It is always said that man is a social being. But I find it too simple a statement and would choose to label him as a spiritual being as well with a well-developed intellect and an unrivalled ability to think deeply unlike any other life form. From long past, man has lived in togetherness in communities and societies. This is the reason why man has thrived and flourished and reached the pinnacle of success where he is today. One thing that man will always be proud of; are the numerous inventions and discoveries that stand to his credit. Right from the invention of fire, wheel and zero to rockets and spaceships that have taken him into outer space, his quest for more remains undiminished that has only grown with time. What is even more creditworthy is the fact that the pace of these inventions and discoveries is continuously continuing at scorching pace and technology is leading the revolution that we witness today. Newer things are continuously evolving and populating the landscape every day. We seem to be smashing all records and breaching all boundaries that is sure to unleash a whole new set of things that will change our world like never before.
Amid all the pleasures of modern living accentuated by unprecedented convenience and comfort, you would agree that our fast-paced life, high-pressure assignments and high-maintenance relationships have squeezed out most of the joy and happiness from our lives. With a result that whatever little time we are left with, we feel utterly depleted and enervated as if all energy has evaporated just like water in a poodle under the scorching sun. We seem to be perpetually tired and mentally fatigued that no amount of upliftment of spirits seems to work well enough. In this situation whatever little efforts we make at revival are met with uninspiring and dismal results and soon find ourselves falling into the quagmire of no return. In this situation we don’t feel like attending even the basic tasks of the day and our eyes are set upon the approaching weekend. Naturally, no great things happen to us as we remain hopeless on most fronts. With this mindset we are unable to enjoy fully in our personal lives as well. This is the most disastrous situation to find yourself in, even as the remedy is quite in sight and easy to implement.
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The modern life is characterised by the use or shall I say overuse as well as misuse of all types of electronic paraphernalia and the most common of them is our mobile phone. On one hand, modern technology has made our lives so comfortable, on the other it is bound to take away our peace. It would not be wrong to say that a mobile phone has become something like an extended limb. We never leave it unattended even for a second and if we happen to misplace it, we become so anxious, don’t we? What is true is that we can bear the loss of an expensive branded item of personal use like a watch or a laptop having important data, but not our phone. We check messages and notifications hundreds of times in a single day, though unconsciously. Surely you are not that important a personality who needs to check for important messages every second. Come to think of it, do we ever share our phones, or let someone else touch our phones? Don’t you feel that our entire peace of mind and attention has been robbed by one simple innocuous looking gadget called the mobile phone which was not the case a few years back? Some of you might think that you were better off without it as in the older times.
In the present times, we have become overtly lazy and laidback unlike our fathers and forefathers, all thanks to the modern technology that has kept us mesmerised with all the gadgets at our disposal. Look at the children of today, they hardly get any physical exercise as they do not play games in the parks and playgrounds as we did in our times. On the contrary they prefer to spend time at home with the X box and mobile phone. They do not care about physical exercise and consequently run the risk of gaining excess weight and turning obese. Not only children, but grown-ups too, have a lackadaisical approach towards their own health. And this fact stands exposed when majority of us have no health objectives for ourselves and no health plan in place on how to achieve them, since there are no objectives! This is quite evident when you go out in the park for a morning walk and find only a handful of people burning their excess calories. It is very disheartening to note majority of people dosing away to glory even as the sun is high up in the sky and waking up just in time to go to office. It is quite appropriate to ask if you have a long-term health plan in place? Don’t we have meticulous plans on almost everything, both professional as well as personal? We devote so much time in planning meticulously all the tasks entrusted to us at our office as well as personal tasks such as taking a vacation to an exotic destination. I am sure, if we start investing even a small amount of time towards the betterment of our own health, we would make a thoroughly happy living. After all, in a healthy body resides a healthy mind. Not having a healthy plan shows our weak commitment on this front that should worry us the most.
[ Also Read: Why is maintaining a healthy lifestyle so important? ]
In the modern times, it seems that we have given up on our habit of reading to a large extent. Not many of us prefer to read or shall I say, reading has fallen out of our list of preferences. It is quite evident that our penchant and predilection have undergone a sea change in the changed milieu. We now prefer every other activity over reading. I remember a cousin of mine way back in the 1980s while still at school, she used to be absolutely crazy about a magazine called ‘Reader’s Digest’. She would feel anxious and agitated if she did not get her copy on the first of every month. She was mad about reading and so many others I know. I remember some of my friends who used to spend considerable time reading, apart from the mandatory course books stipulated in the curriculum. What has happened to us now, only God knows? Have we fallen out of love with books, have we forgotten that a book is a man’s best friend? What could be some of the plausible reasons for this stark change that has come over us? Careful analysis of the problem reveals that in times long past there were not many activities apart from reading and playing outdoor games and sports, where one could spend time. TV programs were a rarity and YouTube or X Box were not yet invented. Therefore, all our time used to be divided among a few activities and reading used to be a major one. But in the modern times that are characterised by cutting edge technology there are a lot more activities like watching videos on YouTube, chatting on WhatsApp or browsing the web or spending time on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram have kept us thoroughly occupied leaving little or no time to devote to other activities especially reading. You order food, book taxi and hotels, train and airline reservation, almost everything by a few clicks, conveniently and comfortably sitting inside your homes. It’s not surprising that most people prefer watching videos and movies over reading. Therefore, as a natural consequence, reading has suffered most collateral damage because of burgeoning technological ecosystem that has taken roots in the modern times.
In the modern times, it is a general observation that people have become more money minded and materialistic. This is quite evident from their thoughts, actions as well as behaviour not just in public life but in private too. They think, pursuit of money is more important than cultivating good values and virtues and this could be the reason why we are witnessing explosion in vicious crimes being committed with a single-minded focus of becoming rich overnight. It seems to be true that the more money-minded one gets, the less morals he holds, though there could be exceptions. Also, the facts and figures relating to crimes of various kinds as reported in daily newspapers corroborates the same. This leads us to conclude that people today are a lot less compassionate, benevolent and considerate towards their fellow brethren. I have a feeling that the modern times may have heralded the onset of dark age, but at the same time I am hugely optimistic that with a little love and benevolence in our hearts, we can turn this around and make it the best of times for ourselves as well as everyone around us.