SPEED AND MODERN LIVING
SPEED AND MODERN LIVING
We are living in an increasingly complex world, and the pace of life in all aspects is increasing rapidly. Think of the instant communication made possible by the use of satellites, Internet, email, and whatsap. Disasters in one part of the world are instantly known everywhere, thanks to the ingenuity of the human mind. Similarly, there is faster and faster travelling with rapid transit systems and supersonic jets. The Maglev train in Japan, China and South Korea travel without wheels, impelled by magnetic force, and travel faster than trains on wheels. There is more material to read in newspapers, journals, magazines and books, and students have to cope with more technical and scientific materials in all areas of life. This increase in information narrows the scope of general knowledge available to any student. There are always the “newest and latest methods, or state of the art” of doing one thing or another, e.g. in medical diagnosis and treatment of diseases, or “state of the art” production of goods, e.g. electronic gadgets including computers, electric veicles and space travel.
This increasing complexity of life is thought of as progress. But in this very progress, many people are experiencing a retrogression due to the loss of familiar jobs, not being able to understand and cope with the volume of new information, suffering anguish about the outcome of the world which appears to be going headlong into destruction by development of sophisticated weapons, and by being bombarded daily by news of the plight of people everywhere. The future is ever more uncertain now with climate change, new dseases, and keeping up with technology. Perhaps, it will be well for us to reflect on our lives and try to determine what we want out of life, and where we are headed. There is a great deal of wisdom in Mahatma Gandhi’s statement: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Modern life is increasingly based on speed, so that people have very little time to enjoy the simple pleasures, which bring solace to the soul, such as communing with nature, and living a simple and meaningful life among family and friends.
In this world of increasing complexity and over-abundance of material comforts in the rich countries, people are still searching for something meaningful, something more fundamental to our existence, than the materialism with which we live. Popular religion seems to be failing in bringing this fundamental value to people. It will be well for us to examine our priorities, and see if each one of us is headed in the “proper direction.” If not, then it will be wise for each of us to make a commitment to bring about changes which will enhance the “beauty” and “value” of life. Our eternal soul longs for eternal beauty and eternal value. Let us heed this longing.
Dr Jagessar Das