IT appears that maintaining societal standards and an inflated sense of one’s own importance costs many families a chance at building happier futures. An interesting study in this regard is the widespread phenomenon of searching for desired marriage partners. Almost every other parent one comes across is out searching for a suitable match for their daughter or son. However, an equal number also appear despondent at not having yet found the suitable match for their beloved offspring. If almost everyone is out looking for brides and grooms, but at the same time no one appears to be successful in this pursuit, the paradox calls for some deep reflection.

The families searching for suitable matches for brides or grooms set such intricate parameters for their ‘best’ candidate as if they are dealing with some saleable commodity. However, no one seems to budge an inch from their perceived requirements.

Sometimes suitable individuals are available within their own circle of relatives, but the families are unwilling to explore the possibility usually on account of old petty familial disputes. On the other hand, these disagreements between relatives sometimes also end up breaking up marriages.

All this reflects an acute lack of tolerance and empathy in society, which, in turn, has an impact on personal relations of those who are part of it. Be it divisions of class, caste, religion or ethnicity, or resolution of disputes within families, friends and co-workers, a sense of empathy and tolerance for others, their struggle and their background appears missing from the picture.

Hence, in the absence of good-intentioned values, superficial yardsticks assume greater importance — people are judged on the basis of the colour of their skin, their bank balance, the state of their house, and the way they dress, and, in the marriage business, if they fall within the preferred or suitable age bracket.

As a society, we do not seem to care for others. Our narrow-minded notion of happiness, often built on an inflated

sense of self-worth mixed with a dash of perfidy, means everything to us.

We need to seriously rethink our yardsticks before complaining about the shallowness of society at large.

The world only returns what we give to it.

M. Nadeem Nadir
Kasur

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Warming ties
05 Jul, 2022

Warming ties

BILATERAL ties with the US are clearly on the mend after an extensive rough patch under the PTI government. While ...
LNG emergency
Updated 05 Jul, 2022

LNG emergency

The problem is that Pakistan does not have sufficient cash at the moment to buy even a single LNG cargo at present prices.
The invisible half
05 Jul, 2022

The invisible half

WHAT better illustrates the Afghan Taliban’s misogynistic and mediaeval worldview than the fact that not a single...
Wise counsel
Updated 04 Jul, 2022

Wise counsel

Fuelling the fires of communalism for petty political gains is dangerous and can have a long-lasting impact on India’s stability.
Hazardous waste
04 Jul, 2022

Hazardous waste

GIVEN we have not yet developed streamlined systems for managing locally produced hazardous waste, we are inviting...
Mob ‘justice’
04 Jul, 2022

Mob ‘justice’

OVER the past few days, a string of deadly incidents has been reported from Karachi in which enraged mobs have...