As a human being, when you see a rock on the road that might impede your neighbour or fellow human being and you could move it to the side, I am sure that the majority of people will just move it spontaneously. If they can’t, they’ll try to warn people about it and maybe try to get the municipality to come and remove it.
If you see a bird stuck in a net, you would untangle it and set it free.
If you saw a thirsty dog, I am sure that a lot of people will stop and try to find it water.
If you saw a person lying on the ground dying, or in pain, you would at least try to call an ambulance to help.
You would do all of the above on the spur of the moment. There is no need to think about what you are going to do, for the most part you would just get on with the job of helping, then deal with any other surrounding circumstances (call the BSPCA to collect the dog, investigate why that net was there in the first place, find the cause of why that rock was there and try to ensure that doesn’t happen again, etc.).
But what if your own society is suffering, sick and dying? Would you not try to get to the cause of that ailment and try – as an individual and then group – to do something about it?
All of the above falls under the social responsibility of the individual and group. None of the above should require a permit to perform good and ameliorate pain. For in those actions you elevate the individual and society.
My personal belief is that I would not seek a permit to do good for my society or for humanity on a larger scale. I would just go ahead and do it – and I have – and encourage every person to do the same. For if we hesitate, the situation might very well turn to the worse very quickly.
So why does a workshop on Truth and Reconciliation face official sanction and red tape? I would have thought that something as important and much needed as this which is a good step toward national reconciliation would be welcomed with open arms, and all resources made available to it to ensure its success.
But the ministry whose mandate is purportedly to elevate the individual and society thinks otherwise.