Sri Lanka is hurting

There are few things more depressing than watching the news these days. The scale and intensity of human suffering is unlike anything we have seen in recent times. The unfathomable economic fallout from a seemingly endless pandemic, combined with rains and floods that have left many hungry as well as homeless; the lost livelihoods of farmers victim to an ill-timed synthetic fertiliser ban, and fishermen reeling from polluted waters, seem especially dire against the backdrop of an inept government which has all but demonstrated a stunning inability or unwillingness to fix any one of these problems on behalf of its people. And its continued pursuits of wasteful and self-serving priorities — done in the name of future prosperity, but with little promise than an exacerbation of present misery — leaves us all little reason for hope.

And yet, watching the news and seeing the anguish in people’s faces who yearn for the simplest of things many take for granted like food, shelter, and dignity, I am inspired by the tenacity with which they still manage to carry on their lives. Whatever our government lacks in humanity, courage, and empathy, you find abundant in our people. And while covid has exposed the inherent inefficiencies of most governments to solve problems for its people — making it easier than ever to blame politicians for everything that’s wrong, we cannot shun our own responsibilities in making some things right.

No matter how much your daily lives have been upended by the pandemic, If you still have more than a meal a day, your loved ones by your side, and your children an uninterrupted conduit to an education, consider yourself blessed, and consider spreading your blessings around. There has never been a time more urgent than now to be selfless, and generous with our time, wealth, and privileged circumstances. In times of crises, worry less about saving for a future which others may never have. Sri Lanka is hurting now. And the only way we get through this, is if we get through this together.

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