The monkey experiment and financial immigration
Like most people with little to do in the evenings, I tend to spend a lot of time scrolling up and down on my NewsFeed on Facebook.
Mostly, the activity only leads to the building of guilt over how little I seem to be doing with my life, in comparison to my peers.
But often it can leave me filled with resentment over how much some of my Facebook friends have achieved in the last year alone.
These are not emotions I am proud of, but one can not control what one feels.
The other day, someone on my friend list had shared a video from TED talks; a very brief clip about an experiment where two monkeys were given unequal pay for the same tasks.
As one would expect, it was not long before the scenario led to conflict and soon the bereaved monkey had all but refused to carry out the task and started making fruitless attempts to break out and enter the other’s cage.
Amusing as it might have seemed, it also led me to think deeply about humans, especially in the light of the current refugee crisis.
A few months ago, I had met a group of men who had told me that they intended to make the journey to Europe by road, and by foot, all the way from Pakistan.
That is more than 5000 km only to reach Italy.
In addition to the distance, the journey takes a rather perilous route through Iran, Afghanistan and even Iraq.
I was understandingly apprehensive for them, and my inquisition led me to discover that none of them were particularly starving here in Pakistan.
But why then, I asked, would you risk your lives, for a prize so distant? For a better life; they would answer and I remember branding them as fools in my brain.
They left, and I have not heard from them since. I do not know, as of now,what became of them.
But looking at those monkeys, I am forced to wonder, were they really the mad men I was so hasty to categorise them as?
Life is a beautiful gift, given to us only once,( that we know of). But what comes with life, is the desire for something better.
We are told from a young age that we must work hard, and within hard work lay salvation. Yet, we toil away and are left with very little to show for it. Soon we are the monkey in the unequal pay experiment.
Soon we are cross, we are angry, we don’t want to be doing the menial jobs for menial pay cheques.
And just like that monkey many are trapped and are left with no choice but to accept the fate bestowed upon them through mere luck.
Of Course, there is the concept of elitism here in the third world which goes on to make life slightly more unfair, where generations of elites with dual passports would go on to rule the masses, generation after generation.
In the end, I suppose, those men were not crazy at all. Dreams in their eyes, all their belongings in a backpack and at the mercy of a Human smuggler, these men are the pioneers of the future, the founding fathers of a dream that is neatly nestled in almost every heart in the third world country.
Luckily I have been born in a life of slight privilege which has allowed me to travel and interact with people without having to risk my life.
But I often sit here, in the evenings when my internet is down, wondering if I were in a similar set of circumstances, would i go ahead and risk it all for something better too?
To answer that question, one has to dwell deep into the world of would be illegal aliens.
To comprehend as to why they go to commit a crime which is so deeply unpopular in the west that,it has yielded a successful presidential campaign for an individual, otherwise grossly unqualified for the job.
The answer lies in what they leave behind.
Not in the form of their respective yesterdays, but essentially the tomorrows they have on offer in their ancestral lands.
Many in the west, and other First world countries, whilst somewhat on board with giving refuge to those migrating from war torn lands, are still relatively hostile towards young men, who seem to have no goal other other than an economically rich future.
I base these observations purely on the trends I have observed on the social media, and of course some deductions based on common sense.
This has caused a huge refugee crisis which has caused a huge amounts of human rights violations, including the most recent revelation of actual slave auction of migrants in Libya.
This presents a collective problem for humanity at large.
Unfortunately, a viable solution to this crisis does not seem to be forthcoming. The best one can hope for is a better tomorrow where all human beings, all across the globe have similar opportunities to grow.
However, until that time, it is important that we do not make haste in judging these men and women, who leave their ancestral homes , risking their lives and their collective pride, as opportunistic leeches or worse yet, as parasites.