The Race That Never Ends…

[show_avatar email=as2393@georgetown.edu align=right]Today’s world has become extremely competitive and life itself has become more a race than a pursuit to find the purpose of human existence. Race to finish education with the highest possible marks, race to get a high flying job that can allow for modern amenities. Careers come down to half a percentage of marks in the university entrance examinations .Hundreds are accepted where thousands apply. Even education has become a business where the ‘best’ education is provided at institutions whose tuition fees make them out of reach of the majority of the population. Students, find themselves in a pressure cooker, as only top marks can ensure admission into notable institutions. Such is the level of competition that children have started being interviewed for admission in primary schools. Innocent 4 year olds are denied admission into prestigious schools with the attached note that they are not good enough to merit entry. Not good enough. Surely, we cannot allow that to happen.

In this fast paced world, life itself has been lost in the midst of this ruthless race. In the incessant drive to satisfy their wants, humans have become slave to greed and desire. We lead mechanical lives, driven by a path already prescribed for us. The idea that we exercise free will holds very little credence. As Rousseau so aptly noted, ‘Man is born free but everywhere is in chains’.  It is ideology that shapes our lives, stripping us of the freedom to pave our own way. One may say that he has choice to do whatever one wants. But upon closer scrutiny, it is clear that the course of our life is already decided. In essence, we are captives of our own social structure and prisoners of our national identity.

Often the very reason for human suffering is the inexorable drive to satisfy our insatiable demands. Complete gratification of our wants is something that most people realize is not possible to accomplish. And yet life is a constant struggle to amass material wealth and fame. Being a student of world government, I have had the unique opportunity of exploring all the world’s major religions. Doing so has given me an insight into the many explanations of the purpose of human life. All religions highlight the need to exercise compassion, humility and kindness in relations to other humans. Violence has never been endorsed by any of them. It is striking how almost every religion believes that there is a higher purpose to life, an indescribable state of total transcendence that awaits us. This notion of salvation and the acceptance that this life is transient is shared by all major religious traditions. In Buddhism, there is the concept of nirvana; in Hinduism there is the break from the cycle of life and death; in Islam and Christianity there is the concept of heaven and hell. Everyone will be held accountable for the actions on the life on Earth, with no exceptions. The message is clear. The blind pursuit of material goods should stop for it engenders a world based on greed, intolerance and injustice.

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