Editorial comment – Question of standards

Thousands of Nadi residents waiting outside of Prince Charles Park for their chance to apply for the HOMES-CARE assistance May 15. Picture: FT FILE

EVERY once in a while we will hear it said or written that some behaviour or another is the result of human nature. When that is said or written, there is also the implied message that there is nothing to worry about.

Since it is a result of human nature, how we are — it’s OK, it’s just the way it is. We carry two stories at the top of page four today; one of which says the number of people rushing to get assistance from aid programs such as the Micro and Small Business Grant disbursement and HOMES-CARE.

The other is of a view that the long queues for such assistance can be one of two things, either they are indicative of economic challenges we face or it is just that some will take whatever they can get from Government, or anyone else for that matter. If it is the former, then several questions should be asked.

However, we will leave that to the experts, the like of economists, academics and even politicians.

If it is the latter, then it is a matter which we should all address.

Not only for when such things happen but something all levels of society should indulge in whether it be at the individual, family or community level. Government has recently initiated schemes or programs to help those who have been adversely affected by recent natural disasters; cyclones and flooding.

For those who were badly affected and are seeking assistance through such programs, we hope what you have received will help you and your family get back on your feet and over the course of time to be able to live a dignified life.

For those who are in the queue just because it is something to be exploited, to be taken advantage of, it is not a very good portrayal of who we are as a society. As one of the reports say, questions need to be asked.

The questions we want to ask are not directed at Government or any of its officials for these questions are not about any government policy or law.

They are about us; our internal laws, our internal compass, if we can call it that.

It is more about how each individual lives his or her life especially when there exist opportunities which are intended for others; those who have had the misfortune of being the victims of something not of their design, like a natural disaster.

Visitors to our shores often marvel at the centrality of religion in our lives.

Is the habit, or even culture, of just taking a sign that ours is a population in which there is a substantial number of believers in the divine?

Or is that divine aspect of our lives safely disconnected from our daily realities in case it does not gel with the way we live?

Of all the questions, we can ask, here is one: To what standards, if any, do we hold ourselves to?

An honest answer will go a long to defining what we stand for when it counts.

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