Thursday, July 22, 2010

'Done Waiting for Godot

Indifference and superspecialization - two indulgences we simply cannot afford anymore. It's not either vanishing species or withering rivers or food we eat or eroding indigenous wisdom or the kind of architecture we embrace or melting icecaps or overthrowing dunces-in-confederacy or the kind of learning we subject children to or endangered good manners. It is everything.

Concerted large revolutions need to give way to extremely personal about-turns in innumerable extremely personal worlds. Less crisis of leadership then, no meetings to co-ordinate, no unaccounted-for donation cheques, no need for logo tee shirts and screen-printed flyers. Easier follow-up and visible result. A manageable (yet unstoppable!) revolution.

So. Fewer Facebook groups that gather lazy numbers in the flick of a forefinger. Fewer email forwards that lead to a gasp and no follow-up. Just each person to herself. Every fixed tap counts, every refused plastic bag, every shampoo bottle replaced with shikakai powder, every bird bath on every terrace, every thoughtful purchase, every act of humility and kindness. As much as one single personal-person can manage (and an acknowledgment of what one can't). Starting with me. That's all.

5 comments:

Hillbilly said...

Thoroughly agree with your shame-inducing comment on our,(MY for heaven's sake),culture of the lazy forefinger-flick. Reminds me of a great indian master Padmasambhava who stated, great tantric yogi that he was, that although his view or wisdom was vaster than even the sky, his actions in the world were as fine as grains of flour. In other words he didn't space out into the big picture alone but took great care to perform the multitude of precise actions that benefit confused floundering beings.
Bravo Ms Patil, bravo!

amruta patil said...

thank you for the padmasambhav quote, it is beautiful. and, billy o' the hills, no bravo merited by ms. patil. too many unplanted seeds, unnecessary clothes and skeletons of conflicting action in the closet. not to mention one teapot too many on the shelf :)

indisch said...

The danger of this doctrine not being taken up universally is very real. What if frugality/less-consumption-of-resources is not taken as seriously by others? You are right in saying that it needn't be preached, it has to be practiced. But how do we pass this on to others? How many people think of this personal revolution as a viability? It's much easier to shirk off personal responsibility under the carpet of corporate callousness.

Billy O" The Hills said...

In an interview i watched last night, Indisch ji, a very wise Lama whom i respect greatly called Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said to Helena Norberg-Hodge, author of a famous book on Ladakh, that he was not so optimistic on the collective level for mankind. He didn't think the crazy way we run our economy for example could be changed easily, BUT he felt very optimistic that many individuals could and are making drastic positive changes in their minds and their life and thus having a small and perhaps growing beneficial effect on other beings as well as the environment.

"Just do it" as the tee-shirts say. At least you will then be one more person of integrity on the planet who radiates the sanity and confident kindness that comes from spawning thousands upon thousands of responsible right actions with all of their magical ripple effects. Take heart Indisch ji!

indisch said...

@Billy o' the hills: Thy words of wisdom indeed soothed my restless heart. Much thanks to you sir! :-)