Maldives: A society lacking compassion?

The introduction of social media has enabled people to see other people's opinions and views on different situations. As the world becomes more aware about mental health, we have seen more episodes of the toll that mental illnesses have taken on people.

We have heard about teenagers who have taken their own lives, people attempting to kill themselves by drowning, and some who decide to end their own life by jumping off a building. All these incidents are reported by the media, and shared around on different social media platforms. Reactions to these incidents vary from compassion and empathy, to pity and slight mockery, and lastly to pure hate and disdain.

I myself have witnessed a young girl (probably in her early twenties) attempt to take her own life. She attempted to drown herself. I spotted her, not too far from me, and I told my friend that the behaviour she was exhibiting was concerning. We both then started to observe the girl and conversed about contacting the police. Fortunately a friend of her's came, and she called the police. You would think that this was a good thing, unfortunately it was painful to watch the way that the police handled this situation.

After failing to persuade the girl to climb back onto dry ground, three or so female police forcefully dragged her back onto land. I did not hear any words of compassion, nor anything that resembled kindness and empathy. I think I speak for everyone at the scene when I say that the police were irritable and impatient throughout the whole scene. Doesn't really exhibit the "Protect and Serve" motto that they are supposed to follow does it?
I was concerned as to why she felt that she needed to take her own life. You see, she was being abused and beaten at home. She was not safe at the one place she resided and lived, and she saw no other option. Had this made it's way into the news, I know a few people who would slander her and make fun of the whole situation. People who lack the compassion and empathy, to understand her situation.

Recently the media reported about a young girl from Fuvahmulak, who took her life because she was "heartbroken". People mocked her and spoke ill of her on social media, and accused her of having weak faith. The people who prayed for her and wrote tributes for her on social media were picked upon and targeted as well. "Praying for the soul of a person who deliberately took her own life is stupid because they will go to hell" some people said. Imagine my surprise, when the Maldivian community bashed a girl on her choice to end her life, because she felt that there was no other way. Where is our humanity, when we mock and ridicule the mentally ill, when we encourage the suicidal to jump, isn't that what a society which lacks in compassion acts like?

When a woman was dangling from a balcony, ready to jump and end her life, didn't the people below who had surrounded the scene encourage her to jump. Didn't they mock her? And the time where a man was standing on the ledge of a balcony, didn't the people below taunt him? Didn't they provoke him to jump? Is this where we are as a community? So devoid of compassion and empathy that we take joy in someone else's sorrow and misfortune.

To the people who ridicule and hate on the mentally ill, to the people lacking compassion and empathy, and to the people incapable of putting someone's else's needs before theirs, let me give you a couple of scenarios. What would you do if your step father was sexually abusing you, or if your father was beating you up every single day? What would you do if you were raped, and the person who was holding you up left without an explanation? What would you do if your great uncle was molesting you, or if your mother let your father abuse you and beat you? Should we ridicule and mock you? Hate on you? Blame you? Let's play the blame game now. "Your father wouldn't beat if you hadn't been born", "your mother wouldn't let your stepfather rape you if you weren't such a disappointment", "your girlfriend or boyfriend was right to leave you, because you were abused and that makes you less of a person".

Has the paragraph above taught you how poisonous your words and actions are. Has it shown you how inhumane you have become. If not the same religion or nationality, we are all humans. It is not only girls who should look out for other girls because they are more prone to getting assaulted, but as humans I feel like we should have each other's backs. Instead of ridiculing and mocking, why not blame the health care system or the justice system which has failed to protect some people. Why do you feel the need to spread hate and poison.

A lot of you raise your voice, go to a rally and shout about the injustices that happen in Maldives. Why raise your voice if you cannot raise your voice for the people who have no voice. Why speak out when you're spreading hate and malice every single day. Why shout out if you cannot show an ounce of compassion for the people who are desperately in need of it. Be kind to the people you meet, because that one smile or kind gesture could be the turning point in which a person decides that maybe there is something worth living for.