“The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high …but sometimes it’s too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question, why? Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed, spite, jealousy. And we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we’ve done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. When that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn’t our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can’t hide from the things that you’ve done anymore.”
– Admiral William Adama, in the TV series Battlestar Galactica
I heard this a couple of years ago and it pinched me. It still pinches me. Today, more than ever it runs in my head over and over and over again every time I read the newspapers, scroll through my timeline and watch the news. This is a crisis of our own making. Nature had sent us enough warnings. We just refused to listen.
Despite suffering through a horrible pandemic which was ideally supposed to unite humanity we kill, maim, abuse, murder, steal, loot, brutalise and rape our own kind now with impunity irrespective of age and gender. Let’s not even start on how we behave with the other creatures on this planet. We mistreat other humans with lesser means. We continue to pollute our own lifelines.
While we are all focused on this lockdown and the entire conversation focuses on how we will survive this, the post-covid conversations are mostly about how and what we will do when it is ‘business as usual’. No one is talking about what we need to do to change the way we live, the purpose of our lives and redefining what we term as ‘success’.
Years ago, I approached a couple of editors to let me write on the subject of redefining the purpose of our lives and was rejected with a unanimous message that read something on the lines ‘ no one wants to hear about that!’
The age of material consumerism has consumed us body, mind, and soul. No one is asking you to give up everything and adopt an ascetic lifestyle, but we can all be mindful. Be mindful about what we sell, invent, and buy. Isn’t it about time?
We can all be mindful about the waste we put out there.
We can all be mindful about reusing and repurposing materials.
We can all be mindful about how we treat each other.
We can all be mindful about how we treat mother nature and all her other children.
That is a start.
Redefining the purpose of our lives is the second step. It’s been centuries since humans had one purpose in life: Grow up, marry, reproduce, repeat. This cycle repeats itself over and over again. Maybe at some point it was great. But what was good once for one era does not necessarily have to be great for the next one too. This could be what is poisoning our world.
Can we repurpose our lives to grow up and be fantastic teachers, poets, environmentalists, artists, scientists, innovators, tree huggers, dreamers, writers or just be… above all, just be good human beings? Isn’t it about time, we rewarded humanity for being human and nurture traits, work and businesses that will be compatible with mother nature and make the earth a better place rather than just inventing something just because we can… damn the consequences.
It pains me to say this, but what is the point of going to Mars when we cannot save our own planet? We are at a crossroads. We can either dive into the matrix or madmax route or challenge ourselves and move on the star trek path towards a better future or there is always the Thanos way.
Mother nature has been giving us warning signs for over a decade now with one pandemic or natural disaster after another. It is not just this crisis. The after-effects of disguised-as-shadow pandemics (hunger, abuse, violence, and poverty) are surfacing slowly and steadily. Nature has given us an amazing opportunity to just pause and get off this merry-go-round of life and review how we live and what life would be like if we weren’t around to push her other children out of the playground.
But we as petulant children refuse to listen. This time she sent us to our rooms to sit in a corner and think about what we are doing. We can come out of this corner with a promise to do better or continue to do so till she hands out the next punishment which could be only more severe.
Isn’t it about time we did that? If we do not treat this epidemic as a wake-up call, then what will get us to wake up from this coma of self-absorption and change our ways? If not now, then when?
And it has to start with us, each and every one. It has to start with me and you.