Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why do you need more?

It was just another normal day, I sat in the taxi with my son, on the way to drop him to his pre-school. It so happened that we found a coin (HK dollar) on the seat. My three & half years old son, took the coin with playful innocence while I instinctively looked at the seat, just in case there were more coins accidentally left behind. My son asked me what Pappa? to which I responded, I am checking if there were more coins. I was subjected to a profound philosophical follow up question by my three & half years old son, "You got one coin,..........Why do you need more?"

Much of our problems of today's complicated world, can be traced down to this simple question, Why more? I am not talking in terms of ideologies like socialism or capitalism, but from the philosophical & from the popular culture point of view, which we all have created & subjected ourselves as the order of the day (societal norms). 
The whole yardstick of success in our modern society is How much money one makes? (micro-level), what's the GDP of a country? (macro-level). 
I am not advocating that the modern day's policies are 'plain black & white' or a 'zero sum game'. There has been many bright things like significant improvement in people's living standards, substantial progress in individuals economy, health, education etc. 
But the myopic vision & greed on materialistic gain, as the only yardstick of perceived success will keep on deepening the divide between the have's (rich) & have not's (poor) resulting in an unstable & unsafe societies (crime, civil war, protests), degradation of moral standards (money & muscle power, crony capitalism). Trust deficit within societies will continue to go on it's downward spiral, unabashed plundering of environmental resources will push us to hyper acute crisis state sooner or later (climate change).

The time has come, when we collectively as a human society now need to have a paradigm shift & readjust our trajectory of evolutionary process, towards a Holistic meaningful progression. 

Coming back into my day to day life as an individual, I do not have any ready made answers to the question "Why more?", which my three & half year old innocently asked me. 

However, over the years gone by, in my understanding one of the most important word in English dictionary is 'Balance'. 

Collective change will happen out of compulsion in near future (this is my strong belief - crisis will compel us to rethink & re-calibrate our direction). This collective change probably will take time, till the tipping point is reached. However, at an individual level I can at least strive to strike a Balance in my thoughts & in my way of life. I call this personal philosophy in my own words as, "Quest to be a Practical Idealist" - striking the right balance between practical-ism & idealism, to make a purposeful, meaningful & fulfilling life.