Thursday, November 15, 2012

How less is more

11-Nov-2012

In one of those interesting conversations about life and its great nuggets of wisdom, a friend of mine casually asked me one day - how much more is less when it comes to measure the happiness? While I try in my best capacity to answer this interesting question I find it much fulfilling to answer it the other way around - how much less is more?

Honestly it is 'too little' that proves to be 'a lot' to keep ones life on top of the world. I bet all of us would have come across or will come across that bit at least once in our lives.
The discovery might ask you to take a walk down the memory lane or look around wide enough in your present or in your vision of the future. Worth a walk though!

Keeping the greater number (which most of us fall into) aside, there are people for whom a shared smile served with a cup of tea/coffee is just sufficient to call it a fulfilled life. For some others, their innate anxieties fuming out off the kitchen chimney is just sufficient to make it an easy life. For some chatting it away with a great friend, for some taking a stroll with a loved one. There are some who wake up to watch the sun rising in glory, setting in serenity and traversing a much secretive trajectory of dews and droughts in between....makes it an absorbed reading, called life.

The last set of people are unspoken observers who have given most to the world and the generation that follows and expect the least when it comes to see the blossoms on their own planted trees. They live in old age homes because the children raised by them are ‘grown big’ with beliefs such as - it takes a lot to care for aged, and this very belief raises the need for outsourcing. The outsourced responsibilities along with the less resourced elderly, then lands into a home-to-be place away from the home. A paid service on a moral exchange?

Their journey of rising as adults to raising adults take a halt to a deserted territory where there are no children no adults, no grooming no advising, only the like fated and looking-alike group of senior citizens gazing at horizon trying to give meaning to this blanket of blankness…..no attempt could ever justify the irony. I think of a time when these parents would have held little fingers and walked them up to school. Those little fingers have grown bigger now to walk them down to an old age home so thoughtfully crafted for the ‘elderly in need’.

Some make it an even stranger definition of needs - they just need a piece of cotton in the fist and they hold it tight to say that's all they ever need from the world to make it a happy life. On our side of their world we have grossly perceived their needs as special needs and at their side they call it the bare needs. We call them special because they are a lot in dissimilarity with most of us, they may look challenged to the common eyes but stand unchallenged when it comes to humanism – they are true, real and righteous much developed human than most of us. They are indeed special but their needs are smaller than the smallest needs that anyone of us could think of.

It’s been a continuous debate within me if the last need is more important than the first need. I feel the first set of needs that we define as fundamental needs develops a person and the last need also known as the self actualization, defines him. As I love dwelling in my last need these days, I feel all of us must try to bridge the distance between the first and the last needs. Most of us though, walk a spiral path when it comes to the first and the last needs, expanding the distance between the two by every passing day. The sun-set dwellers walk a small step everyday that bridges the distance between their first and last needs and then they stop and reflect, waiting for a new day with zero new wants. 

The special folks on the other hand, make it a point to demonstrate everyday that the first and the last needs are same, they begin and end at the very point of being want-less.

So where is the question of how much more is less, or how much less is more……looks like it’s just sufficient, apt, ample and adequate, what we are and what we have. Can we take the next and final step of enjoying it please? That's the message of a every special heart beating inside a special child.