GB’s BLOG 8. WORLD RE- BOOT DAY IDEA

On this day, exactly a month ago, I had suggested this idea in GB’s Blog 5 and sent a link to this over email to many friends and some institutions who/ that, I thought, may perhaps carry the idea forward. WordPress statistics show that on this and the next day, most of the addressees had visited the site and perhaps read the Blog. I have no other social media tools to spread the idea.

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The response came for two three days thereafter, and dried up ever since. Many were very appreciative of the idea but just a few told me that they have forwarded it to their friends. Others, hopefully, have kept it tucked in the recess of their mind to be retrieved and taken up when the time is appropriate and ripe.

The rest politely thanked me for the mail. Obviously, they did not care for it. I did phone a friend just to know whether he found the proposal worth perusing; and his frank answer did not disappoint me at all. In this world, there is bound to be differences of opinion. Some are so ‘practical’ that they find fairy tales a waste of time even for kids. Some are super cynical. Some are doers and some are good at shooting down non functional paper lanterns sent up by dreamers to the sky.

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“Just because more birds are visiting your garden, does it mean we will halt progress?” they argue, forgetting that progress is a path, a stage wise change, not an objective. So, if the objective is to plunder the earth and use up all its natural resources, yes progress needs to be stopped; and if progress is to manipulate our genetic code so as to develop biological weapons, yes such progress has to be stopped. The Corona virus has taught some of the world’s thinkers that enough is enough. Let us rethink and reboot our lives and our vision of the future for our children.

As some practical dreamer, the term is an oxymoron but the person was not a moron, has said, “There is not harm in building a castle in the sky. Just ensure that its foundation is on solid ground”.

One of the things that sets humans apart in the animal kingdom is the capacity for abstract thought – the ability to imagine things that haven’t happened yet or impossible things that will never happen. This faculty to think in the abstract underpins all our major social institutions from politics to economics and religion.”

“…… science, invention and technology don’t always take the straightest path and sometimes our greatest innovations have come in unexpected ways, through visionaries who were more revolutionary than evolutionary.”

https://artsandculture.google.com/theme/ideas-that-changed-the-world/9QKSVS9AFu_OIA?hl=en

Closer home, remember those days when changing the fuel for transport to CNG was ridiculed by the Delhi government, the Automobile Associations and many intellectuals? We do not know the name of the person who floated the half baked idea but surely, with inputs from various quarters and insisted upon by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the idea is now firmly rooted and being implemented all over. There are many other such instances – use of information technology, moble phones, providing online services to name a few.

So, I am quite confident that the idea will, may be in a different form, spread faster than Covid 19. Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised to see an International News Channel aired the same thoughts on 22 April, after showing birds, deer, penguins and kangaroos mixing with humans in totally urban surroundings. But the real support for such nature friendly thinking came from my life’s guiding star, 93 year young Sir David Attenborough.

In an interview to CNN on Earth day, 22nd April, 2020 he said, “..I now realize how the world has become poisoned, depleted and wrecked……there are dangers on the horizon.The world is changing and that change is being forced upon us…the air is purer, fish is coming back to the canals in Venice…the question is, are we going to be strong enough to keep these changes and do what is needed to keep these improvements in the years to come? Actually people have discovered that things can work from home…would we be doing things that we don’t enjoy doing?…that’s the question”. Towards the end he says. “…..the young people have made it absolutely clear how vigourously and vehemently they feel about what is happening to the planet…as to what it is that they want the world to look like….”. Please make time to see the full interview at: https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2020/04/22/amanpour-david-attenborough-climate.cnn

There is, of course, scope to change the re-boot operation date and the period; work out the specifics, the sectors that will be exempted, ones that will be partially free, and so on. If the idea is good, which I think it is, it deserves serious movement in the minds of decision makers within India and across international borders. The young generation will hopefully be the catalyst for applying brakes wherever and whenever needed.

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I am aware that my thoughts will, most probably remain recorded in these digital pages, unread. My readers are almost non existant. Yet, I write hoping that after I am gone, these

“Footprints that perhaps another

Sailing over life’s solemn main

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother

Seeing shall take heart again”.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

I will end this blog recording a comment received on my Blog from one of the most respected, retired civil servant of our times, “Thank you, GB, for getting me to read your piece. It is timely and relevant, undoubtedly. One does hope that as and when the dust of this extraordinary situation is behind us, the world will not forget it all. There will be changes to our life and I also hope a body of persons will emerge that prevents the lessons from being written off. Humanity should survive in its wider sense and co-exist constructively with the real inheritor of Earth — Nature”.

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Please take care of Mother Nature, your family and yourself.

GB

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