सन्तुलनको अनिवार्यता

In Nepalese Language

केही समयदेखी मनलाई कोपरिरहेको एउटा विचार प्रस्तुत गर्ने जमर्को गर्दैछु। जीवनमा विचार, बोली र व्यवहारको असन्तुलनले निम्त्याएका नकारात्मक र पीडादायी प्रताडनाका नमूनाहरुले, मेरो सोच-संसारलाई केही समयदेखी, बोझिलो भारमुनि अल्झाईराखेको अनुभव भेरहेको थियो। अझ यो कोरोनाको महाव्याधिले त यो सोचलाई अरु फराकिलो पारेर, सारा आकाश, पृथ्वी र यीनको संचालन विधीलाई समेत समेटेर, असन्तुलनको भयावह परिणाम देखाउंदै, सन्तुलनको सर्वव्यापी अपरिहार्यता प्रष्ट्याई रहेकोछ। 

सन्तुलन शब्दको विश्लेषण गर्नु हो भने यसले सम+तुलनाको अवस्था अर्थात् तुलनात्मक रुपमा उस्तै-उस्तै अवस्थामा रहेको भावलाई बुझाउँदछ। यो शब्दले प्रस्तुत गर्ने अर्थको पर्यायवाचक भाव बुझाउनलाई मिल्दो-जुल्दो, बराबर, उस्तै, सुहाउँदो, ठीक, आदि शब्दहरु पनि हुनसक्दछन्। तराजुको दुवै पल्लामा बराबरको ओजन नरहँदा सम्म तिनीहरुको दूरी बढी हुन्छ; जब दुवै तिर बराबर हुन्छ तब ती पल्लाहरु एकै समतलमा नजीक-नजीक रहन्छन्। यो अवस्थालाई हामी ठीक, मान्य, बराबर, मिल्दो, सुहाउँदो, शान्तीको अवस्था भनेर मानिलिन्छौँ। 

शुरुमा मलाई सन्तुलनको अनिवार्यता दर्शाउने क्षेत्र चाहिँ मेरो सामने परेका धार्मिक भनिने संस्थाहरुका प्रस्तुत सिद्धान्त र तीनका दृष्य व्यवहारहरु नै हुन्। तिनीहरुमा प्रष्ट देखिने सैद्धान्तिक, वैचारिक र व्यवहारिक असन्तुलनले निम्त्याएका अन्योल, बेमेल र व्यवधानले, सन्तुलनको महत्वलाई टट्कारो गरी दर्शाएकोछ। 

हाम्रा वरिपरी विभिन्न दर्शनमा आधारित धेरै धार्मिक संस्थाहरु विद्यमान छन्। एउटै धार्मिक संस्थामा पनि, विभिन्न स-साना वैचारिक धारहरुको पुच्छर समाएर, आफैंलाई अर्को भन्दा सक्कली, भन्दै छुट्टिने समूहहरु, झन् धेरै छन्। सारमा हेर्नु हो भने सबै यस्ता समूहहरुको प्रवर्तक शिक्षाको निचोड एउटै धारको पाईन्छ। सबैले सामाजिक सदभाव, भाइचारा, आफू भन्दा कमाजोर प्रतिको सहयोग, मानव मानव बीच मात्र नभएर, मानव र प्रकृति बीचको समेत प्रेमपूर्ण सह-अस्तित्व, जीवनदाता प्रति कृतज्ञता,यस्तै प्रकृतिका सकारात्मक शिक्षा र मान्यताले भरिएका धर्मग्रन्थको आधारमा आफ्नो संस्था-समूहको विकास र संचालन भइरहेको दावी गर्दछन्। तर वास्तविक व्यवहारमा देखिएको र भोगिएको अवस्था चाहिं यसको ठीक विपरित छ। 

कुनै पनि यस्ता समूहले आफ्नो धर्मको शिक्षा र निर्देशनमा कसैलाई भेदभाव, वहिष्कार, थिचोमिचो गर्ने, होडवाजी गर्दै अर्कोलाई सिध्याउने, प्राकृतिक श्रोत र भण्डारको अती-दोहन गर्दै आफ्नै सन्ततीको जीविका खोस्ने, लालचपूर्ण अती-भण्डारणलाई उच्च ओहदाको द्योतक मान्ने, अनावश्यक बहसमुखी र अव्यवहारिक शिक्षा आर्जनमा अभिमानी आडम्बर खोज्दै जीवनदाताले प्रदान गरेको बहुमुल्य समय खेर फाल्ने, जस्ता कुराहरु रहेकाछन् त भन्दैनन्। तर इतिहासका पानाहरुमा र हाम्रो आजको आफ्नै जानकारी र भोगाईमा पनि प्रष्ट छ कि धर्म-धर्म र एउटै धर्म भित्रका गुट-उपगुट एक-अर्कामा फूट, दोषारोपण, वहिष्कार, तिरस्कार, खिंचातानी, होडबाजी, गर्नमा लिप्त रहेका घटनाहरु छताछुल्ल छन्। धेरै धन-जनको क्षती बेहोर्ने युध्दहरु धर्मकै आधारमा भएकाछन्। जीवनदाताले त मानिसलाई प्रशस्तको भण्डार र उब्जाऊ-शक्ती युक्त पृथ्वी दिएर, यसको आवश्यक देखरेख गर्दै,  समूचित उपभोगद्वारा रमाउन सक्ने प्राकृतिक विधी स्थापित गरिदिए। तर आफूलाई सुम्पिएको कार्य कृतज्ञतामा रमाउंदै सम्पन्न गर्नुको सट्टा, मानिसले त जीवनदातालाई नै पो आफ्नो नोकर सरहको व्यवहार दर्शाउँदै, आफैंलाई चाहिं निर्णायक मालिकको स्थानमा राख्दै आएकोछ। मानिसको यस्तो कृतघ्न व्यवहार यसैमा प्रष्ट हुँदैछ कि यिनीहरु, आ-आफ्नै ज्ञानको दायरा भित्र, आफैंले नाम र गुण दिएको ‘ईश्वर’ बनाएर, तीनलाई धर्मको साङ्लोले बाँधेर, जीवनादातालाई नै धर्म विशेषको घर-पालुवा जनावर बनाएर, उनलाई आफ्नो सेवाको निम्ति पालेर राखेको भ्रममा, आ-आफ्नो धर्मको सङ्लो सुमसुम्याउँदै, अशान्ती वा भ्रमित शान्तीको अगुल्टो ठोस्दैछन्। 

यस्तो व्यवहारको नतीजा के होला भनेर सोच्न कुनै दार्शनिक सूत्र चाहिंदैन।  तर यो बैचारिक गन्थनको उदेश्य, त्यो नतीजा भन्दा पनि, यस्तो निकृष्ट व्यवहारको उत्पत्ती गराउने, भ्रामक चक्रव्युहको सम्भावित कारक तत्व खोज्नु हो। जीवनदाताले मानिसलाई कार्यभार सुम्पिंदा, विवेकले सक्षम बनाएर दिए। अरु कुनै प्राणीमा नभएको क्षमता पाएर मानिस एक मात्र विवेकशील प्राणी बन्यो। तर विडम्बना, समयक्रममा मानिसले यो वरदानी आन्तरिक विवेकको प्रयोग गर्नु भन्दा पनि बाहिरी सीमित ज्ञानको प्रयोगमा भर पर्दै बाटो बिराउन थाल्यो। फलस्वरुप, जीवनदातालाई पनि आफ्नै सीमित ज्ञानको परिधी भित्र समेट्न पुग्यो। जससँग परिभाषा सोधेर सिक्नु पर्ने थियो उसैलाई आफ्नो परिभाषा दिन थालेपछी गन्जागोल त हुने नै भयो। ईश्वरलाई पूर्णतामा कसैले देखेको वा बुझेको छैन। तर जसले आफ्नो क्षितिज भित्र जति देख्यो त्यसैलाई नै पूर्ण भन्न थाल्यो। जति धेरै दर्शक उति धेरै दर्शन, सबैले आ-आफ्नो ज्ञान-आश्रित दर्शनलाई काखी च्याप्ने अनि अरुको दर्शनलाई झूठो मान्ने, तब कसरी एकता सम्भव हुनु त? यसरी धेरै धर्म बने, धर्म भित्र पनि धेरै गुट उम्रिए।  कसैले अरुको कुरा सित समन्वय गर्ने आँट नै गरेन। जती धेरै गुट टुसाए, त्यती धेरै टुट-फूट मानिस समाजमा मौलायो। 

यदी अन्तरमनको सुनेर, नम्र भएर, अरुले प्राप्त गरेका दर्शनलाई पनि समन्वय गर्ने हो भने, आज पनि जीवनदाता प्रतिको, एकल, दुकल पक्ष मात्रको भार भएको होइन तर सन्तुलित प्रकाशमा उनको दर्शन प्राप्त गर्न नसकिने होइन। यसको निम्ति कुनै मानव निर्मित धर्मको बुई चढ्नु आवश्यक छैन, केवल आफ्नो ज्ञानको आडम्बर त्यागेर, नम्रतामा अरुको पनि सुन्ने र आफुलाई दिईएको विवेकले जाँच गरेर, ठीक लागे स्वीकार गर्ने हो भने, मानव समाजले विधीका कर्तालाई, उनले जती चिनाउन र बुझाउन चाहेकाछन्, त्यती चिन्न, बुझ्न र उनको योजना अनुरुप जीउन सक्नेछ। 

तर यक्ष प्रश्न रहन्छ कि, के मानिस आफ्नो अभिमानको शिला मन तोडेर, नम्रतामा झुकेर, अर्कोको विचारमा सन्तुलन खोज्न तयार छ?

सन्तुलनको आवश्यकता वैचारिक क्षेत्रमा मात्र नभएर, आध्यात्मिक, बौद्धिक र भौतिक क्षेत्रहरुमा उत्तिकै प्रबल देखिन्छ। आकाश मण्डलमा रहेका अनगिन्ती ग्रह-नक्षत्रहरू, आ-आफ्नो चुम्बकीय शक्तिको सन्तुलित प्रभावद्वारा, अस्तित्वको शुरु देखि नै, सह-अस्तित्वको निम्ति, निर्धारित स्थान, पथ र अवस्थामा, स्थापित विधी अनुसारको उपयुक्त गतीमा, लगातार चलायमान छन्। यिनीहरुले मनपरी लहडी निर्णय गर्दै विधीको बाटो बाट कहिल्यै बरालिएका छैनन्। यिनीहरुको चालको अनुशासन यती अचूक छ कि सम्पूर्ण ज्योतिष विद्या यिनीहरुको चाल र स्थानमा आधारित छ। यिनीहरुको सन्तुलनमा एक मात्र पलाको पनि चुक भयो भने, के हुन सक्छ भनेर हामी सोच्न पनि सक्दैनौं। 

सन्तुलनको सबैभन्दा नजीकको उदाहरण त हामी मानव जीवनको निरन्तरतामा नै देख्न सक्दछौं। मानिस जातीले आफ्नो निकृष्ट स्वार्थमा जतिकै बिरोधको कार्य गरे पनि, प्रकृतीले जीवन संचालनको निम्ती आवश्यक पुरुष र स्त्रीको सन्तुलित संख्या कायम राखेकै छ।  कुनै पनि जीवको अस्तित्वमा उसको गर्भावस्था देखि लिएर शरीर त्याग सम्म सन्तुलित वृद्धी र क्षयको अचूक भूमिका देख्न सकिन्छ। मानिसको शारीरिक, मानसिक र बौद्धिक विकासमा उसको भ्रुण अवस्था देखि नै सन्तुलित चाल हुन जरुरी छ, त्यसो हुन नसकेको अवस्थामा विभिन्न प्रकारका विकृती र अपाङ्गताहरु आइपर्दछन्। 

प्रकृतीले त जीवन संचालन विधीलाई पूर्णतया समन्वयमा रहेर पालन गर्दै आएको देखिन्छ भने, मानव जातीले भने यो विधीले स्थापित गरेको सन्तुलनलाई अटेर गर्दै आफूखुशीको स्वार्थी चालमा लागेर, आफ्नै घुँडामा बन्चरो प्रहार गरिरहेकोछ। अनावश्यक सम्पत्ती भण्डारणको लालचमा प्राकृतिक श्रोतको अती-दोहन भईरहेको यथार्थलाई एउटा नमूनाको रुपमा लिन सकिन्छ। यसले प्रकृती र मानव बिचको सन्तुलनलाई कसरी प्रहार गरेको छ भन्ने कुरा बुझ्न केहि गाह्रो नपर्नु पर्ने हो। यसकै कारणले प्रदुषण फैलाउने उद्योगहरुको अतीवृद्धी भईरहेकोछ, फलस्वरूप, साँघुरो भौगोलिक क्षेत्रमा मानिसको घनत्व अचाक्ली वृद्धी हुँदा शहरीकरण बढदो छ। यस्ता घनाबस्ती युक्त शहरको साँघुरो क्षेत्रमा विद्यमान स्वच्छ जल, वायु, वनस्पती जस्ता प्राकृतिक श्रोतहरुले, अप्राकृतिक रुपमा बढेको जन-घनत्वको निम्ती अपुग हुँदा, मानिसको शारिरीक र मानसिक स्वास्थ्यमा नकारात्मक असर परिरहेकाछन्। रोग ब्याधी बढिरहेकाछन्, महंगी बढ्दो छ, प्रतिस्पर्धा अनिवार्य बनेकोले व्यस्तता बढेको छ, शरीरलाई चाहिने आवश्यक विश्राम र व्यायामको निम्ती समय नै पुग्दैन, परिवार र समाज संगको सम्बन्ध फितलो हुँदै बिलाउने क्रममा छ, यस्ता नकारात्मक अवस्थाका सूचीमा दिन-प्रतिदिन वृद्धी हुने क्रम जारी छ। यी सबै बिकृतीहरुको कारक, मानिसले प्रक्रितीसंगको समन्वयलाई उपयुक्त महत्व नदिनु नै हो भन्ने कुरा देखिंदैछ। 

अब पनि मानव जातीले, प्रकृतीसंगको समन्वय, आफ्नो अस्तित्वको निम्ती अपरिहार्य रहेको बुझेर, अहिलेसम्म चालेका आफैंलाई क्षती गर्ने कदमहरुलाई त्यागेर, सुधारको अठोट लिएर अघी बढ्ने हो भने, प्रकृतीले हाम्रा सबै आवश्यकताहरु प्रशस्तैसंग पूरा गर्न सक्नेछ।  

तर फेरि पनि प्रश्न यही खडा हुन्छ कि, के मानिस अबको जीवनशैली नै बनिसकेको, अहिलेको होडबाजी र अनावश्यक सम्पत्ती भण्डारणको लालचलाई त्यागेर, प्रकृती प्रदत्त सन्तुलित व्यवहारको सोचमा फर्किन तयार होला? 

विधाताको जीवनदायी विधी

In Nepalese Language

जहरको कहरले भराभर नहर 

नहरको साँध बाँध विष्फोटको प्रहर 

जहरले भलाभल नगर र शहर।  

मान्छे मात्र ढलाउने यो कस्तो लहर?

फराकिला बटा, शान्त सुन्दर शहर 

मान्छे जती घरबंदी डरले बस्नै पर्ने कर 

कारक के होला ल्याउने यो जहर-कहर? 

सोची सच्याउँ है मित्र सबैले बराबर। 

विधाताले ब्रम्हाण्डलाई तोके संचालन विधीको डोर 

आकास पृथ्वी यावत यीनमा चल्छन विधी-विभोर 

केवल चेतधारी मानव टेर्दैन विधीको स्नेही ठहर  

कहरको चेतावनी चित्तमा चेते, सुन्नेछौँ विधीको सोर।

Subject to Change

The dictionary meaning of the words of our languages have so limited coverage that they fail to fully or rightly communicate the real and situational intent of our mind to others. This is exemplified by the 180° turnaround some words and phrases have taken in the present scenario:

We like to be always so ‘positive’ about everything but the lustre of ‘positivity’ has been dimmed by the Corona-positive.

Social get-togethers, holding hands in unison, embracing one another in love, keeping your door open for any stranger, giving a healing touch, caressing the mourner with consolation, Hi-five of celebration, all such expressions of virtue have worn the gloom of vice.

On the other hand, the social vices of untouchability, social boycotting, keeping some groups of people at safe distance, looking down upon some particular people or profession are being resorted to as the new forms of virtue necessitated by the prevailing world situation. 

A recent expression by an experienced writer friend of mine made me realize that our ‘thought’ is an art, which is endowed with so much of metaphysical qualities and contents, that any articulated word or expression of any language of human utterance cannot communicate it’s expanse with full justice. Human ‘thoughts’ are not limited by the boundary of scientific authentication and proving on the bases of human invented and developed physical meters and data.

I consider it our inherent responsibility to see any situation from a constructive angle. So is true with this instance of language handicap in our expression of thoughts. Can the reader see with me the extent of responsibility you and I have, to explore and invent the words in our languages, so that people may be able to communicate their vastness of thoughts, explicitly and satisfactorily to each other? Let’s bring about change for the betterment of the society we are part of. 

Virtues of Vices

Lockdown of houses, neighborhoods, cities and nations has opened up our minds to meditate on the value and vanity of life.

Leisurely spent days have made us realize what invaluable time we wasted in supposedly busy days.

Work from home has proven that our effective productivity did not depend on the mere presence in our office but on the amount of work we completed.

Longer physical presence together with spouse and children, though forcefull, has made us realize that, our family is first compared to professional jobs.

Cleaner air and quieter surroundings as a result of lockdown, are making it evident that we humans are the sole cause of air and sound pollution which, in turn, are the cause of so many physical and mental health problems.

Nature has forcefully put a strong brake on the fast pace of our business activities. Can we take it as an important lesson that we were creating natural imbalance by over-speeding and trying to outpace nature in our ignorance?

Depletion and lack of our physical and mental immunity is loudly telling that we have to change our way of life.

Hygiene, discipline and rest are far more important than luxury, lavishness and busyness; Health more than wealth; Disbursing more than hoarding; Giving more than grabbing; cooperating more than competing; consoling more than condemning; listening with interest more than loathing with irritation; rowing along more than rushing ahead; Judicious consumption more than overproduction.

Time to look back and see if the so-called established development milestones of industrialization, globalization, urbanization, transportation boom, etcetera have brought in real improvement in the happiness quotient in us or have they only made us busy in a damaging and wasteful fast pace, busy dying moment by moment in the pursuit of life, like a dog chasing its own tail. The present crisis situation has given us time to think and identify the vices which we have considered as virtues so far. They are so deeply engraved in our competitive social culture, it is not easy to recognize their reality first, if identified, it is still harder to speak against them without inviting social indignation. But if only a handful of socially minded people are prepared to take this bitter pill, then the future of our society is going to be hale and healthy, as nature wants us to be. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?

प्रकृति-प्रदत्त प्रविधी पक्ष

In Nepalese Language

केही हप्ता अघि सम्म हाम्रा समाजका माननीय, वरिष्ट, बलिष्ठ, पुरातन-निष्ट, दैवी ज्ञानले हृष्ट-पुष्ट गुरू, शिक्षक, पुरोहित, पण्डित, सबैजना एकै मतका भएर गुनासो गरेको सुनिंदै थियो, कि अचेलका युट्युब र फेसबुके गुरू र शिक्षकहरुले, जे-पायो-त्यै इन्टरनेटमा प्रसारण गरेर, समाजलाई भडकाए, भ्रममा पारे, झुठो शिक्षा फैलाए र ज्ञान र शिक्षालाई कमसल र सस्तो बनाए। उनीहरुले बिंडो सम्हाल्दै आएको गहकिलो, गहिरो, अभेद्य ज्ञान-व्यवसायको पेशालाई, यी नवोदित प्रविधी-पोषित फुच्चे गुरुहरुले सजीलै, सस्तोमा, सबैतिर, सबैको पहुँचमा पुर्याइदिएर, शिक्षण-स्तर खस्काइदिएको आरोप लगाए। वास्तवमा, यो स्थापितवर्गको यस्तो गुनासो र चोटिलो आरोपको प्रमुख कारक, उनीहरुले खाई-पाई आएको, बडेमानको सम्मान र तलबमानमा प्रष्ट पर्न गैरहेको क्षय नै मुख्य हो भनेर बुझ्न केही गाह्रो छैन। केही अपवाद पनि अवश्य होलान।  यातायात व्यवसायीले पनि यही पेशा-त्रासको कारण सिण्डिकेट कायम राखेको उदाहरण हामीसित ताजै छ।

यस्तो बलिष्ठ समूह, जसले जनमानसमा शिक्षालाई क्लिष्ट रुप प्रदान गरे, आज त्यही इन्टरनेट प्रदत्त युट्युब, फेसबुक, आदीको माध्यमद्वारा, आफैंलाई डरको भावमा नम्र बनाएर, आ-आफ्नो विधाको शिक्षा लिएर, समाज सामु प्रस्तुत भइरहेको देखिन्छ। ज्ञानको यस्तो आडम्बरलाई तोडेर, नम्र बन्दै, पहिले विरोध गरेको प्रविधीलाई अब सकार्ने अवस्थामा झुक्न यो समूहलाई वाध्य पार्ने वस्तु, तिब्र गतिको फैलावटद्वारा विश्वभर बवण्डर मच्चाइरहेको, प्रोटिनको त्यो सूक्ष्म कण, अझ कती बलवान रहेछ। यो सोचले प्रष्ट सित दिंदैगरेको सन्देश यही छ कि हामी मानव जातीले प्रकृतिको विरोध गरेर सक्दैनौं, यसकारण प्रकृतिको चालमा हिडौ, यसलाई उछिन्न नखोजौं। 

Give Ear to Nature

The scary, wild dance of present pandemic has put many thinking minds to test and the direction as well as the outcome of it is as varied as the number of minds engaged in it. This is one of such many minds trying to spell out some systemic stream of thoughts from the vast, jumbled up unruly threads of various colours and kinds. Let’s hope the reader gets something from it, which can be helpful to exercise the inquisitive mind to reach at some original thought of itself.

No Traffic Rush

Our conscious mind is endowed with such a nature that it cannot remain blank at any time. No one can deny the fact that something is always engaging in our minds – sometimes subtly and other times aggressively. The thoughts that continuously criss-cross our minds are of varied numbers, structures and impacts. For example, at this time, whether we like it or not, the main engagement of the human minds all over the world is nothing other than the overwhelming pandemic with its deathly shadow lurking in our neighbourhood. But whatever weighty and overwhelming this ominous thought it may be, there are always many other sub-thoughts that follow the main and primary one. In this musing, we are trying to pull one small thread of thought as to what could be one of the many contributors to the occurrence of this present day pandemic.

On the bases of meagerly available scientific and immediate data on the origin and nature of this newly popped up virus, we can only say that this is a very dangerous one and can inflict very big damage throughout the world. Other than that we do not know for sure the causes, the nature and more importantly, the remedy against it. The knowledge tank all over the world should be and is primarily focussing all its efforts with very high priority to reach at the cure and prevention measure for saving humanity from this virus. But in a bigger perspective, in order to stop the formation of such dangerous viruses in future, the responsible leaders of the world should be really serious about finding out the reasons as to why and how this virus took its origin. This will then be helpful for them to formulate a world legislation as an effort to prevent similar dangerous situations in future.

Talking of legislations, rules and regulations and guidelines, it is not that such are non-existent. Many nations have their own legislative arrangements to address such situations with a view to maintain health safety of their citizens and they are equipped with various degrees of judiciary penalties. In the present context, the development and spread of this virus is widely attributed to the wet market where wild animals were traded in non-hygienic conditions. It is not that there was no legislation against the trading of wild animals or against the neglect of public hygiene, but such provisions were taken very lightly by the concerned authorities and the involved public. Such guidelines, rules and regulations are taken, most of the time by the public, as coercive measures by the authorities. Hence, tendency to break them, disobey them and circumvent or go against them. Until and unless the subjects of such provisions develop a firm attitude within themselves that such provisions are there for their own wellbeing, this rogue tendency to go against them will remain in the society of adamant people.

Clean Air

Looking back at the recorded history books and the religious epics, it is not so difficult to see that whenever and wherever there had been adamant revolt against established spiritual, moral, social and state rules and regulations, there were instances of large scale damage to the society at large. The spiritual, moral and social rules, regulations, instructions and guidelines are usually formed and mandated by concerned societies and they have very little or even no judiciary teeth attached with them. In such a situation, for these provisions to serve their purposes, each member of the society should be convinced to own these provisions as their own and follow them as their moral duty towards society and nature. When this is done, then we find it easy to see that even the state legislations are there for the benefit of the society and not to curtail their rights and freedom. Then it will be easy for the public to follow the established regulations and guidelines of the different wings of the society they live in. They will not see it as coercive but will responsibly follow it as their moral duty.

The above thread of thought, compared with the rampant social disobedience we see around us, naturally leads us to an obvious question – why is the present society not able to see the benefits of willingly living their social and personal lives within the social provisions put in place for them?

There can be many angles to look at the above intriguing question and as many possible reasons can spring up depending on the various contributing factors of the society. This question has been crossing my mind even before this instance of pandemic and I have been sharing it with few friends who care to exercise their thoughts on it. Courtesy some like minded contributing friends, I find some good sense in believing that the root cause of people not showing any responsibility to their moral duty in the society, to a big extent, is the absence of any effort to teach them about it ever since their childhood, which is their learning phase of life. Half a century ago there used to be one period daily used to be set for moral studies. There used to be books prescribed for moral education and exams conducted from its contents. It included chapters on personal and neighbourhood hygiene, social harmony, national integration, cultural respect, benefits of festivals, religious harmony, respecting seniors, eco-system, and such like lessons. These things, once embedded in a child’s mind, they remain life long and direct their way of life. Sad to say, we find such teachings completely missing in today’s curriculum. Children are overwhelmed with heavy loads of study materials to make them competitive in the overcrowded world but nobody is teaching them the importance of social and moral values. Sad to notice, even the busy parents of this competitive society do not have time, energy and concern to teach their children the real lessons of life. Today’s education system is preparing the pupils to be competitively expert grabbers and snatchers from fellow humans. It has compelled the people in individual rat race, with a highly elevated winner streak imbibed in them, to compete ruthlessly with own brothers and sisters, instilling within them the killer spirit to crush their colleagues and grab the top position. The depravity of today’s education is brainwashing the pupils to dwell lifelong on I, Me and Mine. You, Others and society are lost from their visibility range.

Why cannot we relate the present days compulsively staying in-home, moving from one room to another leisurely, giving ear to other members of the family, find time to exercise our mind thinking on something other than our tight scheduled routine, etc., to be the coercive act of nature to teach the moral values of life? Can we hear it saying that if we continue overspeeding, it has its way of putting the break in our lives? Is it not loudly displaying that its air and water is basically clean and healthy and beautiful and we should have maintained them that way? Our Nature teacher is elaborating from its syllabus that the rest and rejuvenation system is set by it with a purpose for the good of mankind. But if the provisions of this system are not adhered to, then Nature has its own way of putting things right on the track.  

Social or Physical?

Physical Loneliness

Every created thing we can think of is subject to change. That might be the thought process that triggered the propagation of the theory of evolution. Things are evolving from the present state to a new state of its existence. Well, I am not delving on to any philosophy here. But this thought of changing phenomenon engaged my mind when a dear friend of mine initiated a dialogue based on my recent teaser write up “Social Distancing or Physical Distancing?” in his social media. The write up is available at www.kedhikari.home.blog. I am highly amused at the responses he received and the arguments put forth for and against their choice of these phrases.

For me the phrase Social Distancing is a fairly new concept, recently being popularized by its usage in the media, in reference to keeping ourselves safe from contracting or spreading the Corona virus. People all over the world are firmly instructed by respective governments to keep physical distance from other people or avoid direct contact with people or objects in public places. As a measure to ensure this, many cities and states are put under complete lock down. Because of Covid-19 scare, handshakes are automatically avoided. 

World Networked – Always Together

I am not here to report on the obvious and over-engaging current state of affairs concerning Covid-19. Here I am to share my lookout on the evolution of new meanings of the words we have been employing to express ourselves. The “social” part of the phrase Social Distancing, as being used in plenty these days, compelled me to dig into the concept and situation this phrase was trying to convey through various media. My mind got uncomfortable picturizing the phrase conveying something like dispersing or spreading out some grain with the purpose of collecting them tidily in one place. Like shooting your dear pet to keep it alive. In today’s context of pandemic, the necessity of Distancing is very well understood. But the word Social, as the adjective used to qualify it, looks absurd in today’s popular understanding of the word social. The Webster dictionary defines Social Distancing as ‘the practice of maintaining a greater than usual physical distance from other people or avoiding direct contact with people…..’ This would have conveyed the correct concept till the first part of 20th century when the word social could not mean anything other than people coming together physically at one place with close proximity. But after the entry and popularization of international networking (internet) and worldwide web channels, the meaning of the word social has evolved to a new position. It is still people coming together but the earlier concept of physical togetherness is diluted by virtual togetherness. This shift from ‘only physical’ to ‘not limited to physical’ is automatically occured in the meaning of the word. With the virtual world of technology occupying increasing areas of our lifestyle, I would even say that the weightage of physical contacts are subtly losing grounds to virtual or technological contacts. This should not be difficult to understand only if we compare our mode of social interactions with our family members 10 years ago and the same now. But we do not ever think that our social contact is reduced, but surely our physical contact is drastically reduced. Said so, when concerned authorities instructed to observe Social Distancing, they were borrowing the 19th century term when a similar flu crisis had occurred and I am sure they had intended for the people to maintain some physical distance from person to person. When the intention is only to keep physical distance then, would it not be more accurate to call it Physical Distancing? 

Linguistics delve on how words evolve as well as how the underlying meanings of words alter over time. There are many examples of words which have shed their old meanings and/or incorporated new meanings even in our present day usage. ‘Social’ is one such word which has undergone metamorphosis of meaning by virtue of the developments and ease of access in communication technology. Another one which has unmistakably displayed its drastic change of meaning from white to black and day to night in present time is ‘religion’. If interested, the reader may find it entertaining to think of this word during this time of complete lockdown, credit invisible virus. There is a vast chasm between its dictionary meaning and the real meaning it conveys in the present practical world.

Returning to the heading of this talk, the Distancing recommendation, rather instruction, given by the concerned governmental and social authorities; whatever qualifying term they may use, in real terms, is it Social or Physical?

Have a good leisurely time.