January 31, 2014

Focusing on the process

Much of life's agonies and anxieties arise from our constant attention to the personal gains we anticipate at the end of our actions rather than on the process of our actions. Spiritual thinking says that where our attention goes is what is energized in us. So it is logical that with that huge investment of our mental energy on the prize at the end of the line we have little energy left to invest in the process. Thus it can only be mediocre efforts we put to the process. The result is that the quality of our work suffers and the outputs too inherit that poor quality determined by what we had put in.

If we can look at our present state of affairs in our Maldives - and without doubt so informed and energized by the influences of the get-rich-quick materialistic world -- we can fathom the depths of social lethargy we are sinking into.

In this present time, the dignity of labour is shunted out of sight as a vestige of the past and everyone seems ready for the clamour to the top whether deserved or not. The focus is only on the prize at the end and HOW we get it is no more the question than THAT we get it.

Unless we can revert to a focus on mindfully performing our work as each person's social responsibility, a time is soon to come when regretful cries will fill our days ahead. To wake up then or watch in lament from another dimension many of us will have by then transited into will not help our children or grandchildren. Let not selfishness, avarice and surely pain as a consequence, be the hallmark of our life in this world!  

January 28, 2014

Preparing the ground before planting the seed

Lessons from nature abound and when we can observe its workings we can create a sustainable world.
Everything has its gestation time. Our birth and life is a perfect example of an orchestrated chain of events that has its specific time frames. Our time in the womb, our childhood, youth and old age and our life span are all givens of that we can change very little. Yes, technology has its virtues but it can only move by bits and pieces and this takes tremendous energy to maintain. Thus, this cannot be easy or as we call, sustainable.

The ground we plant our seeds also has to be prepared if we want the trees to grow as desired. And true too is the fact that we harvest only what we plant- nothing more nothing less. Yet, they have to be watered and tended to with loving care. Only then will we get the results that we expect. Another truth in regards to this is that success is not in our hands - we have control only of the process. Good process embedded in sincerity ensures success most of the time. 

And not least of all we need to pick the right seeds for planting. Opting for seeds that are not yet mature enough for sprouting a healthy forest or a bountiful harvest should be disastrous and indeed be a waste of valuable time and effort. No farmer in his right mind would ever do that for the hunger and debt he and his family would have to endure subsequently.    

January 12, 2014

Finding ourselves

As I walk along the crowded streets of Male, I am bewildered by the pace of change in our society. The motorcycles and other vehicles throng our streets and shops laden with all kinds of goods invite excited shoppers and tall buildings sprout like mushrooms after the rain.  Similarly, the pedestrian traffic too along our uneven foot-narrow pavements meander like the river that never was. And yes, even those stepping onto the reverent floors of our mosques during the day increase in drones even though some say that much of that increase may be attributable to our guest workers.

However, my early morning strolls along our then deserted streets indicate a trend of paucity of our locals' spiritual leaning. I gather this from the chatter of the passers-by indicating to me that even in this blessed hour, the voices seem foreign with only the few slouching elders who amble along perhaps after their spiritual obligations to be locals. That may not be totally correct though for yet in this early hour I still spy others too -- strong looking Maldivian youth joggers and sleepy eyed or fully awake others making their way to the jetties to board their vessels that would take them to their jobs at the airport, or the resorts, or a day out on picnic. The dwindling congregation to a row or two at most at the Fajr prayers in most mosques too show this depressing faith only too conspicuously -- here too the building guards and the early-rising-to-work foreign guest workers make half the numbers.

Why is this I ask? Is God no more? Is gratefulness not a part of our obligations? Is all the wonder we see in our midst from the mind-boggling phenomenon of our still expanding universe or the intriguing sustenance of our very physical bodies or the myriad plant life that sprout and die and live again around us all a quirk of a cosmic accident with no universal orchestrator? I wonder why this colossal harmony that exists in the universe not replicable in even our miniscule man-made organizations in this home planet of ours don't ring a bell in our minds. Perhaps ours are just too occupied by the glitter of the world. The universal mind watches and allows us to the leeway of choice. But sadly few realize the profoundness of such choice and seem drowned of the consequences of our action.

Yes, the laden shops, the oversized cars and glitzy bikes that take us nowhere but into our vanity tell the story of this drowning. We can only become aware human beings when we can begin to understand the working of our inside. However when the present trend is all the focus on our outside, the hope of such salvation for our soul seems bleak. Can we get out of this dream from which we will inevitably be awoken in-time?  But when that time happens we will have no time left for choice.

January 9, 2014

Disease care or health care: we get what we want!

Providence gives us what we want. Whether individual or collective, this edict holds. What we seek is attracted to us. However, there is a catch; what we wish for or that we desire must match our belief that this is possible. When these two aspects are aligned, then anything we want in our lives we shall have.
This truth is prevalent in all what we do in our lives. The programs we have for social, economic, technical and spiritual improvement, and the sum total of the ways in which we all live out our lives are all connected to this profound edict.

Being a health professional let me take the health aspect as an example. There is always the question of whether our health systems should be based on prevention or cure – what proportions of which, and in what balance? In Maldives - and quite so in most countries of this world, we take the medical path so naturally as the basis of our health systems because we believe in our disease condition more than our well-being condition and our wish is to have medical contexts and treatment facilities anytime we want and we believe this to be the way to health. We don't believe and perhaps don't even wish to be healthy. If we truly did, we would not be polluting our lungs with smoking, hurting our bodies with more than necessary caloric intake, opting for the perpetual comfort of a sedentary lifestyle and fill ourselves with undue worry and anxiety in our lives. Thus our opting for the medical rather than the preventive care of our bodies and our communities reveals our life desire and the belief that goes with it. Our penchant for shiny edifices of care giving institutions and sophisticated devices indicate that we don't truly believe we can have health although we may call those that deal with our health the ministries of health when in fact they are ministries of disease. And the historical fact that hospitals were first built as places people went to die, encapsulates this hidden and deep held belief.

Only when we can think of health as the absence of disease can we move our hearts to seek ways to keep us healthy. Otherwise we will continue to amass expensive medical gadgetry that benefits few and shoot our health care costs through the roof. And in a democracy, all this money comes from the taxpayers’ pockets. Can't we think of alternatives to save some of our hard earned money?