War is not a polite recreation, but the vilest thing in life, and we ought to realize this and not make a game of it…” Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
When we are not facing the madness of war, we do not understand the importance of peace just like when we have an abundance of nature, we do not understand the importance of preserving it. Abound by the richness of heritage, we do not take pride in it. When we are blessed with a healthy body, we abuse it; when we are surrounded by goodness, we gravitate towards the evil. It seems like our second nature to look beyond what’s available and easily achievable, if possible, ignore and abuse it and the seek for the unknown in anticipation of some perceived good; imagined happiness. This analogy holds good even for a simple thing like haggling for a dress in a market place. The original price is Rs 1000 and you, like a good bargainer, asks for Rs 500, and the shop guy agrees in an instant, and instead of being happy, you immediately fret. Why? Because it was too easy to get. Your happiness is ruined because you hadn’t gone through the time-tested process of arguing over each rupee and the price that keeps going up and down before you walk away in pretence and the shopkeeper reluctantly agrees to your price. That would make for a well-fought battle and would make the spoils even more enjoyable. Let’s see what are the other simple things that give us happiness. The last bite of chocolate, the last sip of your drink, the final drag of your cigarette before you throw it away with deliberate vigour, the final episode of your favourite web series, the parting moments of a dear friend… While there are many moments and unpretentious things that give us happiness from time to time – if only we try to ponder over them to relish the feeling – the realisation that this thing that gives us pleasure is about to end makes it even more precious. Abundance makes us careless, irreverent and scarcity makes us wiser and understanding. Let’s look at a few more examples drawn from our lives – Our country is rich in history, heritage and culture. The day is not far when we shall have successfully driven them to ruins with apathy. And then we shall apprehend the significance. We would read stories of temples and forts that have been resplendent while they stood. We have had a natural abundance of water and have been forever in the process of making it scarce; we surely are making headway in the direction. Once we have fully attained scarcity is probably when we shall fathom the importance of it all while it lasted. And even find ways to save it; we, like in the desert nations already are finding ways to desalinate water from the sea to be used for various industrial and agricultural purposes. We may have to drink it too – but of course, only after cleaning it well enough. We will surely find a way. Scarcity makes you wiser – remember?
Firsat published on https://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Sunday-Hans/2019-03-03/The-abundance-factor/505883