There are some rules to living as humans. Here is one: murder is a sin. Sadly, this blatant fact is a difficult one to digest for some Pakistanis. But it’s not just this nation and it’s not just religion. Humans, as it turns out, are not as sensitive to the value of life as they should ideally be. At least, not all humans.

Social evolution has us learn new and better ways to live. From communities, stemming out of hunters and gatherers societies, the humans learnt to coordinate and to live in relative peace. They learnt that fights and fissures wasted time and lives. Lives were important for more than one reasons. For one, the loss decreased in the number of hands available to hunt, grow crops or fight. Other reason was simply because humans had evolved a sense of romanticism in their lives. Dr. Helen Fischer has done some insightful work on the development of this emotion and is highly recommended as a reading.

Romanticism was not the love between man and woman but a love for nature and how the world works. In many ways, it was the basis of what we later started calling philosophy. These feelings of emotional attachment gave the humans of the time a better sense of the value of life. It gave them more space and ability to respect the value that human sentiments hold. The humans then, evolved.

And then we dis-evolved and sadly have been doing this for a very long time. The proofs are everywhere. A wave of extreme-right (neo-nazi) movements is spreading across Europe. Starting from Finland, these soldiers of Odin rationalized their street patrols as measures to protect the local women from migrant rapists. Now, similar groups are following suit. All this in the same geography where Germany has opened all its borders for migrants. It’s rather mesmerizing how different people are and how they think in the same setting of circumstances.

Let’s go a little further and cross the Atlantic. Justin Trudeau is elected as the 23rd prime minister of Canada. The man is literally one from fairytales. He does not only look good, he speaks intelligently. And, in the time and age of hurt and pain, he speaks of humanism. He refuses to allow any bigotry relished so by the predecessor government. He makes a cabinet that is vibrant, versatile and based on strengths rather than political influence. Trudeau’s greatest achievement though comes in the form of a series of planes of Syrian immigrants who, on reaching the Canadian lands are not told ‘Welcome to Canada’ but ‘Welcome to home’.

And then, we cross borders and see Donald Trump being endorsed by virtually all Republican candidates. Last week saw Chris Chrsitie too step down endorsing Trump’s candidacy instead. How is United States, the land of universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT and with brains such as Carl Sagan and Neil Degrasse Tyson, allowing all this to happen is anyone’s guess. The recent gaff by American rapper B.O.B. that the world is in fact flat was shrugged off very causally. However, the societal bigotry being spread across the geographies is nothing to take easy. The world of tomorrow, if Donald Trump does in fact become the most powerful man in the world, will be a terrible place to live in. It will be a place where racism will be widespread, opportunism will be termed fairplay, walls like the one in Gaza will be fairly common and being ill-educated and un-learned will not be a sin.

But, let’s cross that bridge if and when we have to cross that. Let’s return to home for now where we continue to dis-evolve. A murderer is hanged and he is celebrated. His funeral brings hordes and hordes of people to the streets; tens of thousands. These many people did not come out to protest the APS killings or the many instances in recent Pakistani history where human rights were abused. But people found logic to mourn a murderer and were brave enough to reveal themselves. As of now, thousands are ‘booked’ for holding pro-Qadri celebrations. The many bearded faces who blurted fiery speeches have also been warned. But no one really cares. In this part of the world and hence to these people, human life is not as valuable as say, sentiments. We have dis-evolved.

These days demand a moment of reflection from the world at large. It is important that these societal misfalls are not taken lightly lest they become a norm. It will only get suffocating if everyone starts shouting. It will only get more chaotic.