People are not born hating others. They are not born disrespecting the emotions of people living around them and they do not grow up with a desire to hurt or kill. It is not in the nature of human beings to take pleasure in hurting others, or to feel indifferent in the face of others’ suffering and hurts. 

Some people may feel that they have a right to ignore people because of difficulties they may have faced which others have not experienced. There are individuals who do not take the time to think about others; they never consider the humanity of another person and that they are in fact the same. “Putting themselves in another’s shoes” is an alien concept. 

It seems that technological advancements and rapidly emerging new modes of being are leading to a world that is becoming more impersonal. Over time, the bond that there once was among us is loosening.  

Insensitivity is a cycle that has no end. Wherever it may spring from– envy for another’s good fortune, bitterness arising from a life of suffering, cultural or religious traditions, failure to relate to others or simply the result of the unregulated world we are building today – insensitivity is a threat to society. 

Maybe one day people will realise this and will work to break down the walls that have come up between us. Until then, we can only try to think of others before ourselves and consider their circumstances and emotions before we judge them. 

Let us not let the prejudiced ideas we have about people around us control what we think about them. We would do better to let ourselves be open to the ideas and values of others who are different from us. For now, this may be the only way we can mitigate the insensitivity that exists in our society. 

There are good genuine people out there that have altruistic thoughts and emotions – and who put others before themselves. However, these people are rare! The example given by the driver a few days ago who stopped the bus in Hamrun to help a person who had fainted and the reaction of some of the passengers who were on board gives rise to reflection on the human values that we are living in our (supposedly progressive) society!