On New Year's Day, I wanted to wake up feeling positive, which I did, but moments later there was nothing to feel good about. The newspapers carried the news of four fatal accidents, yet again sending a message that partying and dying have become so much a part of New Year celebrations.
These partying and dying stories are not restricted to Goa alone, they have become a norm all over, an indication that we don’t value life anymore and take it for granted. Those who die in vain never realise that the life they had was a miracle.
Life is our reality, we have it in so much abundance that every heartbeat personifies our living, our existence. Earth is the only planet where life abounds; if there is life elsewhere, then I am sure there are no humans like us anywhere.
We don't value life because we have become abusive and invasive towards everything we find in our way. Or else, how do we justify wars that kill innocent civilians? Our attitudes, egos and arrogance have got the better of us, not humanity.
In Goa, it is important for us to look at our purpose, our existence and ask the question: what is the purpose of our lives? This question will allow us to ponder over so many disturbing things that we see today in our once joyful and peaceful state.
If we are seeing things dying or falling apart before us – i.e. our brothers and sisters, hills, rivers, fields, culture, identity and all the things that define us – then it is time to find a sense of meaning for our existence. It is time we seek the true wisdom of living.
I strongly believe that a loss of sense of purpose is adding to our woes – we don't know what we want. We have made choices that are making our existence difficult, but we are convinced there is meaning in these choices.
Those four lives lost at the beginning of the New Year could have been saved if only someone had slowed down or had been more patient while driving or riding. There are life lessons to be learned from these fatalities, but we are living life in the fast lane where time is of the essence.
It's time we are racing against and the same time has, knowingly or unknowingly, turned us into killers. It's the time which we are fighting for, the time which we can never compete with. We want to do more things in less time, and that's where the problems of humanity lie.
There is still hope for humanity at every corner, let us just keep our eyes open, pick up this hope and move forward. You will just have to slow down and not get caught in the web of time. Time certainly deserves our respect, but don't challenge it.
It is time to be rational when it comes to our present state of things. We are suffering the ill effects of climate change because it is the consequence of our actions. We are in such a state of flux because we moved from being rational to irrational.
Respect and dignity for life are the sole basis of existence. Once we start valuing life, we will make better choices that will lead to a better world – a world without stress, suffering and wars.
In the end, it will not matter whether you are from Goa, Delhi, Bombay, Gujarat or for that matter any place in the world. The measure of hope is equal for everyone. Let us live like Earthlings and define our destiny by respecting life.
Goa and Goans will have to define the course they want to take till they reach December 31, 2024, when they will be again ready to ring in another year and make new resolutions. We have not reached even the halfway mark of January 2024. We still have time to set our priorities right.