OF DAYS GONE BY, THOSE THAT ARE AND THOSE YET TO COME

Oftentimes our human mind is hasty to picture modernization merely in terms of technological advancements. However, the concept of modernization is much broader than that. A reflection on the emergence and development of various civilizations of the world would make us realize that each civilization that came into existence centuries later, was more advanced and modern than those preceding it. That is how we have the Stone Age giving way to the Bronze Age which in turn gave way to the Iron Age. And gradually, we are today in what can aptly be called as the Digital Age! In historical and sociological terms, the present age that we are living in today is termed as the ‘post-modern age’.

As we look back to the blissful past, there are indeed certain things that dim the illumination of this post-modern age. Today, the world is teeming with high human population; but sadly humanity is on the decline. Education opportunities are on the rise – scholarships, fellowships and educational loans are easily available now than they were in the past. However increasing knowledge base has reduced the basic levels of common sense in people – leave alone digging deep into the mines of wisdom. IQ levels have risen, but EQ levels have miserably dipped. The global job market offers numerous opportunities for people to carve a niche for themselves. With high standard jobs come high income, more facilities and less peace of mind. Many people have tasted sweet success in their careers today, than they could do in the past. But the pressure to remain successful makes life and living stressful.

Newer explorations to the space, sun, moon, Mars and other planets are being planned everyday; while people have little communication with their own family members and with their neighbours. The picture at the dinner table is increasingly becoming like this: the family members sitting around the table – a spoon in one hand and a mobile in the other, eyes fixated onto the screen! Where is the time for bonding, communication, emotional development within the family that used to be a tale to boast years down the lane?

There was a time when families lived under thatched houses or one-room apartments, but did share their joys and sorrows with each other. With increasing modernization, bigger houses with excellent amenities mark prosperity. But, with it comes the concept of individual space (which is so widely misunderstood) – a room for each member of the family, thus isolating each person to his/her own corner. Gaps in the family bonding are wide enough to give space to extra-marital relationships and conflicts among the members.

Healthcare is at its best today than it was few decades back. But giving the healthcare think tanks a tough time, are lifestyle diseases and psychological problems, which are at their peaks today than they were anytime previously. Alienation leading to depression, performance pressure giving rise to anxiety disorders and the pressure to conform to changing patterns giving rise to personality disorders.

We are increasingly developing into an impatient generation. We want things to be done instantly – no matter to whatever extent we need to go to get our ends met. The practice of delayed gratification and self-control are quickly fading into the oblivion.

We cannot travel back in time to those simple days of innocence and bliss. Time moves forward. Development is the name of the day. And we all want to taste the boons of modernization. However as we aim to fly high in the air, let’s bear in mind that dust we are and to dust we shall return. No matter what era we belong to, we need to hold the basic life values dear to the heart and pass on the same to the generation next.

 

WEALTHY ISN’T PROSPERITY

“Empty pockets teach you a million things,” this was said to me by a leading practitioner who happens to be my relative. I was very young then, in no position to understand what he meant. Few years down the line, when he was in his mid-50’s, he was diagnosed with Leukaemia (advanced stage), it came as a blow to us all. His fight against the disease was valiant but short-lived, yet, he left his family with more than enough resources to go on. Time went by, and soon his family was left with little funds, call it bad luck or bad investments, as per my cousin “Our ship sank cause it lost its captain in high tides.” The truth, however, was a bit different and bitter. My uncle worked hard, putting his blood and sweat into making that fortune was betrayed by his kin after his death. His only son, a well-educated boy who was simple at heart was manipulated into helping them out, making investments that wouldn’t earn him a penny, leaving him in a position where it became difficult for him to survive. But luckily he had the courage to start again, from the scratch.

I am reminded by a small chat between friends in a hostel during my higher secondary days. Anand was praying, hands joined, eyes closed when his friend Nitin interrupted.

Nitin – “What is it you are asking God with such diligence” ?

Anand – “Ssshhhh, don’t interrupt, I am praying that he blesses me with a huge mansion, luxury cars, huge bank balance and bricks of gold.”

Nitin – “What will happen when you get them all ?”

Anand – “I will be living happily.”

Nitin – “Then directly ask for happiness no. By the way, aren’t you happy now ? In this hostel room, with your bike, with few hundreds in your Wallet ?”

Anand- “I……….I am”(shocked)

Nitin was right in a way. Anand was happy, but he just thought happiness lies only in gold, cars, and money. In today’s world, it’s tough to imagine a day without money, and it’s very hard to feel satisfied if you have to struggle for your basic needs. Right from birth to cremation you need money, it’s needed to eat a day’s meal, to live, to fight disease, to earn respect, to find a little place for yourself on this earth, to secure your life, to provide your beloved, to gift someone something, but then, how much money can make you happy and satisfied?

If you have a luxurious mansion but all rooms are empty, if you have a Lamborghini but no friends to visit, if you have millions but no one truly to spend for, if you dine in exotic hotels but alone, if you have huge wealth but no one to pass it on or share with, if you have the costliest phone but none to call, then my friend you are the poorest living being on earth.

Dreaming of being rich and making good money isn’t a wrong thing but being rich shouldn’t be our only goal and dream. we must realize that money isn’t a synonym to happiness, It’s just a means to live comfortably. I hope no one is betrayed for money like my cousin, I hope greed hasn’t pickled our hearts that no tenderness lives there. If today was the last day of the entire human race, I am sure making money wouldn’t be on any one’s list and so money isn’t the only thing to live for.