The Ramblings of a Madman
by Kashfia Nahreen Arittri (Class 12)
Once I came across this person who had the heart of gold. She was amazing and everything she did she did it for the people, people who didn’t even know she existed. I asked her, “Why do you work so hard when you don’t even get any appreciation?”
She replied, “You don’t do good deeds for appreciation, you do it because that’s the right thing to do. You do it because you want to be honest to your conscience. I don’t need people’s approval, all I need is to know that what I do affects people in a positive way. As long as I am able to help people I will be happy.”
That was the day I started seeing the world in a new light. The day when I realized true happiness doesn’t depend on material things. True happiness lies on finding a purpose in life, a purpose that will help others, and working hard to pursue it.  I don’t even know what the person who changed my world was called, but I know as long as I live I will follow in her footsteps and I will do what I can for the betterment of this world. I will never forget her, she will always be in my heart. She will forever be my inspiration. 
“We are the monster that kills the song in a bird.”
Everywhere I turn I see broken pieces, torn clothing, shattered windows, demolished houses, fallen trees and I know that all if these are the results of human deeds. Misery, sorrow, pain, hopelessness and desolation I see in every corner of the world and the knowledge that all of these too are the work of human beings eats me up. It seems like all we know is how to inflict pain, how to cause violence; that all we are good at is making each other suffer.
Time after time we have proven to our own selves that destruction and wretchedness are what we know. Cruel, greedy, vain, conceited, violent, jealous, sadistic, unsympathetic, indifferent, heartless and cold: all these are our worst qualities. These are the qualities that command us to vanquish all the good, to annihilate all the happiness .
We claim we want to be happy. We also claim we want others to be happy too. And yet when we see someone other than our own selves being happy, we try our best to ruin  their merriment. We let jealousy get the best of us. We can’t stand to see someone doing better than us. Yes we do smile and say we are happy for them, but in truth we are far from happy.  We pretend to be civil but on the inside we are as discourteous as it gets.
But we do possess the quality to be genuinely happy for someone else; we do have the ability to be kind and compassionate . And there people who are kind and full of goodness. But for many of us, we let our worst qualities take hold because following the wrong is much easier than following the right. Our worse traits have an allure to them that is hard to resist, and often times than not we let ourselves be carried away by their temptation, however evil may it be.
Causing violence is one of our main traits. Since the beginning of our existence we have instigated so much pain, so much sorrow that at times every good deed we do seem like nothing compared to the bad ones. We have now almost existed for 200,000 years -a very long time-, and yet after all this time we are still as uncivilized as we were back then. Yes, good indeed does exist among us, but we crush it again and again.
We say we live in a civilized world, where people are kind and generous. We say we live in a world where we have freedom but not cruelty, a world where we all get along. We say we live in a world free of injustice, where all is fair. We say we no longer discriminate based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation or religion, where we are all viewed as human beings.  And yet after claiming all those things we have wars, where people viciously, mercilessly kill each other. We have our freedoms snatched away by the government in a moment’s notice. Yet we constantly keep on infringing upon the rights of others. We have corruption ruling the world. We still discriminate and stereotype against people. We still do the things we insist we don’t do.
Yes we no longer live in caves, we no longer roam around not properly dressed. We now live in houses, we work in clean offices, we use cars, we dress ourselves well, and yet we somehow are more uncivilized than we were back in the olden times.
Back then whatever we did we did to survive, and now whatever we do seems to be for our own personal gain. Whatever we do seems to be done in order to satisfy our insatiable greed. We ruin countries, kill billions of people just because they have something we want.
For years we enslaved people and made them do our bidding. We deprived them of their rights and called ourselves their masters, when we were and are all the same.
Hitler tried to annihilate people belonging to the Jewish religion, and what did we do? We let him torture and kill them while we pretended to live normal lives. Children and elders were killed in gas chambers, families were separated, people starved, beaten and tortured in Auschwitz and we let it all happen. The only reason we finally helped was not because we wanted to help the Jews but because it was what would benefit us.
We saw Afghanistan fall apart. From a beautiful country it was turned into a rubble and once again we did nothing. We watched quietly as women were suppressed, -degraded to the status worse than that of animals. When we finally did act it was because it finally affected us. 
We saw Syria and Iran and so many other countries struggle and then fall to pieces, and did nothing. We watched as they were torn apart. Once again we acted when we knew it’d benefit us. Even now the Syrian refugees are being turned away by different countries who are unwilling to take in refugees.
Why do we stand by and let it all happen? Why do we not speak up?
If all us stood up together and fought against all the evil and injustice the world would be a much better place. Why does it have to affect our lives for us to act? How can we turn a blind eye and let other people suffer? How can we live with ourselves?
How long are we going to let all these go on? How long are we going to remain silent as countries crumble down to dust? As people turn into mere skeletons? How long are we going to let unfairness reign freely? We have the power to fight for the good. We have the ability to do what’s right. If we only fight and beat the inner demons within trying to overpower us; if we only put our minds into doing what’s right; if we all stand together and wage war against the corruption, bigotry and inequity around and among us; we can make this world a better place.
I was walking home the other day and I saw this homeless boy by the side of the road and suddenly I started wondering what it would be like to not have a place to call home. That wasn’t the first time I saw a homeless person, the streets of Dhaka are filled with them, it’s just something about this particular boy spoke to me, something about him made me wonder. He didn’t look much older than me and I couldn’t help but think that in another life, if he wasn’t homeless, we might even have been friends. 
Life is unfair, isn’t it? I mean what right do I have to have a home when someone else doesn’t? I look around and I see all this pain and misery, and I wonder what the point of life is. Do we even have a purpose to be alive? Why is it that some people get whatever they want while others don’t even get what they need? 
We, human beings, possess both the good and the bad. Despite all our bad traits we do have some good ones. We have a conscience and we have our intelligence. We are capable of doing things other creatures are not. We can use our mind, our brains to make this world a better place, -a better place not only for human beings but for every living being.
There are so many among us who devote their entire life making the lives of others better. Mother Teresa dedicated her whole life into serving others. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr spent his life fighting for justice and equality for African American people. Begum Rokeya fought so that girls could go to school. She fought for the basic human rights that girls were deprived of.
We do have kindness in our hearts, we do possess compassion. We just need to focus on our good qualities.
People say we would never know what good is without knowing what bad is. But how much more “bad” can we take? Isn’t this high time we stop and learn to live in peace and harmony?
 We are all human beings and we need to learn to live with each other without tearing one another up. It is time we take a step and stand together and fight for what is right.
 We need to stop the violence against each other. We need to embrace our good and vanquish the bad.
We are intelligent beings with so much to offer. We have so many talents and so much to give back to the world. We can all use all we have to make the earth a better a place to live in.
We need to respect one another and do what is right. We need to stop hurting others and help each other. We need to be kind and compassionate. We need stop trying to dominate and suppress others. All these tiny efforts will make the world a better place. Life would be so much more wonderful if only we try and do what is right . 
I await a day;
 A day when the sun will shine brighter than ever,
A day when the light will glisten in every corner of every hallway.
I await a day;
A day when human beings will rise above violence and cruelty,
A day when happiness will take all the pain away.
I await a day;
A day when laughter and gaiety will fill every street,
A day when for the new tomorrows we will make way.
I await a day;
A day when war will be a thing of history,
 A day when lives will not waste away.
I await a day;
A day when humanity will stand together and be brave,
A day when corruption and deceit will be shooed away .
I await a day;
A day when rape and sexual assault will come to cease,
A day when we will keep crimes and violence at bay.
A day like that I await,
A peaceful world I dream of;
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow,
Maybe a hundred years from now,
I just know that someday
Will come that long awaited day.