This is the ‘faster than light’ generation. We like our internet at lightning speed, travel and earnings to be equally fast, relationships to sort themselves out as we spend time working day in and day out so we can go on exotic holidays, retire young and enjoy life. We have no time for taking root, going deep into the dirt and slowly absorbing nutrition for growth so that one day we bear tasty fruit. We like hormone induced, genetically-engineered fruit bearing that works on our timeline of ‘super fast and hundred fold’ and not nature’s ‘slow’ timeline.
I have lived in this village all my life. Just like my forefathers before me. I was born here, I live here and one day I will become part of this earth here. My home, this land, these hills, these lakes, these animals are part of who I am and I am part of who they are. Drought, hardships, death, debts, nothing can take away my roots that are firmly embedded. What does that mean? Does such rootedness make any sense? What does rootedness look to the cosmopolitan in me? Are we always on the move trying to get better jobs, bigger and more houses or cars or phones; always looking to throw the current one out and get the better one in. ‘Bech De’ Olx prompts us and we love to obey!
‘Run away’ generation?
Are we becoming a rootless generation? Traveling around the globe but belonging nowhere; connected to countless people but disconnected from those who matter to us; earning money but losing sleep; having picture perfect families but internally torn with strife and stress. When things do not go the way we want, do we prefer to run away to greener pastures or stand through and work it out? This is not to say there should be no goodbyes, but are goodbyes becoming our most preferred option when relationships need working out? Difficult colleague or boss—move out, issues with spouse—separate rather than seek help to work it out, kids are demanding time and attention—send them for another adventurous activity. When someone’s world is falling apart, do we like to change the channel and look the other way or stand in the gap for them?
Take root and bear fruit
Many trees in nature (not our hybrid genetically engineered ones) take decades to grow into their full potential of fruit bearing. But once they take deep root they last generations. You can see the same with children—they grown nine months in the womb and several years outside before they become independent able-bodied people. If a child is born premature even by two months it struggles for life because though the child looks all ok on the outside, internally the organs are not fully ready. In our lives too everything takes time to develop. If we want to learn a sport, a musical instrument. a traditional dance form, or a music form well, it takes years of dedicated lessons and practice. Education too takes years and so also if you want to learn any profession or skills properly, whether medicine or mechanics. We need to take root to bear fruit that lasts.
Premature Birth and Delayed Death
Then why are we in a hurry to make maestros of our children and ourselves in a fast track? We always are on the lookout for the fastest way to get to our goal with minimum time and effort. We do not enjoy the journey; we are in a hurry to reach our destination. We only want Einsteins and DaVincis as our children or at least an IITian or IIMer. We ourselves only want to become Presidents and CEOs or at least a VP! Neither us nor our children are enjoying our todays and tomorrows in our rush to get somewhere else. Why are we after premature birth and delayed death? ‘Drink this and your child will grow faster and smarter’, ‘use this and your will retain your childlike skin at forty.’ We hate ageing. Anti-ageing is the next big money spinner on our planet. We want to have the skin and body of a 20-yearold when we are 40 or 50. A tree is valued for its age. Each year that passes leaves a ring around the tree. Botanists gauge the age of the tree by the rings on it. If you are 40 or 60, let your body look it. Let your wisdom and life show it. What is wrong with that?
Go Slow, Enjoy Life-Take Root
Stop the fast-forward button on your life’s video and the slow motion buttons on your body’s ageing and press the play button. Let life take its course. Enjoy it as it comes. Let us not throw away broken things and relationships, let us stay put and fix them. Take root where you are planted in this season of your life. Take it slow to learn things, invest in relationships. Let children enjoy their childhood and you enjoy your adulthood and ageing—the whole package called life. Go find your roots, reconnect with family and friends you have lost touch with. Keep away from technology that connects you with people far off and sit by the side of those you live with—hold them and hear them. See them with new eyes and spend time with them, rediscovering each other. Re-taste the flavors of love and laughter in your marriage, parenting and friendships. Don’t just gulp down life like fast food. Prepare it with love like a full course meal; eat it slowly savoring each of the flavors in your mouth with people you love over conversations and laughter. Relish it all, the bitter and the sweet, the sour and spicy. Live lives to the fullest today—enjoy the PRESENT!