My mother tells me how she used to go to school on a bicycle, talking, laughing and singing on the way. It strikes me how different my life is from hers when she was of my age. I went to school in a bus, in which we had to sit quietly in our seats, or in a car, without friends and without the morning chatter.
It's hard to imagine a life without cell phones, laptops, internet and so many other gadgets that are part of our daily routine. I wonder if I didn't have unlimited access to the Net, would I be spending time in the library going through books and journals to satiate my curiosity?
Google makes everything so simple and easily accessible. Books, movies, tourist resorts, social networking sites, marriage bureaus everything is out there, leaving very little to the imagination or contemplation. There are a lot of advantages of the technological advancements, but sometimes we tend to lose ourselves in so many luxuries and conveniences even without being conscious of it.
Life has become very mechanised and materialistic. I know people who are familiar with every nook and corner of every local mall, but who haven't visited historical places, museums or parks even once in their city. This shows how we're moving away from our roots, culture and nature. We are a part of nature and can't survive being away from it for long.
The words "fast" and "smart" have woven their threads into our lives and we're hanging onto them. We have fast food, fast fashion, smart phones, smart TVs the list is endless! What happened to fast friends and smart people? There are people who will chat for hours online on social networking sites, but have nothing to say or share when they meet in person.
In the move to become "practical" and "realistic", people have forgotten how to love. Relationships are falling apart, people are changing partners faster than they change cars or cell phones. The 'move-on' generation feels sadder about losing their i-pods than they feel about losing a friend. They can 'laugh-out-loud' incessantly on Facebook, but have forgotten how to laugh in real life.
When I was 10, I used to go to a park to play. I used to see kids of all age groups playing, but now when I go for a jog, I see the number going down, kids are locked up inside their houses, busy texting or playing on PlayStations.
Childhood is for playing games, pursuing sports, making friends; it's the time to read Enid Blyton books, not Playboy! It's the time to develop interests, to learn, to dream and want to be something when you grow up. You say that to a child today and he'll scowl at you and walk off.
Luxuries are robbing children of their childhood. A person's childhood plays a crucial part in shaping his personality. That's why most people need a psychiatrist or counsellor; that's why even psychiatrists have their own psychiatrists today.
This kind of fast-moving life is an insult to the beautiful gift that life is. Stop, think and contemplate. Time is going to run out and it might be too late to go back to school and do all those things you always wanted to. You don't want to grow old with regrets.
Get control of your life, let luxuries be a part of you and not the other way around. Let's redefine "enjoyment", let it not just be going to malls or discotheques. Let it just be YOU, spending time with yourself sometimes.
Thw writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org