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Does the human race need to slow down?

In post colonial era, the focus of the countries has been shifted towards expanding their economic might as it is the most crucial parameter that defines its influence in the new world order. The same argument holds for individuals in a society where the motive is to accrue more and more resources to attain infinity.

With the increasing population, the horizontal growth for resources i.e. the demands for basics, namely, food, clothing and shelter is inevitable. With time, as Maslow's hierarchy predicts, there is a growth in human aspirations to get ahead of others and to achieve self satisfaction. But once we enter the vicious circle of our never ending greed, it is tough to escape. The rat race never stops and once we achieve a goal we have decided our next target.

In this modern society where we have a cut throat competition, we should follow our ambitions passionately but not blindly. The pace with which we are running towards our goal makes us forget about the legitimacy of the path we follow. I do agree that striving for more is not wrong and one should always try to excel but adding the word of caution that the 'means' through which we achieve our goal is as important as the goal itself. For instance, the nations today, are mutilating the nature for personal gains. But the nature is gifted with limited resources and overexploitation can lead to extinction. Mahatma Gandhi remarked "The world has enough for everyone's need but not enough for everyone's greed". These so called developed nations are fearless because they have the capacity to bear the consequences of this mass destruction of the planet but the poor and middle income nations still strive for fulfilling the needs of its inhabitants and therefore cannot bear such disasters. Also, to prove their superiority over others, we have ever-growing army of weapons of mass destruction.

Another consequence of this "rat race" and going at a fast pace to win this race is the erosion of public morality and relations. The philosophy of life has been completely transformed and is clouded with greed and avarice. The ethics have changed and unfortunately in a negative way. The importance is being given to reach on top but not to take everybody along. Human has become self centered and has no time to think for the society. Individual growth is the sole ambition and the concept of social service is losing grounds. How many of us genuinely think about the impact of our actions over the poor. If yes, then do we ever try to do anything to rectify their condition? The obvious excuse is lack of time. It is the development of masses not just infrastructural growth that makes a nation superior. Though there is no denial in the fact that the state tries to uplift the condition of downtrodden but unless an attitude change is brought in the society, a nation can never progress. When the actors of society become sympathetic towards one another and don't indulge in clout building only then we can have a healthy society. A nation where a section of people are left out cannot be called perfect in real terms and for this the onus lies on the state as well as on its people.

Summarizing, the above presented viewpoint does not mean that we should shut our industries and retard our growth process in the name of social upliftment. Rather the momentum with which we are heading towards these materialistic goals is to be checked. The focus should be on over all development of society and environment and not just attaining superficial goals. The need of the hour is to adopt a human and cooperative approach and not conquering approach for society building. A balanced pace of development - neither too fast that it fails to take everyone along, and nor too slow that it creates a stagnated society is needed to ensure broad based and sustainable growth. And the means used to achieve these objectives should be ethical and legitimate so that it always remains a win-win situation for all.

Abhinav Palia

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