Call to Action

I will respond to the first question here.

It’s not really a new concept is it? To invest more than what your ‘job description’ may require of you? It’s not a new saying to any of us where we should go and aid not only the people but even the society with our acquired skill set. But perhaps it is a bit too commonly used due to which it has lost the essence behind the meaning.

Let’s be honest- we live in a selfish world. In a world where it is survival of the fittest, the weak rarely ever reach the top. The people at the top will at times look down and help those at the bottom of the food chain, but never enough to help them climb towards the top either. Everyone wants to be where they are most comfortable. Going the extra mile to help is not comfortable. It’s exhausting. It’s tiring. And more importantly, it often does not have the sort of worth we tend to ascribe to materials in this worth. Is this a very bleak, pessimistic look on the world? Definitely. But consider things objectively. You will see it’s true. Forget the polar extremes. Take the average person at work. You will soon find that what I have outlined here is statistically sound. And the funny thing? Most of us, me included, are part of that average. I personally have no qualms about saying that I am that selfish average.

And that is exactly what I like about Che’s speech. I believe that when a concept is overused it ceases to be revolutionary, rather it becomes redundant to us. But every now and then, someone comes along who can phrase it in a way that brings the zealous fervour back to those very words. And Che, for me at least, has managed to do that.

I believe none of us want to live selfishly. But at the same time, I also believe that we all have, are, and will keep on going to live selfishly in our lives. At least, I know I will. But it’s a beautiful concept. To work outside what you are called to do, but to remain inside what you are called to be- it’s a remarkable concept. If we could all be social doctors, perhaps we would not need the term social doctors anymore.

Personally, I seek to be a psychiatrist or a chemist. But will I actually go the extra mile to help someone who needs it. Will I be able to help someone after office hours? Will I be able to maintain the fine line between selflessness in work and as a result selfishness in family? I don’t know. It’s a fascinating thing to think about. It’s cliche for sure, and even though I can tell you that I already knew my answer, it really helps when someone can say it better- when someone can paint words onto ideas- when someone can personalize an ideal- when a sentence resonates so much that it causes all the disarrayed thoughts to fall in order- when someone pushes down the first domino block so your thoughts can be well on their way- when someone else’s thoughts give you the nourishment necessary to think for yourself again.

-Raving Ranter.

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Travel and Tourism

A moral tourist huh?

Now that’s quite an interesting way to put it. Honestly, when it comes to forms of travel, I don’t really think there should be a better way to travel. I mean, we can all say that as tourists in other countries we have to respect their traditions, cultures and habits. We can say that we must not criticize them for anything. We can say that we must not break rules, or endanger anyone or do something ‘immoral’ in another country. But what’s the point to it?

Don’t get me wrong. I know those things are important. But chances are, if we travel legally in this era we are currently at, we already know those things. In fact, I think we have been saturated with that piece of information to the point where acting out the proper behaviour in another country as a tourist becomes second nature to us. We don’t have to make a conscious effort to not break the rules the country has in place, or we don’t have to push ourselves to try and not be offensive to people or harshly critical or degrade another culture, no. The laws already ensure that. But perhaps I am talking about the wrong kinds of tourists here.

When we visit a country for amusement or sightseeing, no one in the world should be able to argue against that being a bad thing. In effect, we will surely bring along some cultures from our part of the world that may integrate into the behaviours of the people we interact with, but that’s accepted. That is an aspect to globalization that one must accept. There can no longer be a completely original or isolated culture. Modern society has already written against that. In fact, you can almost say that governments nowadays ordain an intermingling of cultures, whether it be for tourism, economy, diversity, the list goes on.

But what did I mean by the wrong kinds of tourists? My point is it doesn’t take long to figure out in this day and age that there’s a black market for everything. Every law has a loophole, and every loophole has powerful people readily exploiting it. It is in this sense that tourism can be deemed immoral. If our intentions of travel are to harm or benefit at the expense of others, then yes, we are engaging in an immoral tourism industry. But we already knew that didn’t we?

Perhaps what I am saying here is that in my mind, for now at least, the lines between tourism, moral and immoral, are quite finely drawn. Should the intentions and follow through lean towards what society deems moral, and should our actions line up with what the global laws, and the countries’ law dictates, I see no problem with such travel. But perhaps that is privy to change in the upcoming days. Who knows?

-Raving Ranter

Dhaka.

Welcome to the capital of Bangladesh. The heart of the country. And just as the human heart is quartered and sectioned into parts that work effortlessly together, so is this urban sprawl representative of different sections that embody the types of people, architecture and financial cores of the country.

Travel to the heart of the city and you will find traditional British architecture and houses. The roads and train tracks give way from post colonial style and you are immediately brought into an era of conquest and oppression, but undoubted advancement of the country because of that. Beside that, you will find the main city army base, singing praises to the country that now stands as a separate identity, free from colonial rule, and the oppression of other regional countries. From the center with British style architecture to the main segments- it’s a smooth transition. Blink and you will miss it. It’s almost as if it’s one section instead of two that blends into each other. Here, in the main section you have the upper middle class and government buildings, bringing focus to the new country- proud and tall. Unmoving. Next is the economic sector of the city. A place bustling with activity, but irreparably stalled with traffic and an inability to escape without spending 4 hours in the area if you happen to wander in.

But those are distinct sectors. Let’s focus on something a bit more vague. Look closely enough, and the city becomes a battleground. Within the distinct segments of the city rise churches and mosques, bringing attention to their respective followers and others who are searching for answers. Bangladesh as a whole is a Muslim country, but the capital itself is involuntarily divided into religious quarters between all the four major world religions.

In other words, Dhaka is a city that will provide you with whatever you may want. Be it recreation, finance, appreciation of history, Patriotic fervor or just entertainment or residence. Just that, be willing to deal with the immense pollution and gradually improving but still weak infrastructure of the city with no distinct beginning nor end.

-Raving Ranter