It is not at all surprising to every one of us -we meet miseries everywhere. Starting from our bodily miseries (like disease, pain & death), miseries from economic problems, relationship, natural calamities, dangers and personal delusions etc. It would not be wrong to define all these as – “misgivings of the material nature”. This is inherent to this world. Many other similar things affect our lives as a whole, affect our peace and happiness. We feel that we cannot escape these. We continuously struggle to find an easy way out – at least temporarily.
And we often fail
Consequently, we suffer from fear, we lose faith, our hearts are hardened, we gradually lose the natural tendency to care others, we deliberately close our eyes to worldly problems to comfort ourselves and think as secure. Moreover if we focus on the larger band, we witness killings, wars, and political quagmire which spoil life of uncountable masses. In the end, we feel practically helpless.
Where are we heading to? Have we ever stopped by and thought about the real cause and the results.
We cannot experience true happiness living just for ourselves. The unnatural selfishness and ignorance has kept us away from all kinds of goodness and natural state of the heart i.e. compassion, lasting happiness and joy. In other words we have lost our hearts to artificiality & self-centeredness.
Yes at this point anyone may ask – are we capable of doing something regarding these miseries. One may feel himself very small and powerless to try something? Yes this may be true to some extent, but each small attempt can have a great impact. We can switch back to the real state of our hearts when we are enlightened, when we practice compassion, when we know the truth of our very existence. Putting it another way – when we turn our hearts back to goodness, we can feel happy, satisfied & real joy, we can be of some help to our fellow society too. So how we do it? Let’s read further.
Get Rid of Attachment, Lust & Greed
Due to over ambitiousness and huge economic proposition we build up cutthroat environments; we end up in pollution, uneven economy, deforestation, wasting natural resources and unfair distribution of commodities. Gandhi has said rightly – “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
Due to lust and greed each one of us attempts to lord over the natural assets and misuse it. Individuals in power also try to manipulate the system or government for personal benefit.
For example: research and testing of weapons, manufacturing and testing of bombs pollutes the ocean and makes it difficult for the sea animals, moreover digging of oil wells in the middle of sea generates a huge amount toxic which simply kills the sea creatures. Wastes from industries straight go into the mouth of oceans which further make difficult for the lives of fish.
Use of chemicals and animal farming is just leaving the fields unusable for further crops. So it is already a danger signal for our food and water scarcity. All we need to stop these; else the harsh reality is not too far.
Rethinking on the Concept of Enough
“Is there enough to go round? Immediately we encounter a serious difficulty: What is “enough”? Who can tell us? Certainly not the economist who pursues “economic growth” as the highest of all values and therefore has no concept of “enough.” There are poor societies which have too little; but where is the rich society that says: “Halt! We have enough”? There is none.”
Quoted from E. F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful – Economics as if People Mattered (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), p. 25.
How much is enough, it’s not a debate to participate. We all know how much is enough? We simply need some food to eat, something to wear, a house to live and of course we need money for all these. We need to earn or work and we also need some money for emergencies. But in the name of earning our necessities we are over engaging ourselves in material endeavors. We are ruthlessly exploiting the nature and the planet to its best for our over-sized dream of a lavish life. We should only accept what is necessary and avoid exaggerations.