A better world

I do not believe in a perfect world.
I do not believe in a world without death, disease, anger or tragedy.

I do believe in a better world.

I have often felt my anger against ‘how things are’ versus ‘how things should be’.
I am sure you have too.
Anger against obvious injustices.
Men and women losing loved ones because of man-made reasons for one.
Anger against profit-motives overriding humanitarian concerns.

I have recently realized, anger against injustice is like war for peace.
It’s an anomaly. It’s useless. It’s pointless.

A more spiritual and a much more practical perspective to adopt would be to just start doing things that I would do if the world were just what I expected it to be.
If I want the world to be kind, let me jus believe it is and respond.
If I want people to be humane and selfless, let me just believe it is and respond so.

Somehow, this belief seems to have made a difference in my experience of life.

The questions is – what do I do when you witness proof to the opposite, which I surely will.

The answer – nothing. Just forget it and move on. Just tell myself, that this was an anomaly, an aberration – not reality and move on.

But then what is the truth. What is the world really like?
The truth is – nobody knows!!
Nobody knows whether people are good or bad or cruel or kind. There is surely no empirical proof and the subjectivity of the matter can be debated for eons to come.

The newspapers or TV Channels, if you choose them to be a mirror of our world are I believe, inaccurate.
They do not report reality, they just report what is newsworthy.
And more often than not, what is newsworthy is violence, tragedy and death – because they are abnormal.
Newspapers or TV Channels do not and can not report millions of people falling in love this very moment. They cannot report millions being selfless and kind and helping others. They cannot possibly be witness to the mind-battles millions fight and win by making a higher choice.

Since, no objective reality exists – the world will be whatever we choose it to be.
I choose a better world.
And remember Gandhi.

He said – “Be the change you wish to see in the world”

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?

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.”

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?

Terrorism and Loveism!!


In the age and time that I have lived – Terrorism is an important world issue.

I was born in 1979, so I missed most of the Cold War action. That was good, because it ultimately turned out to be nothing. A damp squib. I vaguely remember seeing the Berlin Wall fall and the break up of Soviet Union.

But as I grew up, what most definitely changed the world forever happened just a few years back. 9/11 – the digits chillingly the same that Americans dial to get help from Police when in distress.

Since then, Terrorism became an important issue. Probably, the important issue. Whether I will live to see the day a girl would decide to go out with me depends entirely upon whether my country is sending some troops to Iraq. It seems, in the cold war you could blame everything – from a rude neighbor to the weather – on Russia (or U.S depending upon where you were). After Russia decidedly stopped being a threat – there was a godforsaken peaceful vacuum in which the world existed.

Now, things are better. We have Al-Queda. We have an enemy, we have somebody to fight with. And that is great!

If we don’t know who we are against, if we do not know who is our enemy – we don’t know who we are!! Not having an enemy might lead to such wasteful things as introspection and worrying about unimportant issues like environment or poverty or even…. Shudder shudder… hunger-deaths.

We don’t have to worry about those things anymore. We have terrorism. Yippee!! We have to worry about smoking them out of their holes and shooting them down and waging war and counting dead bodies and preparing for bomb-blasts and hostage negotiations.

The world is normal again!

Thank you Osama uncle.

Terrorism – Terror-ism. Philosophy of Fear.

Interesting.

I wonder if there was another way to fight terrorists.

Is there something called Loveism. Well, the red underline under the word on my word-processor says there isn’t.

But imagine if there was.

Loveism – Love-ism. Philosophy of Love.

Love is the opposite of Fear. Isn’t it natural that we should fight fear with love? Fighting fear with fear could result in overall – well…… more fear!
Oh, you are a terrorist?
Know what, I am a Loveist!!

Here are some imaginary headlines from newspapers not yet published.

Loveists strike in the heart of New York! Police reach in time to be kissed.

Unknown Loveists sprinkle flowers and rosewater over Iraq.

Loveist head – Cupid Bin Bush warns: All those who believe in fear are our next target.

Loveism is a threat to the Weapons Industry – stocks plummet.

Here is a small news item:

Loveists attack London, Afghanistan, Iraq

By our international Reporter,
September 11, 2xxx

In a worldwide attack of chilling accuracy, Loveists today struck three corners of the world – London, Kabul and Baghdad at 8 A.M GMT.

London
Londoners were in for a shock as the Loveists forcibly stopped an underground train and distributed, again, forcibly – footstep counters (small digital devices which count the number of footsteps you take everyday!) and conducted small training programs on how to stay healthy. They segregated the smokers and shot water pistols at them. The stunned smokers were then presented with toy-lungs and asked to care for them. The hunt is on for the Loveists, but as always – they have left no traces. Later on a statement was posted at an unofficial site on internet which said a new group ‘Random acts of Extreme Kindnesses” has taken responsibility for the act.

Baghdad
A group of rebel U.S marines sent a chill down the spine of the entire world by revealing their real identities as agents of “Love Group for Middle East”. They shocked the Iraqis by reciting verses from the Koran over loudspeakers in the city. They had been practicing for months, reports say. They proceeded to the now-famous Abu Gharib prison and made a public apology on behalf of mankind to those who had suffered there. The matter has shaken the U.S army to the core and head in command was sacked the same evening. The U.S marines have been arrested for the heinous act and will be face a court martial.

Afghanistan
At about the same time – a group of about 100 loveists appeared out of nowhere – and in a precisely executed operation erected a plywood school building with a well stocked library and built a huge water tank for a small town near Kabul, all within eight hours. Eyewitnesses say, the authorities were kept at bay by a parade of strippers, who in eight hours of a sleazy dance show – managed to take their veils off and also exposed their elbows. The Mayor of the town was then kidnapped and tickled till he approved of both the constructions as legal.

World Reaction
The love attacks have brought the world community together in expressing their condemnation and disgust. President Gregor Bush of U.S.A in a white house release today said “The Loveists pose a threat to the world as we know it. They stand against the concepts of profit, power and believe only in spreading harmony and love in the hearts of our voters. We will not tolerate this. We will smoke them out of their holes and kill them. For without fear, there is no power”. He was supported by the British PM, Mr. Tony Blare. Indian PM, Mr. Manmohan Sing said that the Loveists were looking for a resolution of the Indo-Pak hostilities without any extended negotiations over hundreds of years. This, he said, went against the very idea of two countries making peace. The Loveists, he said – would never succeed in their loving schemes.
Stop Press
The French however, have extended their full support to the Loveism movement and has been declared a Loveist country.

Ha ha…
Ha ha ha …
Ha ha ha ha….

Very funny, you say?

Romantic but not realistic, you say.

Exaggerated? Yes.
Romantic? Very much.
Realistic? Totally.

How do we know? When was the last time we responded to terror with love? When was the last time we felt fear and said “I forgive”. As a race, when was the last time we did it?

And if we have never done it, how do we know what consequences will it bring?

If U.S, instead of vying for the oil of Iraq, provided water and food to Iraq and Afghanistan and marketed its contributions well enough – are there any chances that some of the hardcore militants would soften? If I am giving you water, will you kill me? Well, maybe after you read my book, no matter what I do, you will kill me – but I mean seriously. If we made a genuine, from the heart effort to help those who hate us – would hatred give way to shock… to guilt…. To tolerance… to understanding…. To appreciation… to love.

Maybe not.

But then,

Maybe.

Is it worth a shot?

Crows Share

When crows get food, they do not eat it all by themselves. They go and call everyone else too. So that everyone gets to eat – the logic being that when some other crow finds food, he will do the same thing. If every crow shares – ALL crows get to eat and nobody dies of hunger. Its called an Abundance mindset. (Of course, we human beings do seem to have good reasons why thousands should die of hunger every day. World hunger exists because we think there are less resources. Its a scaracity mindset.)

I updated and quite changed the look and feel of the web site around two weeks back. Hope everyone likes the new web site. I wish everyone a belated happy new year! I pray that this new year brings you greater opportunities to grow, learn and express more of your potential.

With the Abundance Mindset, I have shared information which I think should be useful to you. Do go through the web site. ‘Notes from Abhishek’ is an attempt to share the insights, learnings, aha’s that I have.

I hope the synchronicity of you visiting the web site leads you to answers you are looking for. All the best.