It was the early 90’s, myself and four friends were staying in a small house in Bangalore. One of my roommates went to the US to do masters in computer science. At that time, globalization was just round the corner. India was in the hot seat with global leaders. A lot of speculations and heated debate were happening in India about the pros and cons of globalization, more so on the negative effect. One section of people were vehemently opposing globalization, as it was thought to bring cultural change and uproot the job market and render most Indians jobless. People argued that jobs will be taken away by foreign companies who come with deep pockets and even local businesses will collapse since they do not have the resources to fight the competition. People are worried that India will lose freedom to capitalists and come under colonial rule. People did not have clarity and were given to just speculation as to how events will turn out.
Around the same time, I received a letter from my friend who went to the US for higher studies, (those days no e-mail) narrating his culture shock while getting adjusted to American fast pace life and competitive rat race. But he was amazed to see the technological advancement and the excellent progress the US has made in education, business, Research and Development and every field of activity. He concludes in his letter, globalization is the only remedy for India to become a developed nation.
Well, what happened after that is history, we all have seen how India progressed and the doomsayers vanished. Globalization opened up a new door of opportunities, we progressed swiftly in all frontiers of knowledge, a strong and a new India emerged on global scenario.
Here we are today in 2020… reaping the benefits and suffering the side effects of it.
We have lost more than what we bargained for, though materially richer we’re today, but nonetheless morally and culturally deprived to the same extent and the side effects seem to outweigh the benefits. There is a constant struggle and restlessness just to stay alive and create little comfort. Unmindfully we are sucked into a vortex of false prestige, jettisoning the values inherited from generations. We are restless just to keep our life going, without a clue we juggle our priorities. VUCA (Volatility,uncertainty,complexity, Ambiguity) world dictates our life.
In Dog-eat-Dog competition, not a day goes peacefully without tension, stress and restlessness. There is a sense of emptiness inside us, we all live in a highly insecure world, constantly worried about our safety and security. Jobs are under constant threat, constantly struggling to make both ends meet. Our desires remain unfulfilled…we stretch ourselves to the limit to achieve our dreams. We set unrealistic financial targets and compromise on family time trying to achieve them. In the process we have lost a precious thing ………PEACE OF MIND.
We live in a spacious house but our minds are narrow. We possess wealth but not health, we have a lot of acquaintances but hardly any friends.
Mental health has taken a toll on us, Antidepressant drugs are being sold across the counter and tops the chart in drug sales. We have grown more intolerant, slightest discomfort triggers our temper and we get into squabbles. Greed has taken over the better part of us. We like to amass wealth at a shortest period compromising on the means….Means should justify the end…..it’s just the opposite….we are justifying the means through our ends.
We have pop-up street psychologists who advise you on every problem. In every by-lanes we have astrologers who are ready with quickfix solutions to all your problems. The fact we are highly dependent on them, it goes to show that we are merely educated but not intelligent..we have become easy prey for such quick fixes.
The life we are living is not the life that we want. Then what is the underlying problem?
We are in an age of materialistic, consumer and brand driven-culture, it’s difficult to avoid Stress/ tension and restlessness in the modern world.
When you reflect back you will realize the genesis of the problem.What we can do is to look inside, try and take corrective action.
All the problems emanate from mismanaging the priorities and misunderstanding of our own self.
Because of this discord we get into all kinds of problems, like stress, tension, anxiety, neurosis and related physiological diseases ( psychosomatic disorders).
Do not juggle with too many priorities,try and align in the order of its immediate impact on your life and the surroundings.
Try to be in the present moment, if we can remind ourselves and practice regularly over a period of time your mental agitation will come down and you will become calm.
Try to be content with what you have, not that you should not aim for higher goals. Contentment brings peace of mind; you will not torture yourself to achieve the goals. This Mindset helps you achieve the desired goals and the universe also will help you. Express gratitude to the universe for the gift bestowed on you and value the gift you have received.
Recognize the purpose of life….work towards it; you will get happiness and fulfillment.
I think this is the panacea for all the modern world ailments.
After all the purpose of our life is to be happy, unfortunately we search for happiness in every place except within us…….