A perfect society provides its members with security, fairness, freedom, tolerance, compassion, balance and absence of poverty. For many of us the realization that we live in an imperfect society came at a very young age. From small villages, to nations, to regions, to the world at large, the society is far from perfect. A society is a large group of individuals living together within a specified location and having shared customs, laws and beliefs. Why would people who identify as one fail to co-exist perfectly? Let us see the aspects of a good society and why achieving them is elusive.
Unfair distribution of resources or opportunities and inequality has led to poverty. Imagine missing that job not because you don’t qualify but because you are a woman. Think about being denied entry to that club because of your skin color! Sadly, this continues to go on even in the 21st century when humans are considered more advanced and civilized. Unfair treatment based on ones race, creed, gender or tribe continues to be a challenge in our societies. To eradicate poverty, everyone should have fair access to resources that will help them improve their standards of living.
Freedom is the right to expression without external restrictions or limitations. Nearly every nation has a Bills of Rights in their constitution, but are their citizens truly free? All over the world cases of political assassinations and media gags are reported every other day. There is no perfect society without freedom, be it freedom of worship or freedom of expression. To be free is to be healthy, to be free is to be productive, when people are free they grow.
Compassion is the human element of responding to the others’ pain. International bodies like WHO or World Bank are mandated to respond to the human sufferings brought about by diseases. This has worked fairly well with such bodies providing grants, food, vaccines, water and other human needs as mandated. When people practice compassion, trust is built. Its only when members of societies trust each other that they can live together in peace and harmony.
Governments set aside huge sums of money yearly to enhance security inside and outside their borders. Security is not only building defense against human to human threats but also building defense against natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis. High-tech systems are installed to give alerts and warnings from impending natural disasters. Sadly, that has been hardly enough as hurricanes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions and floods continue to claim lives yearly. Drought, famine and locust invasions still pose a danger to food security even in our modern society.
What’s perfectly normal to one person could be unacceptable to another, therefore striking a balance is hard. Rules, regulations and laws to control individual’s in public and in private behaviors are passed from day to day. While one is free to engage in certain habits like smoking privately, such habits are prohibited in some areas to protect others. Actions that pose danger to an individual’s own self for example; drug abuse or suicide attempts are also forbidden. The balancing act between an individual’s rights and those of the larger society is a tough call that hinders the quest to achieving a perfect society.
Tolerance allows persons of different backgrounds, religions or creed to live together peaceful. When people learn to value each other despite their differences, they can live together in peace, unfortunately intolerance is still a challenge in some parts of the world. This has led to religious violence and terrorism.
Yes most of us at a very young age realized that the society is not perfect. Maybe we were unfairly treated based on our skin color or, we were rejected for being female or male, for one reason or another we felt unfairly treated but that doesn’t mean we can’t live together in peace. If every one of us learnt to be a little more compassionate, a little more understanding, if we could all commit to making our societies more welcoming, only then can a near perfect society be achieved. Everything begins with you, make it your personal goal to treat people better, good deeds have a way of coming back to us.