“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi
Over the past decade, seemingly impossible ideas have come into existence. From touch screen revolution to self driven cars, we have taken several small steps towards the development of mankind.
The word development, though, can be interpreted in different ways. It cannot be considered development if progress is countered with regression. It cannot be considered development if two trees are cut down for every sapling planted. It cannot be considered development if there are a few unemployed graduates for every well educated person. There are a variety of different problems that the world is faced with at the moment. Environmental issues, traffic, greed, poverty, illiteracy are some of the many, many problems faced by the only known inhabitable planet.
A practical person would say that it would be an impossible feat to have a utopian world without problems. I couldn’t agree more. Like the yin yang thought experiment suggests, two forces must depend on and connect with each other to exist in harmony. A perfect dish cannot be made from a single ingredient. Ambitious people would say that nothing is impossible and I agree to this too. Can a single person change the world? No. Can he change the country? Maybe. Can he change the city? Probably. Can he change his own ways? Most definitely.
I have witnessed on several instances where people sit back and let someone else take the flak. But why would you let someone else take responsibility for your actions? I am very sure you wouldn’t let someone else take credit for something you worked hard for. There are also ridiculous incidents when I have actually heard someone blame the government for global warming!
My grandfather once told me a story about a bird family and the destruction of their home.
On a mango tree in the backyard of a mechanic’s humble house, lived a mother bird and her two young ones. The mechanic was thinking about cutting down the tree and making a workshop for quite a while now. He first asked his brother, a skilled carpenter, to make the workshop for him. The worried baby birds asked their mother if it was time for them to start looking for a new shelter. The mother replied soothingly that it wasn’t time yet. Next, the mechanic asked his son, an engineer to make a workshop for him. The panicking little birds looked up questioningly at their mother again. The mother bird reassuringly put a wing around them again and pulled them closer. The curious nestlings discussed among themselves that maybe their mother was so sure about their safety because everyone who was asked to build the workshop till now wasn’t skilled enough. After a few days the mechanic himself came with a wheelbarrow containing all the tools needed to build a workshop along with some timber. The mother looked at her young ones and said that it was finally time to find a new home. She later told the anxious baby birds that each time the mechanic asked his brother or son to do the job, they didn’t want to put effort or time in something that wouldn’t benefit them in any way. When the mechanic made up his mind to build the workshop, he would definitely do it because he understood the need he had and how it would benefit him.
Going according to mother bird’s words, if we, as the inhabitants of this planet, care about it and understand the need for us to act and know how we can be benefitted by it, we should be responsible enough to put in time and effort towards the betterment of our home, planet Earth. If you take a step forward, you may inspire the people around you, the chain could continue and encourage a huge number of people- a number that is enough to make a small yet impactful difference. You don’t have to do larger than life activities to make a difference. Start small- maybe segregate your garbage or follow traffic rules or plant a sapling. All great things begin small. The important thing is that when you go to bed that night, you should feel good about yourself and satisfied with your contribution.
Large visions are achieved with many small initiatives and extremely strong intentions.
The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.