Last week we started discussing the question – ‘who will cry if we cry?’ (https://rajshankar.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/vedantic-wednesday-who-will-cry-when-you-cry-part-1/) which in my opinion is a question that has a lot at stake, especially in a turbulence filled world. As India turns into one of the youngest nations in the world, we do not want to court economic development at the cost of a sick society.
While on one side we are touting the much spoken of ‘youth’ as our biggest asset, on the other side we are also seeing a lot of this group falling prey to ‘lifestyle sicknesses’ way early in their lives. On a recent visit to a local drug store I was startled to hear the vendor tell one of the customers that he had run out of anti-depressants. He was also saying that the demand was too high and most nearby stores had run out of stock too. They are all awaiting replenishment of stocks the next day.
What started off as vocational problems such as back pain, joint pain, obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, etc is now seeing more cases of emotional sicknesses such as depression, schizophrenia, etc.,. Where are we headed? Why is all this happening? With so much real time access to people via mobiles phones, tablets with 3G/4G access – why is it that people are feeling lonely? Is access to real-time communication a problem? Or is it the reason why most of us have neither the time nor the attention to empathize and help one another? A root-cause analysis on the issue is a must for the well being of our entire society.
A few decades ago joint families used to be a common sight in India. Hence there were always people available for support. The family requirements were always managed by a senior member and the overall peace and happiness of the family was protected. It provided the necessary emotional support system that young people required as they stepped out into the world. Wise counsel for advice, a shoulder to cry on and people to help you get out of situations were available at beck-and-call.
But with the onset of nuclear families and alarming number of single parent run households, it is certain that most young minds are leading shallow (socially) lives. Due to this their emotional states are also brittle. No wonder that one of the big trends observed by the healthcare industry is the rise in emotional sicknesses. It also seems that these diseases tend to increase proportionally with economic development! If this continues, we may actually be a rich, but sick nation which is young as well. Not a great combination to look forward to! It is then in the hands of every one of us to ‘think’ what and how we want to lead our lives. It is then in our own best interests to study how to live life. It is in our overall interests that we learn how to form social connections with human beings in the real world (beyond the virtual world).