By Gleron Quadros
Mangaluru, March 31, 2016: Life is a journey of continuous learning. None can go past life without having captured memories, situations, circumstances, experiences and so on. One such episode of learning happened to me whilst I boarded a Mangaluru city bus on my way home. It was evening rush hour with the conductor’s unending whistling blended with "bega bega" at high and rude pitch and heavy crowd. I managed a seat adjacent to the engine and facing the driver. I had had a tiring day and in deep tiredness, to relax my feet I popped my legs on the engine guard. The driver gave an upset stare and quickly told me not to place my feet there, he added, “Friend, that’s the heart of the bus and no one puts a foot on the heart of anyone, which shows great disrespect." This small line of the driver led me reflect for at least the rest of the time. He taught me a lesson for life. “Understand the purpose and place the value".
The greatest crisis of our times is the indifference that we have towards the feelings and needs of others. What’s bizarre is the objective good and need has been substituted with subjective need i.e. everything today has been viewed with the perspective of self need. The utility of a “thing” be it inanimate or animate has an intrinsic value. This is what makes us allot value and respect to it. But is it just? Is it complete? Are we able to say what purpose is anything to everyone?
To make it simple. I like oranges, therefore I choose my land to plant orange trees, whereas not apple not mango. Thus I, my personal preference, decides how I use my land and goods. When it comes to fruits its fine or maybe bearable but when it comes to human level is it just? Again the gravity and level of needs differ. We have so much in excess sometimes, much beyond our needs and thus do not understand the need of others.
Understanding the need of even the most simple thing not only just helps us properly value it but also helps us to know our role in fulfilling its purpose. Yes that’s right ’purpose’ ! Everything in this world from sun to shrimp is in for a purpose nothing exists by chance. St Thomas Aquinas a great philosopher says the cause for existence is the very purpose for which it is desired for. This is very critical because failure to realize this will make us only look at everything the way we want it. Of course! You may question as to why should I know the purpose of everything and anything. Well, because we are slowly losing the value of our own life. We are slowly diminishing the essence of our own existence. The problem is, that we are looking at everything by the need of our self than the purpose for which it was made. This way we devalue the essence of the very being of others. Need is to learn to look at things objectively, for what they really are, rather than only by your own needs and value. Our systems be it education or politics appear to be designed to shape the world and its future to the way we want to our own value system; thereby altering the real purpose. What we call development is a slow murder of the objective truth. Truth is something which cannot be killed, it’s eternal. However it cannot always be denied and that’s exactly what’s happening to our world. Our indifference and our failure to accept things as they are have made us people closed and shut into their own pitiable worlds of hollow destiny and morality.
This is what I want to arrive at, with you my reader, to understand and to try to identify the actual and true reason of why things are, instead of seeing it through utility alone. If Diamonds can be formed from carbon, and pearl from rough sands we certainly can find a solution to every problem, if we know that everything and everyone has purpose and is needed for the sustainable survival of this universe. May be, we have modified the genetics of plants to yield better, but modifying the genetics of human beings will not make it better, probably you may only produce robots who can dance to your tunes. This is very important to understand that everything created is for a purpose and till it achieves this purpose everything is going to be incomplete. There are then certainly two eternal truths, 1. A purpose to fulfill. 2. Everyone else does have a purpose too. Nobody is a burden, nobody is a chance - everything has a value big or small does not matter. We are all willed and desired, fashioned with our weaknesses and strengths to achieve what we are designed for.
Know your purpose, live life complete.