Updated: Oct 14, 2019
This is a continuation of my previous article Can’t Afford TV in This Age. If you haven't read it, please do.
My family was on a vacation, and as soon as we checked in to the cabin, my son was super excited to see the TV. My son turned on the television, I said to myself ‘OK, let me see what's on’. Within 5 minutes my husband and I were overwhelmed by all the information.
Everything from photosynthesis to dinosaurs was being shown... For a second it made me wonder if my decision not to afford the TV; had been a bad one. Right away the voice inside me said ‘no way! What they are giving is knowledge. What we need for living life is wisdom’.
That reminded me of the saying “Knowledge is power, wisdom is liberty”. I would like to put it this way - “Knowledge is power, wisdom is superpower”.
Now I start wondering what has all this knowledge done to us. We know the process of everything - photosynthesis etc., but does that stop us from cutting down the trees? In the city I live in, Kelowna, go to any location with the best views and you will find houses. More breathtaking views, more zeroes to the price. People want the best view of the lake, of the mountain, of whatever there can exist and at the cost of our forests. It always makes me think how crazy we humans are.
I had been to Kerala, God's own country… acres and acres of tea estates… it is beautiful for sure, but imagine the acres and acres of forest that got destroyed for human greed… and by appreciating those tea estates I am appreciating man's greed without even realizing it.
I went to Waterton with a few friends - again, a breathtaking place in Canada. When we took the cruise and went to the other side of the lake, we were all spellbound. The local guide was telling us that there was a wolf pack in the mountains and its size had started to dwindle because it was seeing a huge population of humans hiking in the woods. And reducing numbers means hitting the ecosystem. So team Parks Canada (I might have the name wrong) decided to close access to the mountain for people. And I don't think you want me to tell you what happened. We don't seem to have any consideration for any other creatures, be it among us even. Just an analogy - imagine if we had animals walking all over our house when we are cooking, caring for our babies, procreating….. How would it feel to do it with visitors?
I would like to share a few stories below:
Story 1: When I was a small kid, there was this plant that was growing everywhere… kind of a weed. I liked its broad leaves, so I found a tiny sapling and planted it in front of my house… Every day I would spend time with it, talking about my whole day and sharing everything with it. I loved the plant. There came a time when they had to cut the plant... And I cried for hours… I didn’t know photosynthesis or any synthesis that went on inside that plant. All I knew was that I had a connection with it. It was not just a plant. It was like a dear friend to me.
Story 2: Some time back we were camping with friends… we went on a hike and there was this huge water body flowing… the currents were high, it was not a river, but I forgot what it was. The first thing my friend told her son was - “Respect the water”. It doesn't matter whether it be a creek, a lake, a river, an ocean, just respect it. We bond with water by respecting it. Knowing that water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, would you be able to bond with it?
The point I am making here is that we are focusing so much on knowledge - the science of everything, the process of everything - that we are losing wisdom… we are losing the connection, the bonding. We are reducing all life forms to mere existence based on all the science and knowledge. We forget to appreciate life for what it is, the same things our ancestors revered and worshiped. Our ancestors might not have known the knowledge and workings of things. But they lived in harmony and peace within and with everything outside. We have the knowledge to the minutest level of the atom or even beyond, but we don't have the harmony. Be it a tree, a rock, an animal, or a human being!
We are learning about the dinosaurs that lived on this earth millions of years ago. My 4 years-old knows at least 5 kinds of dinosaurs, and trust me, I learnt them from him. But do we know our neighbors? Forget about neighbors! Do we know ourselves? Do we know the innumerable conflicts within us?
I sometimes feel that we are living our lives unconsciously as if we are addicted. Addiction can be to money, power, alcohol, anything and everything that takes away our present from us. We want the best engineers, doctors, athletes who are capable of making millions of dollars. We think that's what will make them successful and happy... but is it true? Are we creating the best people from our children? Who can care for nature – plants, animals, and fellow human beings? Are we teaching them to love themselves and be safe in their skins and minds? Are we showing them that they are the best versions of themselves this universe will ever see? Are we teaching them that we are here for a purpose other than making a living?
Are WE living the life which will show them the right direction? Are WE living and leading by example? Are WE the role models they can look up to? What's the purpose of this life if you get to the grave without fulfilling your desires, facing your fears, living the life you want? Without knowing you were born with no boundaries? Without knowing your true potential?
My point is that with knowledge my son may have good lives, sure! But with wisdom he will live life the right way. And this wisdom comes when you are out there in nature and making a connection, rather than getting hooked on a screen. I’m not sure you call this wisdom. But the insights and perspectives I have, the contemplation, introspection, or manifestations that have happened to me happened when I was out in nature surrounded by serenity. Even these thoughts occurred to me when I was sitting on the patio of the cabin, watching the thick dark clouds about to pour down and my son finding the dinosaur rocks…
Finally, I surrendered to my Guiding Voice and said ‘let's focus on wisdom’. He has a whole life to gain knowledge.