New Year resolution
Towards the end of each calendar year it’s customary to review the year going by and make fresh resolutions for the new beginning. So the exercise itself is a good mix of pessimism and hope. Looking at the failures and follies of past is the cause and source of regret and hopelessness while the resolve to get over with past mistakes and make best of the new opportunities enthuses one with fresh hope. Indeed if one goes on philosophizing time, likelihood is that a whole lot of things could be articulated about what went wrong in the bygone year and how the same could be made for in the coming days. However, the iron-jacketed philosophy aside, pragmatism says that an individual and collective introspection could provide a rich repository of worthwhile thoughts which then could determine practical dos and don’ts for individuals and collectives both. But the question worth asking is: do we know how to introspect; how to look inwards for the answers to the questions and dilemmas that have haunted us all during the year that has just come to an end?
Kashmir’s patron poetess Lala Ded has so beautifully described her journey towards ultimate wisdom and truth by talking about her spiritual mentor commanding her to look inwards for answers to the dilemmas she faced – ‘Goran Vannum Kunui Vatchun: Nebra Doupnam Andhar Atchun…’! Somehow in our own worlds we seem to have lost track of our SELF. We no doubt have time for so many different things, but we very rarely spare a moment to know our SELF. As a result of this behavioral disorientation, we all end up being strangers to our own selves, which then easily translates into the kind of behaviour that we have perfected. While we know a great deal about the people around us – near and dear ones, friends and relatives, as well as the social and political and other figures at local, national and international arena, but how many of us actually know who WE are?
Education when defined in very concise and prudent manner would boil down to a three-word sentence – ‘know thy self’. In the mechanized world of mass production, the assembly-line make-up of the education sector churns out ‘educated’ or ‘lettered’ people in hordes, it goes without saying that the kind of people who are the ‘desired product of education’ is shrinking with each passing day. This is perhaps the reason that we have doctors with meritorious academic and technical records but when it comes to testing their real skills and competence where it really matters – on patients and the kind of care and attention they give to them – they are found desperately wanting. Our engineers might no doubt look very impressive on paper, but see the kind of cities and towns, roads, buildings and bridges they have given us – entire Jammu and Kashmir state looks far worse than the bottom of a huge sever where everything is just lying around in madness without any method whatsoever to anything.
Same is the case with each sector and every sphere of activity here. The state runs because it is supposed to run. People live because they are supposed to live until it is time for their biological clocks to stop functioning. If someone claims credit for doing anything for anything or anyone here, the person is simply trying to fool her/himself and the audiences. But despite all this pessimism and hopelessness, what else could one do but hope of a better tomorrow. Our New Year resolutions too can’t afford to be anything but hope. Late Dina Nath Nadim words should sum it all up – ‘Mei Cham Aash Paghich, Pagah Shouli Duniyah…!’