Selflessness, sacrifice and the subtext called self-interest… the debate (read: Has Covid really made us kinder?) throws open a Pandora’s box of eternal questions, all to do with morality and what altruism truly is. More importantly, it compels us to reflect on what fuels us to do good.

While the feature anchors itself on the surmise that the ongoing pandemic has evoked within some of us a certain sense of empathy towards the ecosystem we cohabit, I feel we need to take the discussion to a larger platform, encompassing dilemmas such as what place does self-love occupy in the equation? At what point does self-gratification elbow out empathy and compassion? Can they co-exist at all?

Tricky questions, I feel, with no clear answers.

Also, does this mean we should troll or even question the intention of celebrities, business heads and political figures who post pictures of themselves while serving

the needy in abysmal circumstances? By taking the moral high ground and scoffing

at their so-called acts of kindness and support to charities as cheap ways to earn validation, are we absolving ourselves of our own inaction?

Sometimes candle-light marches and supporting a cause celebre on online campaigns and Whatsapp forwards are not enough.

And sometimes finger-pointing too is not needed.

What perhaps is much needed is deep and conscientious reflection on what are we doing to bring about change.

Let me know what you think...

Reach me at mshekar@gulfnews.com.

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