THIS NEW YEAR 2011
By Arun Babani
Reflection is positive and a healthy process which has been forgotten in these times of Twitter and Talktime.I have a feeling that United Nations should be urged to declare the year 2011 as the year of reflection. Reflection is a key that can unlock mysteries surrounding us. Reflection can be fourfold : reflecting on oneself, the personal reflection. Reflecting on the world, the social reflection. Reflecting on the universe, the universal reflection, and reflecting on life, the living reflection. The personal reflection deals with immediate and personal issues such as what do I want, how do I get it and so on. Social reflection reflects on the state of society surrounding us. Universal reflection will look at the universe and find ways to live in accordance with universal principles. And finally, the living reflection gets us in touch with life and its innumerable gifts. One whole year dedicated to this healthy and wise process of reflection can throw up a wellspring of novel and useful ideas that can help us to survive and live a better life. Philanthropy, social work and donations are effective but limited without innocent and fresh vision that can change the way we look at ourselves and life surrounding us.
During Ronald Reagan's tenure as the US president, he once observed that American society as a whole had become too noisy. Everyone talks, honks, shouts and generally makes a lot of noise. He wondered aloud in the Assembly whether he could introduce a bill for silence. Keep, he said, a few moments every day for a nationwide silence where everyone, in all the corners of the US maintains silence and peace for those few moments. Osho, at that time in US immediately responded to Reagan's suggestion and offered to send his sanyasins to every corner of the US to teach people and take care of those beautiful, silent moments of America.
Andy Warhol, the renowned American painter, responding to the rush and stampede that takes place to appear on TV, suggested that everyone, young and old should be featured on TV for five minutes. It will, he said, take care of the celebrity itch that attacks most of us some time or the other in our lives. The chaos and crowds around celebrities and the hoopla surrounding them will drastically come down if everyone in society is featured on TV even for a few minutes.
Mahatma Gandhi's Trusteeship philosophy did not find many buyers at that time of partition when there were only a handful of rich Indians. But today with thousands of millionaires in India this brilliant idea can be reintroduced in a revised form whereby the rich can hold their wealth in trust and place a part of their wealth to support public causes which actually result in their own well being.
Another idea that has grown in recent times is the Save the Planet idea where society as a whole participates and in which everyone switches off lights for a couple of hours on a prescheduled date.
Everyone laments the state of times today and is frightened about tomorrow. Initiating a few steps to make our world a better, civilized and sensitive place to live in requires a collective reflection which will bring out original and innocent ways to look at problems and offer simple, easy to use solutions in which society can participate as a whole. So declare 2011 as a year of reflection and change the course of human history.