Issue :   
March 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         March 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Mar' 2018

Art of living

Let us reach out to others

Rajesh Bhola

The planet on which we live is beautiful. Natural beauty, colours, sounds, and exotic foods abound. At the same time, modern science and human ingenuity have devised ways of mitigating human pain. But despite all this, life is not easy. Even in the midst of collective plenty and nature's extravagance, some people may live lives of desperation.
Everyday, I come across a number of children who are stricken with a severe degree of disability. In many cases, these children develop contractions, due to the nonmovement of their limbs. We have the recent case of the two sisters, suffering from mental disorders, who were rescued from their apartment in Rohini – or the earlier similar incidents reported from Kalkaji and Noida. What is discomforting is that the neighbours of the sisters have admitted that they ignored the screams and the stench coming from the house for two years – believing that the matter did not concern them. As the modern world is becoming more crowded and intricate, we need some guidance on how to live. We need to share the pain, and help others.
The losses of dear and near ones, that we all encounter, mark us and make us. Suffering is part of what it means to be alive. Nobody is truly mature who has not suffered. We should learn to empathise with the sorrows and grief of others in the neighborhood, and grow as sensible citizens of a society. Amidst sorrows, we are at times troubled, and question the meaning of our existence – of birth and death.

We all know that pain, disease, decay and death will come upon us. Yet too often we live our lives pretending this will not happen to us.

It is only when we have the courage to live life as it is, when we are no longer running away, that we experience a profound relaxation in our heart. We then no longer have to live defensively. We should not start to learn the art of self defense when ambushed. It is better to train oneself to handle the situation better.
In the instant case of the two sisters, the neighbours and the RWA should have timely intervened, and taken suitable steps to bring the sisters out of the life of isolation and malnutrition. Unfortunately, there remains a lack of awareness about mental illnesses, and social apathy towards such people.
We all know that pain, disease decay and death will come upon us. Yet too often we live our lives pretending this will not happen to us. None of us knows what is going to happen the next moment. All within a day we may discover that somebody close to us had a serious accident, or we may discover a lump in our body which has turned malignant, or learn that a major earthquake has shaken some part of the earth.
Many feelings come to the fore when we are ill. It is not pleasant. And yet, some live life very differently. They do not go through it merely existing. Sure, when they suffer, they also feel the pain but do not go into a downward spiral of anguish. They do not see the injury or any kind of illness as a sign of their bad luck or fate, for instance. They do not start to feel selfpity.
They realise that the body is prone to illness and injury. If an illness occurs, this is not really out of the ordinary. Getting injured or getting an ailment, any time in life, is part and parcel of having a body.
Such people are able to weather even the most terrible events without panicking, or creating further trouble.
They have large hearts which, like a large expanse of water, can swallow even the largest boulders that fall into them, without the splash creating a tidal wave. But the majority of hearts are 'small and closed', and even a little pebble falling into their pond makes a great splash – and disturbs them.