Today, we are slaves of speed and success syndrome. No sermons are strong enough to dissuade us to spare some moments from our busy schedule, to sit or stand and stare at the supreme beauty that nature unfolds away from the maddening crowds.
Lost in the comforts of represent-day life, the mind has missed its moorings in the maze of woes and worries, cares and calculations, as a result of which we are caught in the cross-fire of mental chaos and physical crisis. The very meaning of our life has acquired new connotations and our concerns and considerations, sans compassion, are soaked in tensions and traumas because we are moving away from such forces of nature as can provide genuine and innocent rest and rapture.
Racing against time, we are hell-bent to break new records and meet the deadlines, even if we have to become robots or mechanized beings.
We are past those ages when “stuck in the rut, time gasps like an asthmatic”. Now, acutely aware of the smallest constituent particles of time—of time as measured by clockwork and revolutions of machines— industrialized man has to a great extent lost the old awareness of time in its larger divisions.
The time of which we have knowledge is artificial, machine-made time. We have become pawns in the hands of time, the most merciless task-master that leaves us very few options to have our way. Because of the sinister stresses that time exerts on our senses and sensibilities, it has come to occupy a pride of place in our concepts and actions.
Our choice to wait and watch the splendid spectrum of flora and fauna has been limited to viewing a few scenes on the small screen without the thrill, of live contact with the bountiful beauties of nature. Always on the move to scale new heights and achieve bigger targets, we keep running against time. Many a time our blind passions and pursuits end either in a stroke here or a nervous break-down there. In fact, we are out of tune and touch with the salutary sensations that a less fast life can ensure.
We have given away our hearts and sweet sentiments in exchange for glittering graffiti and flashy faces that money can arrange or buy for us. Submitting meekly to the dictates of time, we have reduced ourselves to the status of nonentities being jostled and jettisoned by circumstances or quirks of unforeseen developments.
Ever since our ideas and ingenuity began to explore the mysteries of nature and their universal influence on our lives, we have been in a state of unrest and the human condition quite unnatural. We have moved forward with such a momentum that for us resting has become rusting and leisure being languid.
If the world around has become exceptionally glamorous, we have also begun to suffer morbid feelings like skepticism and fear. We may fail to see our own estrangement and alienation in the glitzy glitter of the Milky Way of our flashy and fashionable shopping centre’s, as also the ghostly faces of the intellectuals, clerks, bourgeoisie or workers.
Time, as the tormentor, keeps us on our toes and tenterhooks and the more we claim to have conquered time and space, the more we are harried. The inevitable phenomenon of cut-throat competition forces us to move away from such gifts of nature and human character as beauty, truth, innocence, concern and compassion. We seldom realize what harm we have done to our own psyche.
Spurred to act in self-interest, we only care about how to climb the career graph or boost our business interests in the shortest possible time The way we shape and direct our ambitions, takes a heavy toll of our sentiments, sensibilities and sensitivities. The movement of stars on the sky does not move us; the change of seasons does not excite us; the spell of poetry and painting passes over our heads and finally the bliss of being one with the ultimate through love, service or sacrifice escape us. All this happens because we are too involved in catching up with time.
If our hearts fail to “dance with the daffodils”, the eyes refuse to read “the books in the running brooks” and the ears become deaf to “the sermons in stones”, there is something that has gone wrong in our lives. All fretting and fuming signifies nothing substantial in the end in terms of emotional ecstasy and mental maturity. More in angst and anguish than in anger, the poet Davies regrets what we have made of life and ourselves:
A poor life this if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.