Sunday, October 10, 2010

When simplicity would mean survival...

Do we have an one word solution for all the problems of our world? Yes, we do have. That one word magical answer is SIMPLICITY.

Mahatma Gandhi, India’s father of nation has told that “I cannot help thinking that it would be a great catastrophe. a great national tragedy, if you were to barter away your simplicity for this tinsel splendour"

As today (October 10) being World Mental Health Day, it is an ideal time to think about simplicity in life. Because, the struggles we engage in to own luxuries are the major reasons for stress in day-to-day life which  in turn leads to unhealthy mental conditions.

None of us seems to disagree with the merits of simplicity. But when it comes to practice we usually opt to linger. Why does it happen?...  It is where we realize the deadly influence of luxuries over our habits. It is able to suppress and surpass prudence and facts that caution against the evil effects of luxuries.

Let us take the case of Hypercholesterolemia and Gout. Most of us in the modern societies know it very well that deskbound lifestyles without sufficient physical exercise and use of modern luxuries including rich foods and beverages result in Hypercholesterolemia and Gout. But how many of us are able to adjust the life styles to avoid the situations where in one becomes heavily dependant on costly treatment protocols and medicines?

In the current planet situations, our luxuries have much more serious and deep implications than the individual health issues that we have just discussed. In the millions of years of history, man has overcome drastic changes in the living environments by naturally adjusting himself with the changes. But today, the fortress of luxuries that we built recklessly around us has made the adaptation of natural changes quite impossible. Ironically, the luxuries, that we build to create what we believe as a comfortable living environment, actually make the changes in the environment harder for us to adapt.Therefore it is obvious that when man blindly runs after luxuries, it endangers his own health as well as the health of his green planet.

Now we have time to review our day to day life and the things and technologies we use to ensure that they are no way dangerous to the general health.  If there is some thing that is hazardous to health, you can find out ways to live without them –I mean, now there is time for a gradual change.We can plan how we are going to avoid or reduce the use of refrigerators, air conditioners, motor vehicles, paper, chemicals, junk food etc etc. Starting from extreme luxuries, we may gradually conduct overall review of every thing.

In this context, defining ‘luxury’ would definitely become a very difficult job. One fairly reasonable definition is “luxury is something very pleasant but not really needed in life”. It gives the impression that luxury is highly relative to time, place and individual while listing what is needed in life. In order to avoid such complexities, we may better go with scientific reasons to call some thing a luxury.

If we do not venture to review the place of luxury in our lives right now, tomorrow there may arise a situation where in simplicity would become a necessity for survival, that is, we would be forced by the changing climate of our planet to give up luxuries.

License: CC-BY-SA