It’s said that on the darkest of nights, when for long stretches, as they walked; Lakshman could not see Ram, and grew weary. Then as his hope ebbed, to its depths, Sita would step aside on the path, to let Lakshman glimpse, his God, Ram. His faith would be renewed, at the light, of his vision, and he would walk on unafraid, even in the dark. Faith in this divine light, is woven, into our Diwali Diya’s, to welcome our true internal Ram, back home. Welcome this Diwali light into our hearts, as we have seen too much darkness and suffering, this year
We have just gone through a tumultuous American Election, in tough Covid times. I am not political and can only speak as a senior citizen, fast approaching retirement age. Just like other Baby Boomers, I am just one of many millions, giving up perfectly good paying jobs. We are growing old and planning to finally retire. Each year more of us are hanging up our helmets, or our boots; and dreaming of drinking, those tall drinks, with small umbrellas. We dream of the shadows of the dancing couples, on the warm ocean’s sands, as the music plays on. Such dreams are of course currently on hold, as the pandemic sweeps across all the continents of our Earth.
The new administration is coming up with a scientific task force, to focus on containing the virus, in the US. Decisive action should result in some mitigation; of its spread, as winter approaches, and we stay indoors. We hope that with a vaccine and the strict measures we will be able to survive this winter. It would be criminal for us, to allow our American Flag; to continue to fly at half-mast when we are capable, of tackling this disease. We must act sensibly and follow the ground rules or die. It is as simple as that.
When you become a hermit in your own interest, you will many hours to introspect. This is the best part of this Pandemic as I am amongst the lucky few. I have withdrawn from social contacts, but not from our earth. I take long walks and enjoy sights of my surroundings, which I would have missed otherwise. I have worried about my nest egg that I have managed to save over my lifetime. I do not like high volatility and wild swings in the markets. I am not in this market to make money anymore but just want to conserve my capital and make a healthy return to live. I love my walks and surroundings but this worry about financial markets continues to nibble, at my nest egg.
My faith in America is that we will rebuild our trust. We will invest in our infrastructure and the base of America again. Education will be highly valued once again and not just be highly priced anymore. Let the elite have their Ivy’s, but the multitude will have free Community College. Our High Schools will be great again and our Colleges will become, the envy of the world. There is a change coming in the air, as it will be equal opportunity for all. No longer will race, color, gender, orientation stand in the way of where you study, live, work or love. Opportunity and justice will be there for all and we the people will once again take up the task of building our nation. There is no Red or Blue State we are after all just The United States.
Everyone who wants to go to College, will be given an opportunity, to peruse their dreams for 2 years of Community College after finishing High School. This will be a huge inflection point in our history as education has always been a unifier and an enabler for our people. In the past few centuries America has continue to embrace immigrants and mold them into the American Spirit. People do not invade America to steal its valuables, they come to steal its spirit. We are stronger as a united human race, than when we are divided along narrow slices of race, gender, religion etc. Our Faith is still strong in humanity and we encourage increasing empathy. We are good human beings and love our neighbors, and want to work together, for all ours benefit. Exponential growth is only possible, when millions strive, for a greater purpose, of becoming better humans.
My nest egg has suddenly become safer with the new sunrise. I feel as if things have stepped off the hamster wheel. Look at this tree with its golden leaves, providing a canopy for my nest, and the blues skies above, on this small tree. This is the compact, we have made to ourselves in this Great Society. We will provide for our Seniors, and our elderly, through Social Security and Medicare. These are solemn promises and need not be casually broken. It is hard to provide for our society but not impossible, there are better ways, to growth and prosperity, than cutting back on programs, for our most needy. The markets will be just fine, and some of the largest corporations will still call America home. The economy will continue to grow, and I strongly believe that the best years of America are still ahead of us. I am delighted to see our bright colors emerge again brightly, in the Fall 2020 elections.
Fall of Covid season has arrived, as the flowers change; as we await the winter, and our fate in isolation. We live in uncertain times, and the pandemic is not showing any signs, of abating soon. Humans race for the vaccine, or preventable measures; to stop the spread, of this miniscule virus. Our Earth will go on with its seasons, and its flora and fauna will adapt, and the laws of nature will remain in force. Ignorance is not bliss, we have to awaken our inner beings, to the joy of this existence. Even in our isolated state we can reach inwards and try and find the peace and calm of our being. Each of us has our own destiny and hope and faith. Let us not cheapen our outlook but still strive to be the best.
Learn a new skill, do a few good deeds, learn to live with yourself and those around you. Life does not get any better than this, so enjoy whatever you have. This way when life gets back to a new normal, we will have learnt what we truly desire; and what we are truly capable, of achieving ourselves. With this hope we can then improve the lot of others around us and make an emphatic effort to better humanity. Learn so we can teach, Study so we can understand falsehood or Maya, Work so we can implement the change we need. We are capable of so much more when we unite our efforts, so prepare in this time, learn from nature. The season will change, and the new shoots will come out, we just have to be ready to ride the next wave, walk under the Cedars or Firs, swim in the lakes, hike in the mountain trails. Teach our children well, as they must learn to protect nature, just as it protects us.
Life is for living, and good action arises from good thoughts. Keep good company and do noble deeds with others. The more you give away, the more will be returned to you, as nature is a cornucopia and it gives and gives. We must be ready to open ourselves to receive our universal gifts, and not limit ourselves by sex, race, religion, or class. Free ourselves in this isolation, so we are only elemental and human, and then do our best. Our internal attitude change will change our life, and Our world, so we must work hard on our introspection and learning!
The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, is a report released in May 2019 by the UN, and it is dire news for all fellow living beings, on our Mother Earth. The continued pillage of natural flora and fauna, to meet the agricultural needs, to feed 7 billion humans is devastating our planet. For one species alone, to virtually annihilate all others is the path we are on if we don take action. An estimated 82 percent of wild mammal biomass, has been lost, since their last warning, just a few decades ago. This loss in our fellow mammals, with the closest gene relationships, is a clear indication, of the heartless and willful destruction; of whales, tigers; and other mammals, large and small. It is not that we have even spared ancient species like amphibians, where almost 40 percent have similarly declined; in living environments available, and their numbers.
When I went to remote Maldives, I was devastated to see the white and dead reefs, where previously there had been extensive colored corrals, and schools of fish. Almost a third of reef-building corals, have been lost around our world. With global warming, it’s likely to prove deadlier, for this fragile ecosystem. As the oceans come under pressure, more than a third of the exiting marine mammals, have disappeared. The sight of Polar Bears roaming in areas, where they were never seen before, in search of food, is heart rendering. Bee populations have been decimated, and 10 percent of all insect populations, are threatened with extinction, in the near future.
The Report called on countries, to begin focusing on restoring natural habitats, and providing corridors needed for creatures to move about. All illegal logging must be stopped, and instead large areas need to be returned, to nature, with help from our best organizations. Humans have to learn the science of growing more food, on less land. Vertical cities, will need vertical farms, to feed them. The overfishing of our natural reservoirs has to stop. Fresh water bodies should be restored, to avoid severe water shortages in the future. Water harvesting and drip agriculture, will be needed on a massive scale. We cannot allow the continued dumping of heavy metals, and waste water into our natural bodies. Lastly nations need to take more action, to protect their marine areas. Offshore drilling reductions, waste and plastic removal and reduction of pollution strategies must be implemented on a massive scale. Marine protection habitats are all required urgently to ensure large swaths of Ocean are cleaned, of man-made pollution, and returned back to its rightful inhabitants.
The final recommendation is that we are all in this together, or else we will each die, separately. Economic drivers for polluting the earth and making it unfit for other creatures to survive, is no longer a viable option. Nations need to change their taxation systems, and economic penalties, to stop the continued pollution of our land, oceans and atmosphere. The money gained from these should be funds spent towards, doing what is right for all of us. The more environmentally beneficial programs we embark on, the better we will be. With this second warning in as many decades, the UN has put us on notice; that we and many of the creatures around us, are on a very destructive path. It is urgent to take action, and amend our way; before we lose most of what is so beautiful, on our planet: – the biodiversity of life that nature has created, over billions of years!