Sunday, 4 December 2011

HOMO SAPIENS: THE EXTINCT SPECIES?


Something I feel very strongly about and felt the need to share with you all...something disturbing, very basic but seen only rarely.
                          
Question: Do you think there is intelligent life on other planets?
Answer: I don’t think there is intelligent life on ‘this’ planet.

This dialogue on a TV show I was watching recently put my grey cells into a spiral and I am still trying to find my way out of it. What’s wrong with the human species is what comes to the mind again and again. Didn’t God give us a larger and superior brain than all our other co-inhabitants on earth for a reason? 

Over the years the reason has been long forgotten by the best of our species, lost among the rigours of life, the daily wrangling, and the antagonism, bereft of even an iota of the so called humanity that makes us so different from others who have the privilege of sharing earth with us.

Ben Okri, of Nigeria, Africa, of Earth, observes: "There was not one among us who looked forward to being born. We disliked the struggle for existence, the unfulfilled longings, the enshrined injustices of the world, the labyrinths of love, the ignorance of parents, the fact of dying, and the amazing indifference of the living amidst the simple beauties of the universe. We feared the heartlessness of human beings, all of whom are born blind, few of whom ever learn to see."

I can never forget the sight of a man in a temple who prostrate before god was entreating him to forgive his sins. This it seems was his daily ritual. A righteous man I thought to myself until the day I saw him at the telephone exchange openly asking for a bribe. 

But don’t we all swim in the same deep waters? You and I, with our eyes closed, tolerating the wrongs, the injustices, the cruelty, the brutality we see every day, letting it all become a part of our baser instincts, letting greed and the love of power overtake our humanity, fostering and nurturing it all like a little child, by our passiveness and inertness. 

A lot many of you may be thinking of how we housewives are far away from these things- but are we? Don’t we all indulge in some kind of prejudice, unfairness, and misjudgements, by gossiping, spreading malicious rumours, backbiting, distrust, pettiness and not supporting each other?

Is this all because we don’t care or notice, or is it because we have developed short-sightedness to shield ourselves from the vagaries of life? We don’t even remember that it’s only the little things in life which can again bring our latent humanness to the forefront; the simplicity of a smile, a helping hand, politeness, a kind word of appreciation, empathising with others can go a long way to gain back our lost humanity.

The other day in a group presentation I attended, a lot was said about etiquette and manners. Good conduct and comportment was thoroughly explained. 

But for me good etiquette is only about one thing, being a good human being. Not a superficial shell but a true human in the truest meaning of the word. Rising above the petty squabbles of everyday life and setting an example for our future humans is what we need to endeavour for. Undertaking this enterprise is not very complex if we can start with a clean slate scripting a new beginning for the almost extinct species- Homo Sapiens.

“When humanness is lost the radical difference between the bodies in the pit and people walking on the street is lost."  Edward Bond

"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be."
William Hazlitt

3 comments:

  1. Man (and woman) is a social animal. While the stress should be on social, we haven't given up on our roots yet. We are still an animal. However, evolution carries on and as we see in some of the advanced societies in the world, there are changes for the better.

    However, the ultimate and foolproof way of relieving this sad feeling is the way of reaching inside. When we are pure and human ourselves, the images of animal behaviour in others becomes intelligible. Empathy grows inside of us and we at times begin to understand why a person is greedy or cruel or a sadist. We begin to give slack to those around us. Unfearful of the fact that one day we ourselves could be a victim. This lack of fear germinates from the deep feeling of empathy and understanding of the power of the One who created this existence. This understanding is very simple and many have derived their own innovative ways of contributing to this evolution.

    For example; where one sees hunger and strife, another might see an opportunity to serve someone. Where one sees a painful boss, another might see a teacher hell bent on getting you on the right track. Where one sees a nagging child, another might see a God sent gift to help you improve your patience with others. Where one might see a failure, another might see an introductory lesson or test before the harder one that is yet to come.

    Similarly where we see human beings not behaving like humans, it might be a place to find people deprived of love. It may be an opportunity to learn ourselves and become more humble. It may be an opportunity to thank God for he created us better, without as much greed and a purer heart.

    And after all remember, sins, sanity and sinners are all created by One and The only One. It is to show one a mirror and help one keep his sanity.

    Alas ! the biggest sinners are inside where no one can see, and where at times we ourselves are mortally scared to even look.

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  2. Nirja, I wish all the housewives could find time to read and contemplate on what you have written.. it is so good.. you have been able to really stir some intellectual minds as I see in the comment here.. well done..

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  3. Darlings,
    What lovely ideas you have. It is a proven fact that we think of others only as we ourselves are.

    Let me illustrate with a story. Once, a yogi who was immersed in the bliss of experiencing the 'ONE', fell down by the roadside and lay there for a while, without consciousness of his surroundings. It was night and the road was not very well lit. Around midnight, a thief who was running away from the police, stumbled upon the yogi and on seeing him lying prone on the ground, thought that the yogi was another thief like him who had hit upon the brilliant idea of pretending to be unconscious. So he lay down next to him, till the police had run past him, not noticing the two persons lying by the roadside.

    A little later a drunk was tottering by and of course had his foot caught in the yogi's clothing. On seeing the yogi, the drunk thought him to be only another drunk who had had too much and was just sleeping his liquor off. Pitying the man who could not hold his own, he went away, happy that he at least could walk and would reach his home sooner or later.

    Then came by another mendicant, who immediately recognised the yogi to be in a state of ecstasy and carried him to his ashram to care for him till the condition wore off.

    One person and so many interpretations! Such are our minds! We see only that which we are conditioned to see. The only way to overcome this great shortcoming is to look within ourselves and become aware of what we truly are. Many Masters have said enough on the subject but we do not have the time to 'LISTEN'! A little less TV, a little less gossip can free as much time for contemplation as we choose to have.

    Keep smiling not only for yourself but bring smiles to as many others as you can.

    Bless you all.

    Yours lovingly - Aunt Agony

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