At birth, we are welcomed with both arms, a real gift from God. Earlier times, it was just a normal event, not worth much fanfare, for most families. The changed reactions are an obvious corollary when children born to couples have been reduced to a trickle! Now, they have become precious, especially in richer families and treated as rare commodities! They are feted and all their wants met with a flourish.
On a scale one to ten, we start off at the highs and slowly it is a downward slide as the realities sink in; they spare few! Soon, we have to measure up and prove our credentials. There are many grading at play to evaluate our potential, worth, and how each measure up against one another. The doting parents are under increasing stress, especially in certain societies where endless comparisons are made to measure the success & worth of each, and the innocent children hardly able to grasp their significance.
Only few are able to take the many pinpricks in their stride. Societies have little time or patience to put up with the slower performers, even labeling them as failures. The psychological damage leaves lasting impression. The endless grading and the need to prove are daunting for most that take the joy out of living. On top of those parameters, the reality of life in the work place does not conform to academic excellence. There are wheels within wheels, with some able to get ahead by fair means or foul.
The basic values, so assiduously instilled when young, come a cropper in the face of mad rush to prove one’s worth. Just being nice and upright does not cut much ice and one starts to question the values and soon becomes cynical. The soaring cost of living and uncertainties of the future, including the dollar for Americans, cast a pall of gloom across societies. GDP figures are on the uptick but the quality of life on the downtick; a paradox of the economic measure of progress!
Many try to do the unthinkable, uproot themselves, and across continents, even cultures, like even few Americans into learning Chinese! It is question of upholding the pioneering spirit that manifests itself in times of need. There is heart-stopping prediction by some, who foresaw the financial crisis, that we haven’t seen anything as yet! Climate changes and lifestyle that we endure could be looked upon fondly as past glories!
Man lives on hope and we wish these dire predictions will prove just warnings for us to retract our going overboard, stop on our tracks and ponder. But figures cannot lie; America is printing money even to meet the interest payments on borrowings. Of course, we believe the worthies in charge will have a reason for doing so and will find a way out.
Coming back to the basics; mothers still love their children no end, basics endure. Of course, for animals they do; as we have seen videos of sterling mothering instincts, when even the king of the forest is chased away by its prey if its offspring is in danger! But soon one has to stand on one’s own feet. Then the harsh realities assault us no end and it is a downward curve for most; for those unable to survive the vicissitudes of life. Whatever progress we make proves just illusory, when faced with life and death situations. Many have none to look up for comfort in times of need. And the odds are stacked up with little breathing space to maneuver. And modern lifestyles give those in hot pursuit of wealth little time to take a second glance at the less unfortunate amongst us.
Life, which started off with such welcoming love, soon deteriorates into one of hopelessness. The life scale descends to almost zero, with one misfortune after another, without much let-up. Are we not responsible for this fate by our reckless neglect of basic values that sustained life all along? What use material wealth that attracts the wrong company, fair-weather friends? We need to ponder and refocus. Our life has to be worth living, hold the same promise as we started off, when we were welcomed with both arms. It is entirely up to us! Our conscience should be our guide.