Often I used to hear that this world is selfish. People around you would have any regard for you only so long as you are of any use for them. Are you also not the one thinking that you have been taken advantage of by someone at some point of time? This made me think about this.
Then I heard that nature also shares the same message. Just look at the tree. A really big, green and tall healthy tree. It has this beautiful green leaves attached to it and you think that they are part of one family living life together. But then you notice that the moment the leaves are dry and get yellow, the tree shakes them off at the slightest provocation of wind and the dried leaf falls on the ground losing its identity. Isn’t it true then that the tree regarded the leaf only so long as it was useful. As you know that the green leaf would do the photosynthesis and prepare food for the tree but what a dried pale leaf would do? Hence, it is kicked off!
Thus, we often hear that in this world, it is only the fittest who survive (Darwin). And so we are advised to make an identity of our own worth our own existence and told that nobody cares really when you are nobody and you are on your own essentially. Well! For a social animal like me that seemed like a depressing idea. Though the thought has some merit as it might propel someone for self reliance and being independent and not be complacent in this tough world, I realised that it is not the whole truth. For me, this thought was leading to a selfish, unequal, lonely and unhappy world. How could this be the natural state? I wondered!
But then I got a thought standing near a tree. It was a very thick tree and being autumn, the leaves were falling over the ground and the wind was also faster than usual. Wind was shaking the tree continuously but the tree was standing firm though its branches had a rough time and many leaves faced separation in the process. So, again the same philosophy, right! In the time of adversity, I could see that the most useless connections were broken first. I mean the dried leaves. But then something monumental happened. Though the tree separated the leaves from it but not even a single branch fall on the ground. Rather a thick net of the branches broke down the force of the rough wind and protected the entire tree. And the best thing was that the thick stem of the tree was unmoved at all! I got the answer! My confusion was gone! I learnt something amazing! What was it really?
Well! I realised that in our lives we form different level of connections with different people we meet. We come in contact with so many people and form a different level of bond with each one of them. If we analyse our lives, there are people we have chance encounter with. Like at workspaces, in public spaces and such like. We often don’t get a chance to meet them at length. So our connection with them is not so great. So, you are like a leaf for all those people. Relationship with them is just transactional. So, you just interact for a specific reason and when it is over, you say goodbye!
But there are some people in your life whom you happen to meet over a period of time in your life for whom you are very special. With those people you share a deeper connection than the ones with whom you meet just for transactional purposes. That was a meeting of mind but this is a meeting of hearts. Here you are like the branch of the tree for them. Even in the times of adversity, they would not ditch you and would hold on to you. You feel like being together and together you feel safe. You don’t get separated from these people unless something of catastrophic proportion happens just like a branch would fall off when it is a huge storm or when the branch is itself on a death bed but the tree would not ever separate it.
But then there is an even deeper level. There would be a few people in your life with whom you share the most deep connection. You may call it the connection at the level of soul or anything as you like. This is the connection where you would die for that another person and that person would do the same for you and you know it. This I call the stem of the tree. Your life gets so mixed with those people that your lives become like one single thick stem of the tree. Now no matter how hard the storm is, you would never ever leave each other alone. you would prefer to die together over leaving the other person alone. Just like the whole stem will be uprooted if at all the storm is very powerful.
So now you see! It is not that the world is selfish! It is just about the level of connection we build with the people around. The more your connections are merely transactional, the more you would just be the leaf of the tree. If you be a little more caring towards others, you would become like brach of the tree for them. If you learn to love people, you would become like the stem of the tree for them. So, it is not about how others are but rather how we are as a person. It all depends upon the content and depth of our own character. It all depends on what we have to offer for this world; love or hatred!
I see an even bigger possibility here. What if the entire humanity joins itself like the stem of the tree? Imagine! How much beautiful this world would become. But all of this can only be possible if we as humans overcome our divisions emanated from our narrow conceptions of identity. We need to cultivate a broader identity for ourselves. Not of race, religion, sex, caste or region but of a human being at least. Then we would realise that we need not be super transactional with people. We can be caring and loving for everyone and not just the selected few. Then we will all become like one single stem. It does not mean that it would kill diversity. As still, from that one single stem would rise the different branches with their own shape, size and pattern; but still it would be a one unified whole!
For this to happen, what we need is a pandemic of love!
It all begins with LOVE and love is CONTAGIOUS!
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