have easily given this measly and meager amount even from her own domestic expenditures. My mother was also surprised that the lady didn’t feel any shame while making such excuses.


To cut the story short, my mother arranged the money required for the girls’ tuition fees and some other expenses through other means. Today, my mother feels proud that the girl is successful in her career and well-settled in her life.


Many people will not believe that there are communities in our society that are well-off and have ample funds. They have set up charities and trusts but they are not willing to help anyone who belongs to a different community. For me, this is an unacceptable rule.


I believe that we should be above these biased traditions and norms of communal, ethnic, or religious divisions, etc. We should see the one in need as a human being and if we can help that person, we should do it to the best of our capabilities and be thankful to Allah for the chance that He gave us to help His creation. We should also remember that God forbid, a time may come that we are in the shoes of those in need, and we would have to look for help just as they do. I would also like to say, that we should try to put others before ourselves. It is then that we will become real human beings.


 

Faiza Zameer is an in-house writer at Perspective.

Find her on Instagram @faizazameer001

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