by Bharat Mansata
Big problems numb the mind and dwarf the imagination. But by refusing to look at them, they don’t go away. In our times, resistance and creativity must walk hand in hand. No tranquil corner is insulated from the rapid, unsettling pace of events invading our lives. All of us need something to look forward to, some inspiration to sustain our energy, and innovative ideas to keep our hope alive. Our creativity faces an awesome challenge, as never before, to transcend our alarming predicament, and aspire to nurture a more enlightened world to pass on to our children, and their children.
The advance of human civilization, and of each individual, is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. What we believe possible, tends to become possible. Evolution is this incredible movement of surmounting the dysfunctional and shaping the new to higher and wider possibilities.
Gandhi drew inspiration from the great American, Henry David Thoreau, and his essay on ‘Civil Disobedience’, to launch in India Satyagraha, a broad based people’s resistance in defense of truth and justice. Many years earlier, in the U.S., Thoreau was arrested when he refused to pay his ‘war taxes’ in protest against U.S. invasion and annexation of huge chunks of Mexican territory. Ralph Waldo Emerson, the well-known American poet, visited Thoreau in prison, and jokingly asked: “What are you doing in there?” Thoreau replied, “What are you doing out there?”
We should look forward to (and work towards) a new, deeply fraternal theme in our human adventure. May this culminate in a fresh chapter of civilization, one that would provide a befitting, new conclusion [so we might be able to rightly call it] 'Free from War', or ‘How the U.S. and the World Kicked Militarism’.
Yes, our problems are overbearingly huge, and we do need a miracle. But all of creation is infused with the miraculous. Each flower that blossoms, and every child born into this world, is a reassurance of some unseen - but so well organized - divine power, that it has not abdicated our earth, or lost hope in humanity.
It’s high time now for many, many more of us to put on our thinking caps, thirst humbly for that creative inspiration, and plunge deeper into our new, more authentic and satisfying act.