Change the world, Shall we?

Disclaimer: I am not a commie, leftist, rightist, liberal, conservative, marxist, royist, mathewist etc.

I believe before we begin to arrive at any conclusion, it is very important to notice where we begin.

Most of the time we begin with an awareness of where our ‘faayda’ lies.

Then we conveniently use our intellectual ability to highlight those parts that make us right.

I believe it is very convenient to ‘not look’ at a world that we are not a part of.

Let us see…

1. The world’s populating is 6 billion people where 4 billion live on less than 4 dollars a day.

2. There are 577 billionaires in the world. Together they have more wealth than 195 of world’s poorest nations.

3. While you and I have daily concerns like ‘Got to pay my bills on time’ or ‘Saving tax’, there are a LOT more people who have daily concerns like ‘How can I keep my child alive’ or ‘Where am I going to get food for tomorrow?’

4. You and I cannot identify with that because we have never felt starvation, homelessness or been thrown out of our houses.

5. Let us not put labels on each other – call each other commies and leftists and rightists. Let us ask ourselves a question.

“Can the world be better?”

Of course yes.
I am not talking about utopia.

I am talking about hardcore ground-realities level improvement.

The hardcore reality improvement is that as Indians we campaigned for freedom some 60 years back and the situation did improve. Oppression did end. Freedom was indeed gained.

We might point out flaws in our freedom and say how things are not perfect – in Kashmir/ in North-East etc.

But at a very basic level – they are our problems. We are dealing with them, sometimes not very well, sometimes appallingly, but we are. It’s better than being ruled by the British.

Moral: Changes can be made. Positive changes can be made.

Imagine you are living in a house. The house has 10 rooms. You live in a room that is well furnished, has an A.C, a comfortable bed to sleep in, food to eat. The other 9 rooms are full of people starving, dying, diseased, malnourished, frustrated, deprived. How long will you be able to remain aloof of their agony, their pain and finally their anger, their hatred?

So, how do we bring about this change?

I am wondering.

Do you have an answer?

One NEW Thing !!!!

I would like to throw an open challenge to the readers here….

Today, after reading this piece – Do something, one thing that you have never ever done in your life!! EVER!!

Okay, here is the deal. Make this one thing. one new thing that you do today positive, good and really cool. It need not be a path breaking, spine tingling, nervous-system-exploding thing (like quitting your job, which by the way, i recently did – but oops, that is another post in the making!!)… it can be something really small, really simple but it has to be something you have never ever done!!

Maybe you could give 100 bucks to a beggar
Maybe you could call a long-time enemy and shock him by saying hi
Maybe you could simply run up the stairs of your office
Maybe you could go for a run on the beach
Maybe you could write a letter (not a mail) to your folks back home (and shock the living daylights out of them)
Maybe you could find five good things in your boss

So, guys… here is the challenge… do something you have never done it before….do it today and tell me what happenned!!!!

All the best!!!!!

PS: It would be nicer if knew how to tag someone with this…But I don’t…. so, I won’t. Unless someone out there tells me!

You want a good war?

This has me concerned today…

From an interview with Herman Goring, an early member of the Nazi party, founder of the Gestapo, and one of the main perpetrators of Nazi Germany:

Goring: “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

Gilbert: “There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”

Goring: “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

Here, Right Now…What am I up to?

Taking on from the last post – that was a very good question.

What are you up to?

There are layers to this seemingly simple question. The deeper we go, the more clarity we have.

Taken in first person, this translates into an immensely useful question that we can ask ourselves when debating choices, making decisions or reacting/ responding. Asking myself this questions often makes it clear what the higher, the better, the healthier choice is.

What am I up to?

Your four year old daughter spills a glass of milk on the floor.
You look at her and shout in anger.
What are you up to?

You are walking by on the road.
An old beggar raises a shriveled hand for loose change.
You smirk as you give him some coins.
What are you up to?

You just heard from friend A that friend B has been fired.
You immediately call up friend B.
Is it only concern or curiosity as well?
What are you up to?

We behave, we react the way we do because of thousands of reasons, many of which are not always clear even to us. We could be enacting our life dramas or fulfilling a pressing psychological need. We might want attention, love, a listener, a punching-bag etc..

Asking myself “What am I up to?” often shows me that the reason why I am doing something is not the real reason at all.

The most significant lies are the ones we tell ourselves.

Asking myself “What am I up to right now?” has helped me be more genuine, more in touch with myself and has helped me in making the higher choice.

What are you up to?

Me, Myself and Traffic!

I think we reveal quite a bit of our real selves when we are in traffic.

Traffic provides us with a unique scenario. A zillion people together in the same physical space trying to attain their own individual objectives.

Our encounter with other human beings while in traffic is wonderfully innocent. We do not have a history together, no baggage. There are no expectations for a future. The relationship we share with a stranger in traffic is devoid of any possible WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) factor.

Traffic provides an opportunity for interaction with others where nothing is at stake, there is nothing to lose and nothing to gain.

In such a unique situation, what are we up to? The answer I believe will reveal quite a bit about our ‘real’ selves. What part of our ‘self’ do we express when faced with this unique advantage-less situation?

Here is a never-before opportunity to be generous, kind, forgiving, happy, grateful.

Do we take it?

Traffic can be such a wonderful teacher about who we choose to be and which part of us we choose to bring forth.

This evening, while going back home… Check that rearview mirror and notice the teeming mass of humanity you are a part of.

What are you up to?