Kashmir, the abode of the saints, who brought Islam to the place, and its society should be one where highest standards of ethics , morality, propriety, honor and public standards must prevail. It is but the natural corollary of our heritage and legacy. But, alas, with the passage of time, it is observed that we, as a society, are regressing, by the day. This is not to say that we are a society defined by moral turpitude and that everything has gone down the drain here, so to speak. No. Not at all. There are certain societal themes and issue areas where we are still a fine society, of course, in and by relative terms. But, all is not well. Consider our public behavior. It has become uncivil and even rude. The recent fuel scarcity , in Kashmir, for example, brought people out in hordes to petrol stations. People were not only rude to each other while collecting fuel but , at times, arguments devolved into aggression against each other. In the normal course of events, we don’t usually queue up when we shop, or want to use the ATM’s and so on. Shopping in Kashmir is an unpleasant experience where if you walk into a shop or store, you are almost invariably compelled to buy something. During and in traffic snarls, people , sometimes use abusive language and sometimes petty arguments turn into fisticuffs over small and minor issues. The use of the word “sorry” is very less prevalent in our public life when the word is needed for civility. All these might be held to be issues of no great import or significance but the most alarming issue is that we fail the poor and the vulnerable segments of our society. In a veritable rat race , we have become so materialistic that we forget those who need us the most. We have, in short, become self absorbed. Life is defined by vicissitudes, ups and downs. If today, it is someone who is the victim of chance, misfortune, or happenstance, tomorrow it can be us. Besides this fact of life, what must concentrate our minds is our religious duties. Our religion enjoins us to be sensitive to the vulnerable and do our utmost to help and assist them. But, we are negligent here too. It is high time then that we review, course correct and get rid of our self absorption and be a society that we should be!