We live in a competitive world where the most important person to be encouraged and promoted seems to be ‘ME’. We tend to lose our perspective of all around us, and focus only on this monster or idol. This ‘Me’ or ‘I’ occupies centre-stage and tries to push out everyone else, so that he/she occupies the whole stage.
Some people put it differently: Nobody seems to care for or bother about me. So I have to take care of myself! I have to make my own way through life. So — push, push down, push out, push over… anything or anyone who comes in my way.
How terrifying if the very element that makes us human evaporates into thin air. How lonely if the only creature left to fend and care for itself — is the self! But this seems to be the trend in the world. Call it ambition, gender equality, progress… anything you want. But the stark reality is there, and it stares us in the face.
The result? War, enmity, violence, distrust. The world becomes a frightening place to live in. The very fabric of humanity seems to be tearing apart. The gap between the haves and the have-nots keeps widening at an alarming rate: the haves becoming fewer and fewer, the have-nots the vast majority. Nature itself seems to be lashing out in fury — floods, earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, epidemics — devastating phenomena that show that all is not well.
Can we, young people, do something about this and bring about a transformation? Yes. But that transformation can only start from within us. How can we find that security, love, peace and trust we are frantically seeking from the outside, when we have not first found it within ourselves?
This does not need supersonic or heroic endeavours. It is not like searching for something in a void, for a stream in the desert, or a newborn planet in outer space. All we require is to make a little space and time to be quiet and alone, to discover and relish the wealth buried within each of us, to get in touch with the Divine that lives in us, suffuses us, which we often we forget or ignore. We then begin to feel and touch the power our Creator has placed within us. He has assured us of all we will ever need for body and soul.
We do not need to trample on anyone in order to survive. Our perspective of the Universe in its beauty and immensity will amaze us and warm our hearts. Instead of being grasping individuals, we will be able to relax and let go. We will be able to appreciate the same goodness we find in ourselves in our fellow human beings as well. The world will suddenly take on a new shape: we will begin to marvel at the reality of friendship and care, a reality that begins with me. It is worth the try even if it is just for one moment of that elusive peace and trust we crave. It could make a world of a difference to us as individuals, and to others we rub shoulders with.
There is a song that goes: Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…
Give it a try. Close your eyes. Be still for a while, feel the presence of the Divine within you. Stay in that mood for as long as you can. The period of time does not matter. When it is over, open your eyes. You will notice the change. Do it as many times of the day as you like, and enjoy the peace and serenity, which you have not encountered yet, and is very much within the reach of everyone. Experience it and pass it on to those you care about!
Esme Da Cunha, FDCC, is a member of the Congregation of the Canossian Sisters, and presently resides at Allahabad. She taught Physics for many years at St Joseph’s College for Women, Alleppey (Kerala). She loves writing, particularly on youth-related topics.