“I am not a body with a soul, I am a soul that has a visible part called body.”
We are living in an era of information and communication. We know too much. They all carry encyclopedias in their palms and libraries in their pockets. You name it, they know it. Their high-tech life, infotech upbringing and extraterrestrial plans are a means to creating a host of innovations & endless creations. They produce Hard Rock and Abstract art. They fly remote control helicopters on Mars and their spaceships float across the cosmos. They use cordless widgets and solar energy. They drive fuel-free electric vehicles and take virtual tours. They attend online classes and work from home. They regularly play video games together without ever knowing each other physically. Organ transplant and stem cell procedures are a common phenomenon. In-vitro fertilizations and clonings are all within their grasp. Guys look like ladies and girls act like men. Gender transition and abortion are readily accepted. Marijuana is legal and hijab is illegal. Technically we have become a multiplanetary species. Human beings have strayed so far from those early caves.
What did they lose on the way? The biggest outward erosion is of the environment, and the strongest inward loss is the ever-increasing lack of empathy. I must have an iPhone 13! Others may sleep on the streets at the corner of my skyscraper. Others' hunger matters less than a date at Nusr-Et Steakhouse. Our empathy is constantly diminishing as we increasingly live online. The world on screen looks cleaner and much more colorful than it does in real life. Our isolation is insulating us against the realities of our surroundings. Our increasing self-reliance and use of machinery keep us aloof from the rest of society and we are learning to be selfish and to prefer living alone, thus promoting the culture of ‘Who cares.’ The loss is all ours.
“When we practice loving, kindness and compassion we are the first ones to profit.”
I personally think we should lead a fruitful life like a tree. The tree gives a lot to its surroundings. The tree inhales carbon from the air and releases oxygen for the living. It provides home to birds, squirrels, insects, reptiles and so many others. It gives shade in scorching weather. It provides wood for fire in icy conditions. Its fallen leaves fertilize the soil it stands on. They say trees are ornaments of planet earth. I say they are its makeup.
When wind flutes through a tree and swings its branches, it mesmerizes the atmosphere. When sunrays peek through the narrow gaps in its foliage, it swirls the heart of the environment. When raindrops fall on its crown, it rings bells of joy in the garden of life. Trees are friendly in all seasons—warm and cold.
The autumn trees remind me of the emptiness of today's lifestyle. On the barren path of commercialization, we walk naked without emotions and empathy. We have no time to hear our neighbor’s sobs. We no longer care what's happening to our poor relatives. We are so busy in offices, at gyms, on the internet, at sports, that we have to be prompted by a TV commercial before we donate to charity. Our careers take precedence over our dreams. Our domestic life has also become ever more fragile. More marriages break than last. We value reason over emotions. Emotion promotes love and reason curbs it. Love breeds compassion and prudence questions passion. Yet our entire scientific progress is based on reason. No doubt reason saves us from superstitions, but it should never stop us from dreaming. After all, it is the leap of faith that propels an explorer to embark on a voyage.
We should spare some time to get to know ourselves. We should explore our souls. A balance between reason and emotion can make life wonderful. A flute is merely a piece of wood till an artist's lips touch it.
“Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel.
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