ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday November 18, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 25
Financial Times  

Living in a dog eat dog world

A Young Owl, walks up to the Wise Old Owl (WOO) who is in a pensive mode reflecting over the recent events in the jungle, and hands in her essay and asks whether it provides a rational explanation to the current situation in the jungle? WOO smiles in agreement whilst reading the essay. The essay reads thus;

“It is sad but a true realisation that modern society has lost all its sense of care and love for its fellow men. The world is now materialistic and a cold place where man will do anything to climb to the top of the ladder of success. Success is now defined as the attainment of wealth, position, honours such as number of cars owned or the size of one’s house and not the goodness of one’s heart and what you have done to help others on your journey through life. Albert Einstein saw the new definition of success when he said “try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value”

Life in the modern world has become so competitive that the greed to reach the top faster and easier than your peers drives people to be callous, indifferent, immoral and underhand. For most, life is too short to care about helping the less fortunate and thereby self interest is forcing the world on the pathway to self destruction.

The insatiable hunger for wealth and power by individuals, governments and countries alike has led to self destructive realities such as global warming. The unwillingness of the richest countries in the world to protect the future of the planet over shor term monetary gain speaks for itself. The skyrocketing crime rate in all parts of the world shows us the conscienceless nature of human beings. The ever increasing rates of divorce indicate that if two people cannot strive to live in harmony how can communities and nations succeed. These are just three of the thousands of “inconvenient truths” as referred to by Al Gore, which we chose to ignore in our senseless struggle for success.

Mikhail Gorbachev related the following story. A Russian peasant finds a lamp by the side of the road and rubs it and a genie appears. The genie asks the peasant for his one wish. The peasant tells the genie “you know I only have three cows but my neighbour has ten cows”. The genie asks the peasant “so do you want twenty cows?” “No” replies the peasant “I want you to kill seven of my neighbour’s cows.” This story reveals the mind set of today’s society where jealousy and hatred fuel destructive tendencies towards our fellow men on the route to material progress.

It is sad that today’s youth who are growing up in this materialistic ‘dog eat dog’ world will grow up influenced by the same mindset leading towards self destruction. Now, most children when asked for a special wish reply “I wish I had a Porsche” or “I wish I had a million dollars” and not “I wish there was world peace” or “I wish the starving people of the world had enough food to eat”. In today’s society where most live by the belief of “an eye for an eye” few even know of Ghandi’s apt response “an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.”

We must ask ourselves the question – Can we arrest this roller coaster ride towards self destruction?

The answer is definitely Yes! If we have the will to change, we can make this world a better place where every person can hope that they and future generations can live in a world of greater harmony, equity and prosperity through self sustaining and self preserving methods.

Selfishness is a vice which can easily be remedied. Start with simple gestures such as being considerate to your neighbour, assisting a needy person, treating a stranger kindly and taking care not to pollute and destroy your environment.

It takes a lot to change the world but ‘every drop of water, a mighty ocean makes’. Hence each of us needs to reset our course for the future. Life is like running a race. If you happen to see a sick and dying man fallen on the wayside, stop to help him even if it costs you winning the race - because one day you could be that very man.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Once the leaders of the jungle realize the true state of governance and the degenerated values and norms of the society, as analysed by the Young Owl, and are willing to commit to be change leaders will this nation have hopes of delivering sustainable peace and prosperity to the people.


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