Adapt or perish!

As humans, we are at the top of the animal world, only because of our ability to adapt. Also, “survival of the fittest” does not really apply to human beings anymore. We have become good at protecting and supporting the not-so-fit among us. In the age of information, it is now the “survival of the wisest”.

Of course, who among us is wise? COVID-19 has raised the dust off the stupidity in the world. People having large following on social media have realized how easy it is to spread misinformation and the gullible fall for it over and over again.

No amount of artificial intelligence can combat human stupidity.

Everyone was excited that internet would democratize content creation by reducing the barrier to create for the masses. However, it also amplified the village idiots, who, until now everybody was happy to ignore. The greatest skill that the next generation needs to develop is the ability to filter truth from the landfill of misinformation. What to pay attention to, and what to ignore will determine how much time you will have for other important things in your life. I never thought there would be a day that ignorance would also become a skill!

In many ways, the Coronavirus has proven to be more adaptable than many human beings. It has mutated in several ways in such a short time, all the while when many people have the audacity (stupidity) to call it a hoax, refuse to wear masks, and continue to meet others.

The primary casualty of stupidity is humanity.

In this war against the virus, we have already lost several hundred thousand people. And after an year of struggle, there are still many who deny its effects. It is exhausting. Humanity has taken a back seat. Everyone has had enough.

Good progress is being made with the vaccine despite all this, and it is good to be hopeful about our ability to adapt.

ಈ ಕಾಲದ ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿ!

ದುಡ್ಡಿನ ಮದ ತಲೆಯೇರಿ,
ಅತಿಯಾಸೆಯ ಭೂತ ಬೆನ್ನೇರಿ,
ಒ೦ದು ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿ ಕೂಗಿದ,
ನಿಖಿಲ್ ಯೆಲ್ಲಿದ್ಯಪ್ಪಾ?

ರೇಶನ್ ಅಂಗಡಿಯ ಸಾಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ,
ತರಕಾರಿಯ ಮಾರುಕಟ್ಟೆಯಲ್ಲಿ,
ಒಮ್ಮೆಯೂ ಕಾಣದೆ ಜನ ಕೇಳಿದರು,
ನಿಖಿಲ್ ಯೆಲ್ಲಿದ್ಯಪ್ಪಾ?

ತಾತನ ತೊಡೆ ಹತ್ತಿ,
ಅಪ್ಪನ ಭುಜ ಏರಿ,
ಜನರ ತಲೆಮೇಲೆ ಕಾಲಿಡಲು ಬ೦ದಿರುವ,
ನಿಖಿಲ್ ಯೆಲ್ಲಿದ್ಯಪ್ಪಾ?

ಅರಹತೆ ಇಲ್ಲದ ಅಸ್ತಿತ್ವ,
ಬುದ್ಧಿ ಇಲ್ಲದ ಜ್ಞಾನಿ,
ತಾನೇ ಎದುರು ಬ೦ದಾಗ,
ಕನ್ನಡಿ ಕೇಳಿತು – “ನಿಖಿಲ್ ಯೆಲ್ಲಿದ್ಯಪ್ಪಾ?”

If

“If you can..”, it begins and lines out an entire persona of an individual who has conquered life. A life that death feels sad when taking away – such is the life I desire. Here’s the poem by Rudyard Kipling –

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look to good, or talk to wise:

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up again with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings;
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none to much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son!

Thoughts on friendship

“I’ll get by with a little help from my friends”

Pensive, withdrawn, lonely. The life of the world can be teeming around us, the high decibel sounds can be dinning in our ears and still we can be lonely. It is possible to be lonely in a crowd. Loneliness haunts the places where crowds gather. It is not the presence or absence of people that makes the difference because a person need not be lonely even if he/she is alone. Sometimes it is good to be alone. But that does not make us lonely. It is not a matter of being present with someone. It is a matter of being present to someone. This calls for special communication, special human interaction, special acceptance and understanding. If these are lacking, all we have is lonely people, each encased within his/her own impenetrable shell. No one wants to be lonely. People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.

To dissolve loneliness we need friends. A friend gives warmth, understanding, time, love oneself. A friend stands up to my anger, my selfishness, my short-comings. A faithful friend is a sure shelter. Whoever finds one has found a treasure. In his inimitable way, I suppose Snoopy would cut through the core and say, “Happiness is a friend who lets you be yourself and still loves you.” We need friends because we are social beings, not by choice, but by nature.

“I spent one morning with a friend and wished the day would never end…”

 

You had better be running!

lionhunt_diaz_ts

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion,
Or it will be killed”

“Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle
Or it will starve to death”

It does not matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion,
When the sun comes up in the morning,
You had better be running!

– Anonymous