The Paradox

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Albert Einstein famously remarked in a conversation with Warner Heisenberg, “You know in the west we’ve built a beautiful ship, and it has all the comforts. But actually the one thing that it doesn’t have is a compass and that’s why it doesn’t know where it’s going.”

This paradox of our times was propounded by the Dalai Lama when he said, “We have wider freeways but narrower viewpoints. We have taller buildings but shorter tempers.” Will Smith said that we spend money we haven’t earned on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.

And it’s phenomenal how the same technology that brings us close to those who are far away takes us far away from people that are actually close. 30 billion Whats App messages are sent per day, but 48 percent of people say that they feel lonelier in general. The paradox of our times is that we have more degrees but less sense. More knowledge but less judgement. More experts but fewer solutions.

It was Martin Luther King Jr. who said that the irony of our time is that we have guided missiles but misguided men. Have you ever found it perplexing that you’ve been all the way to the moon and back but you struggle to start a conversation across the road or across the bus?

It’s amazing that Bill Gates was known as the top earner of 2015 with a wealth of $79.2 billion but one in four CEOs claims to be struggling with depression. Do we actually thrive on this paradox? Is it that this paradox actually makes the media interesting, it’s what makes journalism interesting, it’s what makes politics interesting, it’s what makes television interesting? Is this paradox actually what we feed off and what we live off and what we talk about and discuss in our circles? Doesn’t it seem that we’ve tried to clean up the air but polluted our soul, we’ve split the atom but not our prejudice, and we’re aiming for higher incomes but we have lower morals? So how do we bring a change?

Well, it starts with us, each of us pressing pause, pressing reset, and then pressing play again. Taking a moment to become more conscious, taking a moment to become more aware, taking a moment to really reflect on the consequence, the implication of a misplaced word of an unnecessary argument that we all know we didn’t need to have, or to speak to someone just slightly differently in a different tone, in a different voice, in a different empathy, with a different perspective. Just to really connect with people on a different level.

This, thinking out loud, started from Albert Einstein when he actually said that the problems we have today can’t be solved with the same thinking that we used when we once created them. We need to research alternative teachings and dig deep down into these ancient books of wisdom. We need to go back to understanding if there’s anything written in those creased pages of time that can actually reveal more knowledge and more wisdom of how we can transform our experience of life today. Otherwise, this paradox means that every step forward we take, we’re taking three backwards every time.

PS: In the hours spent mindlessly surfing social media on my phone, I came across this jewel. The text above is actually from a video, and I could have paraphrased it, but it could not have been worded better. This is the original video : https://youtu.be/ZZ4-4RKx8r4

 

Mr. Chief Minister !!!

 

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An incident I happened to witness last weekend. It happened during an inaugural ceremony of launching a public scheme in my town. The chief guest was state CM and few ministers along with state dignitaries were present. Though not a big fan of politics, I happened to attend this event because of the compulsion of my friend, who also happened to be a member of the party’s youth wing.

The stage was set and at the appointed time the dignitaries started arriving. And then the hassle bustle of security personnel started and everyone knew CM has arrived. Chants by party workers filled the air and in a movement atmosphere was pumped up. Understandably non-interested in the event, I was standing in the corner of this place watching all the events which occurred.

Meanwhile CM entered the auditorium and black cat commandos cleared his way to the stage. People fill the auditorium with the chanting of CM’s name. Almost everyone were on their feet. Suddenly before getting on the stage CM stopped. Seeing the anxious and alert faces of the guards it was clear that this was not part of planned routine. CM turned his back and was searching for someone in the crowd. Little did anyone knew that it was this little girl Riya he was looking for.

Riya was a 2nd grade student studying in one of the government school in the town. Riya and her friends had a problem at hand. And they had heard that the Chief Minister was a problem solver. So the moment Riya got him within earshot, she yelled, “Mr. CM…”

CM was amused by the second-standard student waving to him and calling out his name. His heart might have told him to go to her. He went to her and asked the security personnel to bring the girl near him. He says hi to her and asked her “What is your name? How are you?”.  He was touched when he learned that the girl had called him to air a grievance: Her classmate Alex was homeless and needed a home. CM took the girl by his hands and went to a nearby side room of auditorium along with her two friends. He asked Riya what was the issue.

“Alex is homeless,” Riya said. “His father is not well,” pitched in Abhay and Jagan. “Mother too,” completed Vishnu.

CM smiled and turned to principal secretary and asked if she knew about Alex. She in turn asked the SP in charge and he nodded and said the kids were right. The Chief Minister asked the secretary to get this in writing from the principal of the school before the event is over and asked the children to join the event with him. The event got concluded as planned and we did not hear anything about these kids.

It was the next day I got to know that Chief Minister had left the venue only after allotting Rs 3 lakhs to build a house for the child.

“No Act Of Kindness, No Matter How Small, Is Ever Wasted – Aesop”.

Ref: ManoramaOnline