gauravnayal

Come hither and I shall explain what you already feel…


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My role as a citizen of Earth

I, An Earthling

Earth. Our planet. Our home. Let me reiterate. Earth. My planet. My home. There are things when looked from a different perspective become different altogether. The reason why I changed ‘our’ to ‘my’ is because unless we change our perception towards the problems that plague planet earth from looking at them collectively to actually feeling them inside (within ourselves), we shall never be able to truly do anything tangible about them. So once again I say, unless I take the onus of being an earthling true to the sense of its meaning I shall hardly be able to make any difference to my planet at all.
Now what differences am I talking about making here. It’s simple really. Innumerable issues infesting Earth need immediate amendments. From sustainable development and climate change(read global warming) to transnational organised crime, from global convergence of the IT sector to the pervasive rich-poor gap, from status of women to democratization, from clean water to education, from plea for peace and dodging conflict to increasing population and scarcity of resources, from global health issues to science and technology, from energy to pollution, from global foresight and decision making to anti-fur movements and much needed animal cruelty sensationalization, from everything that matters to everything you think does not just because it’s happening a thousand miles away from your cosy home; we need to tackle them all ! And together we can, if and only if each one of us does our own bit.
So here I am, typing away what I think and strongly feel is my role as a citizen of earth. A role each one of us has been assigned as naturally as the impeccable order of the universe.
I shall wake up early and sleep on time. In between, I shall survive on a diet of good food and love. Love, that I’ll receive from helping my fellow earthlings – humans and animals alike. Not to mention the respect I shall garner for my mother (read Earth) while I bask in her unconditional love. (“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” –The Prophet.)
The term, ‘earthling’ has been used intentionally because there is no sexism, no racism or speciesism in this word. It encompasses each and every one of us, warm or cold-blooded, mammal, vertebrae or invertebrate, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish and of course human. Humans along with a million other living creatures evolved in this planet together and thus the ownership of this sphere needs to be communal.
I will try and develop through my thoughts, words and actions, a subconscious correlation between nature, animals and human economic interests. Once established firmly in my own mind as naturally as I breathe in air, shall I tread ahead to transfer the same concern to individuals around me, one at a time or multitudes at once, keeping the resolve alive and at the centre. The resolve to do what is right and stand by the truth all the time, especially when others around me find it unfit and unsettling.
I shall not waste but conserve. I shall not pollute but clean. I shall not destroy but grow. I shall do my best to live a life devoid of extremities and learn to be content in moderation. I shall take upon this task to observe and understand the pain-points of my planet and toil hard to invent or help my fellow brothers and sisters create and implement solutions to myriad teething troubles surrounding Earth. I shall not be a liability but an asset to my mother. I shall redirect my vigour to simplicity so I can practice what I preach. I shall no more just acknowledge the fact that using exhaustible resources is virtually criminal but actually do something about it by trying, testing and implementing solar, wind and hydro energy in my daily life.
Furthermore, I shall not wait for tomorrow to bring about a change to my planet but do what I have to, today itself because the most precious of resources that I have at hand is time and same goes for you, dear Earthling.

Thankyou

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Truth and technology

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Truth and technology

 

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please – you can never have both.  Between these, as a pendulum, man oscillates. He in whom the love of repose predominates will accept the first creed, the first philosophy, the first political party he meets- most likely his father’s. He gets rest, commodity and reputation, but he shuts the door of truth. He in whom the love of truth predominates will keep himself aloof from all moorings, and afloat. He will abstain from dogmatism , and recognise all the opposite negation between which, as walls, his being is swung. He submits to the inconvenience of suspense and imperfect opinion, but he is a candidate of truth, as the other is not, and respects the highest law of his being.

I come to an understanding with Ralph Waldo Emerson when he set into the world on this mission of truth. The pursuit of truth, as it may be better put, has always been my subsequent nature. Questioning the beliefs that we, as individuals, have been told to follow since childhood is not something that is wrong, rather it stimulates original thinking and leads to ingenuity. It is now some years since I detected how many were the false beliefs that I had from my earliest youth admitted as true, and how doubtful was everything I had since constructed on this basis; and from that time I was convinced that I must once in all seriousness undertake to rid myself of all the opinions which I had formerly accepted, and commence to build anew from the foundation, if I wanted to establish any firm and permanent structure in creating something worthwhile ever – like this article.    

The truth that I’m trying to fight here is one that surrounds us all in this era, so discreet in its encapsulation of almost everything that we do today that no one saw it coming, so daunting in its sheer magnitude that hardly anyone can escape it. I am, of course, talking about technology and the tribulations it has brought along, afflicting the social order while reaching out for more and more hapless victims, the count of which is proliferating exponentially. The advent of cell phones and the internet may have made our lives easier but the alarming rate of our increasing dependency on technology might just lead to our doom.

“When was the last time you looked at the stars?” is a question I often ask people around me and the answer is always a mix of bewilderment and mystification (at asking such a nebulous question) followed by musing sighs of absent-mindedness. It is not that hard to understand the reason to this. Simplicity has lost its meaning in today’s world. When there are more people constantly worried/ impatient about their next ‘Whatsapp’ message or how many ‘likes’ they received on their ‘Facebook’ status, thus never finding the time and motivation to dig their buried heads out of their smartphones and laptops , the periodicity of human interaction with nature – the way it was meant to be, has all of a sudden nosedived into a void of hopeless superficial pleasure which is the opposite of happiness – something we strive to attain even if it be subconsciously.

 One might argue that technology has improved and enhanced our communication skills and is working in our favour. This may be true to a certain extent and no doubt the occurrence and measure of communication has amplified ten-fold but the downside to this facet of science is the depreciating quality of human interaction. Someone wise once said, “Too much of anything is good for nothing!” The same goes true for technology.  Being in perpetual touch with someone afar might seem very fitting and obliging at first but over a period of time you’d realise that a repetitive text on whatsapp or facebook can never be a match to the beauty and prominence of a simple letter etched in ink and delivered once a month. When you are constantly communicating with someone, you lose out on valued information or facts worth sharing. It’s all very pointless and since small talk has never been my forte, I, for one, find it extremely hard not to be bugged by constant lame enquiries by some of my friends and far-off relatives alike. Therefore, I find a letter to be a more meaningful and natural extension of my expressions and feelings than a facebook chat. In short, it simply makes more sense and helps me avoid relentless usage of the internet.

We travel in AC(Air-conditioned) cars, step out and enter an AC office, workout in an AC gym, return in the AC car to our AC flats only after buying the groceries from an AC mall or after watching a movie in a nearby AC cinema hall. Where is the time or possibility of taking a moment to just simply look at the sky, breathe in some natural air  and wonder in awe like our ancestors in the past? We are no more grateful for nature and humility has taken a backseat in our minds. Moreover, our lives are now running at the expense of our health plus the world’s.

We all know we’re headed towards Global warming, that the icebergs are fast melting and sea-levels are rising and how recklessly. It’s just a matter of a few decades before we are submerged in the oceans brought forth by our tryst with technology. The whole kit and caboodle is acting as a precursor towards this saturation point that we’ve arrived at. Nothing is to be taken for granted now. Just because our generation might survive this phenomenon doesn’t ensure that our future generations will too. There is a holocaust in the making- all thanks to us and our dear technology, and its fast approaching. Its better if you shut down this laptop right now, go out and do something beneficial (for a change) for Mother Earth. Practice subsistence farming; why not grow food in your lawn instead of flowers and grass, why not migrate to rural areas and develop or enhance their farming techniques. If its somewhere I appreciate technology, its where its useful in feeding billions of hungry souls through viable solutions in agriculture. There are no confines to what a human mind can do. We’ve had examples in the past but are in dire need of miracles for the future.

But in order to think straight, you need to at least break the malicious circle of technology. So, step out of your AC offices and AC cars and take a ramble up a nearby mountain or go fishing in the sea. Breathe in some pure oxygen and perceive the sweet melody of nature. It’ll help clear your mind, body and soul.

 Just take some time off today- from all the texts, emails and messages …. “And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”  –The Prophet.

 

 Thank you so much