Awareness of Reality Makes Life Easy

Challenging Life

We are goaded to start running and worrying as soon as we possibly can! We are set targets by our parents and peers. We have to measure up to expectations or live with a feeling of being losers in the game of life. Most have to work to earn a living and there is hardly any respite. It starts with schooling with an eye on a rewarding career. We hop across many a hurdle along the way, live and reminisce to tell the tale. That sums up our life and in a way of other species, our fellow travelers that also see the light under our nurturing sun.

Attitude Decides

Few are born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths. They get a head start in terms of comforts coming their way. But others can earn it by the sweat of their brow and even get ahead. That is the beauty of life – everyone is blessed to get due rewards but with the right attitude. Attitude decides our altitude, not in material terms, in the end. The reward and meaning we get from life is entirely up to us, within us. We can walk with a spring in our steps or at the other extreme wallow in self-pity. We choose to spread cheer or pall of gloom.

Ever Changing Realities

Those who accept the realities of the day are truly blessed. The whole creation, universe, even multi-verse, is in a state of flux. No moment repeats! That means reality changes in subtle ways and our lives too as they depend on it. Change is the only constant. We need to embrace the moments with humility and acceptance. That decides our state of mind. Even good old days can be replicated, made better, when we learn from our mistakes and adjust our outlook.

My further thoughts:
1. Life a blessing: The reason for our birth here is mystery, more so as a human being. But we feel we are the most blessed though that is a moot point! But we have the ability to make our lives a blessing not only for us but also to others with the right attitude and approach.
2. Learn from mistakes: History is replete with wisdom – how to live and not live! We have enough of history to avoid every mistake. And then the new discoveries through technology that have broken barriers that divided us in the past. The biggest of them – making it clear everyone yearns for peace and coexistence. All have same feeling, especially the majority poor, though manipulators hold sway over our destiny.
3. One world: Though we live in many countries, cultures, our lifestyles are merging with the craving for similar lifestyles, gadgets.
4. Technology a window to better world: News and views from around the world are available to all. We get the latest news, views and interviews from everywhere. So technology has broken hitherto ironclad barriers.
5. Awareness of needed actions: Every right thinking person is able to analyse and come to own conclusion for needed actions that suit his needs, strengths and limitations. So everyone can take charge of own lives without being at the mercy of others.
6. True meaning of Freedom and Democracy: We have seen the functioning of freedom and democracy. Despite their failings they have given us a life that is far removed from the tyrannical ways of the past. We should cherish the path that our forefathers guided us to take, improve on the workings and fine-tune them to plug the loopholes.

Our lives are far from perfect but we have come a long way from a dark past where few rode rough-shod over the vast majority with impunity. The vestiges of the past are still seen when some take advantage of others’ kindness and generosity and pursue selfish goals. They are the few bad apples that we have to watch out for in our on-going battle to keep our heads above water and maintain our vigil to prevent us from sliding into an abyss.

The Way to Go

We know where we stand more than at any time in the past. Individually we are up to date with the latest and also collectively. Our interests are same – so what are we waiting for to avoid past mistakes, shed burdensome baggage? We know the reality and also what to do to take the next step. We have to step out of the comfort zone that makes us repeat the same mistakes. We need to make sacrifices and thereby enjoy the rewards too by getting out of the rut. Our freedom and democracy have led us to a state of affairs where efficient functioning of government machinery is at stake. Our leaders can promise much but we put spokes in the wheel through checks and balances that choke initiatives to get things done. We need to get things going than lose ourselves in semantics. When the agenda is clear before elections and they are decided at the polls, why should there be any barriers later?

Individually too, we have to assess the realities as an on-going process. The change is becoming faster to such an extent we lose our footing on the basics. We just drift along. A herd instinct makes us lose our way. We have seen individual initiatives touch our lives positively more than leaders can hope for. After all, politicians have selfish motives. The reality is democracy and freedom is still exploited by few to make them work to their advantage. As we tussle with this reality we have to still make them work as alternatives look hazy at best. The human mind and its workings prove too complex to benefit humanity as a whole. We have to grapple with the challenges, trust one another with a grain of salt and get closer to understanding the ultimate reality that we swim or sink as one with each passing day. Cohesion and cooperation always prove a mirage – a reality that we have to accept unless a miracle is hiding around the corner. Then we are at the doors of the elusive heaven while still alive! That is what we have to aspire and work for – an abiding challenge and task for humanity to realize their full potential.

Mindful Way to Happiness: A Life without Grudge

Hurtful acts:

We are human after all! What hurts us stays with us, but good deeds tend to be forgotten! We punish ourselves many times over, unable to forget the slights and even thirst for revenge! Such incidents replay in our minds and make our lives miserable. To forgive an act of injustice is easier, but to forget is almost impossible. Hurts make some strong but leave indelible marks in our psyche. Why the injustice? But as they say; we have to move on and look ahead. Why give others get the upper hand and be diminished by them?

Personal reflections:

I can relate how I have come out stronger from share of injustices meted out to me even when I saw the perpetrators carry on without much guilt or a word of regret. They live a life of denial and one starts to doubt the overall sense of justice in this life. Most are beyond the purview of courts as they relate to unquantifiable acts though they cause excruciating mental anguish. Where then is due process of justice in this world? Many acts escape the net and the perpetrators go Scot-free.

The only solace one gets is the hope that life will make amends in ways that are not easily discernible to us, but it would, over a period of time; maybe, even over generations! That is the enigma of life on earth. So there is always the eagerness to know how every deed plays out to its ultimate end, the cause and effect of our actions. Another take would be; justice denied now will be meted out later, after life, or even in lives to come for those who believe in reincarnation!

How I find inner peace:

Everyone reflects on the meaning of life and how to chart out own future that suits us. For me, I refuse others the privilege to destroy my peace of mind. How I react to their acts, both positive and negative, decides my ability to find my mental equilibrium. Once we are predictable in our responses, then our life is on a roll! Modern lifestyle is hectic and people react differently and some are unpredictable. Once we accept these facts of life and refuse to get carried away by their acts, half the battle is won! We are already insulated from what others do!

Modern lifestyles:

It is getting wackier as the days roll on! Even older generations are on catch-up mode; no time to pause and question, which will mean only getting left behind more and more! So, one has to adapt like when wearable gadgets read our minds in few years time, as per reports! So learn, unlearn and relearn! Take a deep breath and enjoy the marathon run as long as it lasts!

Conclusion:

The good news is; we have less time to hold grudges when we have to run for our lives to stay where we are! Accepting people and forgiving them, and maybe, forgetting their deceptions could be the only way. Why punish ourselves for no fault of ours when we have good intentions. We need to hold on to all good deeds that definitely overwhelm the bad in anyone’s lives, though they may stay hidden and be taken for granted. Once, we count our blessings, then that will decide and define our lives, and enable us to savor every moment, keeping the negatives at bay. Live by a clear conscience, which is always the lightest pillow that ensures sound sleep!

Life of Fulfillment

From the beginning, there have been the rich & the poor! Also, the hard-working & the lazy! There are the few who never miss an opportunity to rise quickly materially but most miss them even when presented on a platter!

Alexander the Great was supposed to have said to leave his palms open to his followers as despite all his conquests, he carried away nothing when leaving this world. But how many people reflect on that as they go about accumulating in a mad feeding frenzy till the last moment! They suspect everybody else but the real enemies are within who are privy to inner secrets & even crimes! Even the closest will be counting their inheritance much before the hoarder’s time is due! The latter realizes too late that they are worth more to their kith & kin dead, than when they are alive!

Life is journey that can pass before we realize! When the journey is about to end, we are in for some shocks! Inundated with gadgets we know the cost of everything, alas, the value of nothing, especially human relationship! The time invested in family is never wasted. Even during earlier times, one was remembered for a couple of generations. But in the closed-door life of the present, none is remembered! We are just digits that will be erased even before the body is dealt with!

But at the moment we leave the world, it is said the whole life is reflected in our conscience. Let us try at least to have good take-away memories, that we have lived a life worthy of reflection & not just having completed a journey without a purpose.

Reflections on Life

We are enslaved by herd mentality. As money is an essential factor for a happy life, educational pursuits are guided by those that net best returns. Generally, we neglect to choose our vocation that are after our hearts but influenced by what others pursue, thereby, becoming blind followers despite having the choice to decide own path. Soon we realize our lives are drifting away from our control that leads to frustration. Though economically it may not make much sense, it is better to have careers that pay less than be entrapped in unhappy & unfulfilling jobs.

Very few are into jobs that make them feel they are not working for a living, but pursuing and enjoying their lifelong passion! But for most, it is harsh reality of daily life with the reward system skewed in favor of those jobs that make money out of thin air! The fallout from pursuing such a reckless lifestyle lands on innocent citizens time and again. The rampant speculations led by greed by even those who do not understand the products they deal in bring many to grief; the mad scramble to recoup losses leads to further disaster. Finally, somebody has to pick up the tab – and that is you and me!

It takes a happy person to make others happy! But when the best brains are wired into a make-believe world with enticing lives of indulgence, humanity regresses in the value systems; then crimes, deceit and hypocrisy hold sway. They attack at the very roots of a sound society Living beyond means is also encouraged through easy availability of loans. Future earnings are pledged to live up the present, repay past liabilities. In a way, we are leaving our future generations in debt & to repay our debts!

Human ingenuity should not be curbed but channeled into those that is of value to the society in general; a duty of the government and enlightened leaders. Wise counsel should prevail than giving in to a charmed life that comes to grief sooner or later! However with the passage of time, moral fiber of those who govern has eroded & they play along. In the end, we all chase mirages knowing full well that the make-believe world will collapse around us. Some may even argue that life is short, so has to be lived & enjoyed! All travel along the roads that may not lead to Rome, but certainly to doom!

Our future is getting hazy with each passing day when no one is in control. Despite the clear writing on the wall, none wants to heed the warning signs and bent upon following the modern Pied Piper of Hamelin – the lure of wealth for its own sake, a one way path to grief! The whole world is getting more entwined by the day through economic integration with similar lifestyles – make hay when the sun shines. Past is history, future should take care of itself; then why worry while at the present!

Are we not leaving behind a mountain of issues that we just ignore or lack the will to tackle? The environmental degradation, nuclear disarmament, arms race, climate change, water scarcity – name it, they just stare at our face. We go from one conference to another pushing the agenda around with solution never found at least on time. At the same time, the time bomb is ticking relentlessly. Our leaders are busy politicking at our cost in times of our dire need, sadly, just like Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned! Life could have been so much more meaningful for the most disadvantaged if we just bothered to wake up to realities. It is sadly a tale of many a slip between the cup full of achievement and the anxious lip seeking life of fulfillment that is within our grasp. It requires just a change of heart to fulfill our promise.

Oneness of Humanity – the Only Way Forward

We are at each other’s throats all the time going by daily news. Is it because we lack the wisdom to balance and align with the creative process that includes the good, the bad, the positive and the negative? Whatever our beliefs are, we try to coexist, at least the vast majority of us, and that applies to all species. Then why should the bad and the negative set our agenda, cloud our thinking, make us look behind us in apprehension all the time? Can they not also be brought on board with positive energy for an inclusive ride? I have a view that we are here to serve a sentence for our past karma with a life that gives us no respite! We have to fight for peace of mind that proves elusive, and even forage for food every few hours despite the conveniences of a “civilized” world. Our efforts do not translate into world peace, even a semblance of it, to last a while. With the passing of each generation we tend to accumulate the issues that divide us with even countries looking to settle old scores – we do not allow the dead to bury the dead, meaning, leave the past behind as nothing can be done to erase history. There are the few everywhere to stoke the flames of hatred based even on race though for all practical purposes it is one world especially for the ordinary people. I have my folks sporting different nationalities; one cannot have the best of all worlds all the time!

We take few as cantankerous, beyond repair. But scratch the surface, there is a spark of divinity in each one of us, even in the most ferocious of animals; in fact, they live and let live and hunt only to satiate hunger or when felt threatened. I can hear the voice of Steve Irwin, the wildlife conservationist, speaking about the incident that killed him – “mate, it is my mistake; it was I who intruded into the territory of the stingray and it did what comes naturally to it when felt threatened!” Such attitude shows compassion of those who come into contact with all types of creatures that can cause even death. Even then they attack only when provoked, as a last resort, when cornered without a means of escape. That shows there is divinity in them too as they mind their own business, coexist. Of course, come to think of it, even humans kill to eat – an inconvenient truth that we try to sweep under the carpet!

When we talk of world peace most are resigned – it is not going to happen, just forget it! We need all the weapons for defence and even offence. We have to keep fighting for peace with more and more powerful weapons – to keep ahead of the enemies! That ends up as a never ending process towards all out destruction with some having a take to achieve salvation to appear before their God with blood of others in their hands – mission accomplished! Then only the truth will stare at them! Are we ready for the consequences of our actions of killing the innocents? Every action or even inaction of ours has consequences. Even the lions are aware of the risk they take to fill their stomachs but they know they have little choice.

How to move ahead to higher ground of coexistence other than by eliminating all enemies through mass killing – of course, that proves a momentary Pyrrhic victory as they are a many-headed hydra! The way could be only through building on the divinity in each of us. I have seen rough and tough folks but with hearts that are loving and compassionate, ever ready to help those in need. On the other hand are those who get into wealth pursuit and lose a lot of goodness in them when the race proves overwhelming to stay ahead! All countries and their leaders have soft corners, divinity inside them. It may not be apparent but they will react positively to the right chord, words and approach. After all, no one wants to start the killing machine themselves but when pushed to their limits they can be like a tiger cornered. And when it is started it becomes tough to stop and may require many nuclear bombs now to knock sense into us! And start from Stone Age again!

It is time we have a change of attitude, heart, to look deep within to realize we are all same. Leaders have to act for their countries but they also have the ability to douse the flames of anger in their people. For that they need the wherewithal of weapons of peace more than those of destruction. With the right approach what applies to one country will suit all others too. Let us not forget it is mostly the circumstances that mold us and when given the right opportunity and mind-set we are the same. There is divinity inside us all and that is waiting to manifest itself with the right touch and emotions. Why bottle up the good for the bad to dictate and decide our agenda? We have seen it all and have to be led by what is right to benefit the whole creative process, and take over the role of co-creators. Onward, forward, into higher realms of existence is the way and our attitude decides our altitude without leaving anyone by the wayside, a truly inclusive ride guided by the spark of divinity that we are born with but lying dormant, needlessly suppressed now. Everyone is eager to get into the bandwagon but the fear is of getting rejected. Let the basic truth of creation shine through overriding barriers created by us of religion, race, countries, et al.

Path to a Fulfilling Life

In a dog-eat-dog world, one cannot be faulted for being preoccupied with self preservation and personal advancement. After all, when we have a family to support, we cannot be altruistic in a materialistic world. We can eschew some basics even, but what about family members who look up for our support?

Increasingly, the carefree childhood days are robbed right from the cradle, especially in city lifestyles. One is rushed from point A to point B and such paths continue right through adulthood. They are accepted as the norm and few dare to take a contrarian path. It is a herd instinct with few pausing to question and think of alternate lifestyles. These are especially evident in Asian societies out to catch up with those already ahead and perceived as worth emulating. This mad race is putting pressure on even the pace setters, causing them to feel the pressure to maintain their lead, preserve their lifestyles!

Increasingly, the utter hopelessness of such lifestyles and the resultant strain on societies in general have made many to question our direction and the price we are forced to pay. The environmental degradation through over-exploitation of finite resources is becoming increasingly apparent. There is mad scramble for limited resources from hitherto underdeveloped countries. And then is the inventing of ways to make quick money through dubious methods that finally take their toll on societal well being, with the poorest citizens having to carry the ultimate burden. The pioneering spirit and sacrifice that built the foundations of developed countries is clearly missing in modern societies, with many after lifestyles ensconced in luxury but avoiding the hard choices necessary to forge ahead, or at least keep up the present lifestyles well oiled with positive actions.

We become aware of prevailing emptiness and lack of foresight, living beyond our means, bankrupting and robbing future generations of basics that we were provided with. Investment to build solid infrastructure is lacking; resources wasted on expenditures that give no return. They also cause huge psychological negative impact on the moral fiber of societies. All in all, poor lifestyle choices all round!

Our leaders are expected to lead us to where we aspire for. But they have also to please those who prove crucial to their hold on power. But the former have own ax to grind! Even in liberal democracies, some are able to exercise more than equal citizenship rights through ways that are not above board. They have influence that others lack. The majority are busy with their lives, earning their keep through fair means.

How do the ordinary citizens find meaning and just reward for an upright lifestyle? What legacy can he/she leave behind that rest easy on conscience? Change what we can and accept that we cannot – is a way to trudge through life and do our own bit. Each can do but little, but if each does that little, all will be done – is another way! We fight many injustices but when we slay one, others rise, like the multi-headed hydra! We can never take our eyes off to have an easy life, served on a plate; have to accept those that may not please us, but as a society we have to carry on, on the basis of give and take.

It is said we need to live a life that we will be proud of in our last moments on this beautiful planet. We leave fleeting memories, but some footprints and imprints might survive till eternity. We might as well reflect on our life forever, realize the whole purpose of it, from a vantage point that lies hidden now when we can’t see the forest for the trees in our present lives. But we have an inner voice that tells us what is right from wrong; guides us along. A life lived to benefit many, both seen and even unseen, gives us genuine meaning and reward. Modern lifestyles are a challenge but we still can find resources to lead a life to touch the disadvantaged. Then the final moments should prove defining, after a life that was lived well and passing on the right morals for others to build on. We carry the baton and run our short distance. We run not only for entire humanity, other species, but also ultimately as a part of whole evolutionary process. Our lives might be seen as totally insignificant, but there should be a role to it, and the conscience, burning inside us, guides us till our last breaths. Are we up to the challenge?

Carpe Diem – Seize the Day

We worry about the future and relive past hurts as the present pass us by. This is the reality of most common folks. When things are hunky-dory we feel it might not last. When we hit against a wall of setbacks the end seems to be nigh. Only few can take failures as stepping stones to success when the darkness envelope us. Some find solace in drowning their worries through escapism but the reality returns with a vengeance. We can be taught life-skills, but can we get needed skills to survive tough emotional turmoil? We are after those that others too covet, mostly material possessions, and the need for them seem to increase by the day. We need ambition to progress but it finally boils down to a mad race that saps our energy and the time needed to find meaning in our lives. We end up reacting to situations with our choices rather limited. A mad scramble to enjoy the perceived goodies bring us gloom and disappointments. And when we finally reach the summit it proves a Pyrrhic victory in terms of the toll it takes on us and family.

We have our own passions that we are mostly inborn with. But in our anxiety to secure our lives we are forced to overlook them and get trapped in lifestyles just to exist. Most have to settle for a life of monthly reward and get trapped in a vicious cycle. We are mostly glorified slaves leading lives at others’ bidding. Living lives on our terms is easily said than practiced. As the responsibilities increase our passions go into hibernation!  I have tried to rekindle my passions but that means forgetting monetary rewards but I feel happy to stick to a life I am comfortable with.

We have many choices that come our way and taking the initiative will not upset our apple cart. Again we allow circumstances to dictate the paths we take. I am comfortable with working for people as I am not one to worry about making own living or climbing high on the corporate ladder. To run a business independently is a challenge not to be trifled with; not a cup of tea for most! Every choice has its own reward but also has a price to pay.

To cut losses is not easy but I have done it few times after much heartache.  The choices we make can go haywire due to circumstances beyond our control so we have to reassess and make a better turn, even a U-turn! We are emotional beings so to make informed choices do not come easy. Much soul-searching is needed but the reality should dictate and decide our course for survival.

We feel in comfort zones too often and for me loyalty played a big part in my career path. It goes with the turf that one can be easily taken advantage of by the unscrupulous. Once we lose precious time to assert our rights we find that we have lost the opportunity and have to kowtow. To take the initiative and change course proves rather tough when we get entrenched in comfort zones and other issues like family play a part in our career. We end up taking the beaten path day in and day out; so one should seize the chances than live in despair.

In these tough times many cannot plan their careers when having a job is a blessing by itself! But with the right attitude one can enjoy stages in life, both career-wise and in family life. Our attitude plays a major part – for me eschewing ego gives great solace and limits the hurt and setbacks – we just take away others ability to hurt us by words and deeds. We get into the right circle thereby too. I find ego and greed are the two greatest stumbling blocks to live life to the fullest and we lose ourselves with self-serving people who tell us what we want to hear while the well-meaning keep away.

It is easy to lose our way but when one is prepared to become aware of the choices we have, we are in safer path. Ambition and effort are necessary but our goals have to be honorable. I have seen some rich becoming more selfish the higher they climb the ladder of wealth while only few stay rooted to reality. As the Chinese saying goes – never forget the source of water we drink from. Nothing can replace the human touch and feelings especially of our loved ones. We should never forget how we want to live our final moments in this blessed place when we would yearn for solace and comfort.  Our choices should be made keeping those basics in mind.

Online Journey

The caravan moves on, the familiar names and faces are with me too.

I am against too much of one thing at a time but I make an exception with regard to online sites. It is like knowledge – we don’t deprive another by having more of it; in fact, the more sharing the healthier!

People have so much to share with regard to their talents – be it cooking, art, gardening and now internet and online sites are godsend. Then the many like me who just want to interact to heart’s content with time the only limiting factor.

Many are sort of veterans in the trade even those for whom internet has to be learned the hard way while others have grown up with technology. But the journey is worth every effort as nothing is constant especially nowadays with modern tools reaching far and wide.

I have been with few sites over five years with some closing their shutters – they might not have been nimble enough. The real wealth for me has been the friendship from around the world and it runs into thousands! We are made of the same stuff – the differences are skin deep, artificial, man-made and in our minds. We have the same hopes and anxieties with physical body similar. We share the air we breathe from same source and also survive with similar input.

Compassion, empathy and kindness touch our core. In fact, we try to go out of the way without looking for rewards – our actions and thoughts are the ultimate reward. We find fulfillment in similar ways and online sites testify to our inner urge to leave a positive mark on the footprints of time.

Our online journey adds another facet to our daily lives. Our friends are waiting to respond and welcome us just like I think our own could be waiting for us “later”! I have no regrets in having spent many hours on online sites despite not having much to show for it in terms of money but I chip in to keep the whole process ongoing – do I need a greater role?

So the journey has started here too with another world waiting to be explored! I hope I won’t forget the real one around me and I make it a point to look around when I go out with a sort of guilty feeling peering into the screen but I see many from around the world not only people with flesh and blood welcoming me but also sharing nature they are so eager to do.

Everything looks great but I should not go overboard at the same time!