Saturday, July 25, 2015

Religion - Holy or Evil?

Everytime we read the news of a terror attack in the middle east or an ISIS or Al Qaida engineered massacre etc., one question that comes up is whether any religion is responsible for this. People are quick to blame the religion and find fault with it for encouraging the violence. Some say that as the moderates are either not protesting against it or are not actively taking steps to curb it, they are also involved.

This seems to be a general trend. We are quick to generalise and tend to put labels to things. Perhaps, it makes us comfortable to look at everything in black and white and not have any shades of grey. The fact, of course, is that generalisation is factually incorrect and misleading.

The question that we should ask whenever we come across any act is whether that act is good or bad, holy or evil, right or wrong. Instead of focusing on the act or the event, we move away from the subject and attempt to find answers by branding the people of that region or religion to be all of one kind. Such a tendency results in defensive reaction from the people concerned and they too end up defending themselves, and sometimes even the perpetrators, rather than condemning the act.

In today's world, we find that good and evil co-exists in every society, region and religion. In fact, every individual has an element of good and bad in them. Should we not therefore, at every occasion, seek to identify only what is right and what is wrong? Should we not stop generalising? Should we not encourage good and discourage bad by using a carrot & stick approach?

Let us remember that the 'holier than thou' approach is counter-productive. Let us focus on our quest to improve ourselves and rid ourselves of any traces of evil that exists in us. Let us create more trust, faith & love in our world and make it a wonderful place to live.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Growth - Good or Evil?

One of the most common pursuits of every individual & society is growth. Everyone desires that one should gain in life in terms of wealth, income, possessions etc. We want to be richer than we are and all our pursuits are directed towards that aspiration. We also evaluate people, corporations & societies in terms of how they are growing.

This quest for growth comes with a steady feeling of dissatisfaction with the present circumstances and a strong desire to be bigger, better etc. In this quest for growth, we end up seeking or acquiring bigger houses, bigger vehicles, consuming more expensive articles etc. Some of us even pretend thus to make an impression.

What we do not realise is that the resources of this world are limited. If each of us a propelled by this quest for growth, we are in effect consuming more and more of the limited resources. In a way, we are depriving the less privileged by making things more expensive for them. We are also not leaving much for our future generations.

This is one thing that we need to learn from animals. They only consume as much as necessary to satisfy their immediate requirement. They usually do not store or save something for future - and certainly never for future generations.

Clearly this mad chase of growth is leading the world into a downward spiral. The global warming and destruction of habitats are all clear examples of this. It is time we redefine our priorities. It is time we realise that dissatisfaction is the wrong driver to be used. Lets change that to satisfaction and restate the real meaning of growth.

The Power to Digest

Recently I had lunch in a fancy restaurant with some friends. The food was expensive and tasty. Later, after I reached home, I started feeling a strange sensation in my stomach. It seemed like it was on fire. Drinking water didn't stop the sensation. That night, I couldn't sleep due to this nauseating feeling. Finally, I had a bout of vomiting and loose motions and it took me two days to recover.

This incident set me thinking. What if I had a stronger power of digestion? What if my stomach could process anything thrown in and not protest as it did? Wouldn't that be a blessing? Shouldn't we all pray to God to give us that power of digestion?

We all need a power to digest not just what we consume but everything that life throws at us. Sweet moments, bitter moments et al. It is not just our stomachs but also our minds that needs that power. To remain unaffected by good things or bad.

Let's pray God to give us that power, that strength that helps us cope with and enjoy life and everything that comes our way.