What a magical life we people are living in today’s time, all thanks to the technological advancements which are happening every moment and every day. All those things which we take for granted today didn’t even exist in our dreams 3 to 4 decades ago. You may take an example of any little or big thing which we use, and you will see that it has brought so much comfort & convenience to our lives. Starting from the Smartphones, Internet, Smart home appliances, Online Shopping, Online Food delivery, Online Cabs, Online Banking and much more. Without an iota of doubt, we can all unanimously agree that we have comforts and conveniences like never before. Having said that, Can we also say firmly that we are the happiest generation on this planet? The obvious answer is ‘No’. This is a situation which is worth of an attention. We need to find out that despite having all the best ever means to live in this world, why it is so that we are not a happy and fulfilled generation.
If you look at today’s statistics, you will find that the number of suicides cases in the world is increasing exponentially day by day. There are more people who commit suicide than the total number of people who actually die due to illness, accidents, via killings or some kind of natural disaster. Which means we people are on self-help. Till recent, it was only the adults who used to take away their lives, but now the same thing has started to happen with the children who are just teenagers. This is a situation which needs immediate redressal. If children start to take away their lives, this means there is something wrong with the very fundamentals of the society and the way people live. If children who are below the age of 18 are committing suicides, this situation is alarming.
With evolution and advent of technology ideally we should have become more and more joyful as we progressed in time, But its the reverse which is happening. The whole humanity is suffering the epidemic of stress, anxiety & depression which we ourselves created knowingly or unknowingly.
Let us look at the factors which lead to all these undesirable situations and incidents mentioned above:
1) The assumption that Money brings Happiness: One of the important reasons for stress and its related components is the idea that money leads to happiness. We have created our society in such a way that everyone is going towards an endless race. Today if you earn 1 million, you are looking for a billion. A billionaire is looking to become a trillionaire. No matter how much you have, you feel its never enough. What this means is somewhere in your mind unconsciously you think that having more money will bring you more happiness and fulfillment. I would say 70 to 80 percent of the population in the world thinks this way.
Today Modern scientists having enough scientific data to prove, that Money doesn’t necessarily lead to increased level of happiness. Having said that, they don’t deny either that money is not required. Yes, it is very much required for the basic survival process. Ultimately money is just a medium of transaction created by we humans and has no relevance in the context of life beyond survival process.
2) Living life by comparison: This is a stigma which has infected the whole world. People live their life with the very idea, that they should at least have more than their neighbor, relatives and other people of the society with whom they are associated with, only then they consider their lives as successful, and if you fail to do so, no matter how much wealth you have gathered, you are still miserable. Let’s say you have a ‘Mercedes Benz’ parked in your garage, and the next door neighbor just has a Honda Car. Now this gives you an immense sense of pride & happiness because you have something which the other person doesn’t have. But on a certain day, let’s say your neighbor goes ahead and buys a ‘Ferrari’, immediately you will become miserable, and the situation will get reversed. If you are happy with something which you have and other doesn’t, you are suffering the worst kind of disease. When I myself see people practicing this worst idea, this fills me with deep empathy for those people because they don’t understand what level of harm they are doing to themselves.
This is not just limited to adults. The pressure of today’s society has taken a huge toll on kids. At least in India, its a very common practice that parent in every family will give an example of other people’s kids and scold their own child for not scoring better than their cousins or friends. Instead of appreciating the hard work of a child for what s/he has achieved, parents have unrealistic expectations of their children. If we go to a little bigger circle, societal pressure also disturbs a child’s life.
We need to understand that a child means, Humanity in making. A child needs utmost care, love, and attention. But when a child is subjected to such a pressure, he thinks that there is no other choice for him other than ending his own life. This is the primary reason for the children & teenagers who commit suicides at a very small age. They simply succumb to societal pressures. We need to start working towards finding an appropriate solution to this problem. Instead of putting pressure on a child, parents should identify ways as to how they can nurture the potential of a child to its best. Living life, by comparison, can never lead to well being. The sooner we get it, the better it would be for our society.
3) Tweaking the desire, not the competence: The biggest mistake which people do is that they simply tweak their desires and not the competence. Let’s take an e.g to understand this. If you ask someone, what do you want to be? The most common answer you will get is ‘I want to become like ‘XYZ’. Now this XYZ would be the person who is hugely successful and people idealize them. Now there is no problem in idealizing a person, but the only problem is, If we are idealizing a person, why don’t we also work on our competence at the same time. If somebody says, I want to become the next President of America, and doesn’t do anything in that direction, Will he ever become that. The answer is NO. So fundamentally what we need to do is, we need to enhance our competence to do things in the world. We can never do more than what we are right now. So if you enhance your competence, obviously you will be able to achieve something beautiful. The success mantra is, if we work on our competence, the fulfilling of our desires will be the natural outcome. Contrary to that if we just tweak our desires and do not work on the competence, then the only thing we will have is stress, depression & frustration in life.
4) Living in Mind (Psychological World), not in existential reality: Just look back in your life and see out of your total number of years, how much you have actually lived in the existential reality, and how much time passed by, just thinking about something else within your psychological structure. You will see that you spent the maximum amount of your time either thinking about your past or thinking about your future. Well, the fact of the matter is that past and future exists only in mind. The only and only reality is the ‘Present Moment’. We are always living in the present moment thinking about the past and future. If we can simply become conscious of the present moment, our life would be much more easy and peaceful.
5) Strong Identifications: As I mentioned in my previous article (Understanding Human Mind: The Yogic Perspective: http://wp.me/p7cqBI-14R) that if we strongly identify ourselves with anything (Like family, social situations, nation etc.), we become rigid and there is a high possibility of friction in our lives. It’s better that we keep our boundaries loose to make our life much more flexible. This will ensure that we will ride the wave of life and not get crushed by it.
The connection between ‘Technology, Human Consciousness & Wellbeing’: Technology has undoubtedly enhanced the way we live our day to day life. If we see the nature of technology, it is neutral. How the technology works totally depends upon who is using it and how it is being used. Today’s technology is so much advanced that if we have to destroy this planet earth, we just need a couple of Nuclear & Hydrogen bombs and before you even know what is happening, everything will just evaporate. This was not possible just a few decades ago.
If such is the power of technology, it’s very very important that we work on the people who are handling it. We need to raise the human consciousness in the sense that they should not become self-contained within their own world. Experientially they should be able to feel the larger world as a part of them-self. If this doesn’t happen, you will see that things will become more worst than it is right now. We will literally make this planet inhabitable for all kinds of species. We already have burnt half the planet. So its time that we think strategically keeping aside silly individual goals.
If the true well being has to happen, then Human beings need to evolve in terms of their experience. Instead of thinking just about our family, We need to think about the larger good as well, otherwise, we will always keep fighting for our own share of bread and well being will never manifest itself in the world. The best thing is, we can use Yoga & Technology together as an empowering tool to make this happen very easily.
Happy Reading 🙂