our changing times

Successful landing on Mars in its first attempt has put India into a new orbit in the world stage. And millions of people around the world are wowed by the actions of our Prime Minister in the USA. Thousands of business enterprises around the world are looking towards the young India to win a share of their wallet directly or indirectly. Our PM is the first PM in Indian history to have been born in the Independent India and has a fresh approach to everything that he does. Similarly, the millions of kids in India have a unique outlook towards life. And it’s very different from what it used to be for the kids who were born two decades ago when Indian economy was barely liberal.

Indian economy became liberal and welcoming towards the investments and trade with individuals and business enterprises of other countries during the last couple of decades. The tide has turned since! Indians started using new products and consuming new services which were either unknown or inaccessible. And the creative minds in India have unleashed their prowess to innovate new products, services and concepts. As commercial environment has grown bigger, faster and competitive, work life has become dynamic, fast-paced, volatile and action-packed. Work being such as an integral part of living, it has impacted the way we believe and think about life. The luxuries of yesteryears are now the must-have basic needs; the benchmarks of success have been redefined several times; the concept of joy, happiness and peace have undergone subtle changes; some of the codes of conduct in our lives have been rewritten. Children in the schools and homes have become much friendly and open with their teachers, parents and seniors. They find it oppressive and tyrranising to follow an instruction unless they find a value in it; they rebel more openly, fearlessly and spontaneously than what they did two decades ago; they do not shy away from debating openly on the subject. When they find obstacles and friction on their way, they try to overcome them rather than finding short-cuts to step aside. I think, these social changes have facilitated and fueled the journey of our country through the myriad of changes.

However, there are many of us who haven’t been able to keep pace with the changes happening around us. We have embraced the changes which suit us well such as more choices of products and services, access to information, ease of connecting with others and so on. However, we are struggling to come out of the comfort zone of our minds when it comes to dealing with the other side of these changes such as challenging questions from the younger ones, speed and intensity of actions at workplace, overload of communication, digital espionage, lack of privacy, threats to confidentiality, fear of terrorism, abuse of drugs and so on.

How do we balance them? How do we keep pace with the changing times? I think, it’s about letting go which is easier said than done. If I look into our old mythologies, mankind has always found it difficult to let go of one’s own ideas, cravings and possessions. Victorious have been those who could let go of these obsessions, looked at things as they unfolded, responded with an appropriate action and controlled their veering mind from straying into the past experiences of what works and what doesn’t and perceptions about people and events. This is about letting go of the deep imprints on our mind and heart. This is very critical because things that worked in a certain manner are no more relevant. The way a child was brought up, a young worker was treated, money was earned, money was spent, an event was celebrated and many more, have changed over the last two decades. We have possibly been too obsessed with the good things around us and forgotten the virtues of letting go. And similarly, our young generation needs to learn to let go of the obsessions albeit a different kind.

Sounds very basic, but not easy! It calls for a lot of self-awareness, the quest of appreciating the present, questioning the self-belief and the practice of empathy. As our world is getting fast-paced, super-connected and ambitious, we need to train our minds as well as our younger ones to be more self-aware, live in the present, challenge one’s own position and think of all stakeholders in an equitable manner. Our world will be more fulfilling and joyous. Charity begins at home; so, let’s start doing this at our own homes, schools, workplaces and communities. Let’s go for it!

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