Uncommon Sense

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We of the older generation are not handing over Planet Earth in very good shape to our children. Worse, we have handed over dreams of success and achievement that are not going to help them with real issues in their lives – real issues of dealing with cleaning up and cooling down our earth.

And the kind of common sense we seem to be handing over to our youngsters (no doubt, they would have their own too) is made up of statements like - we have to be realistic and take care of our own future first; It’s not in our hands, so why fret over it? The Governments and Corporations should handle the pollution they created… how much can we do? And we have warm statements like – Be positive! Things will definitely improve!

The commonly accepted common sense is not taking us far. It seems to be another term for “Denial”. Today, one of the joys of putting together a magazine like Bhoomi is that we are constantly coming across people with uncommon sense. Several people who have dedicated their lives to work for the well-being of the planet Earth, with all its ecosystems and inhabitants, have gifted their writings to this issue of Eternal Bhoomi. The Dalai Lama, Shri Satish Kumar, Michael Pollan, Bharat Mansata and others, talk of things ranging from World Peace to Food and Zero-Waste, from cycling to organic farming and much more. Also included in this issue are an introduction to E.F. Schumacher’s ‘Small is Beautiful’ – an unfortunately much-neglected book in India, which deserves to be more widely read; and articles on Gandhi and some of his writing on economics, food and leading a good life.

While these articles focus on a wide range of themes, they seem to have two things in common: all of them have evolved from holistic thinking and a holistic orientation in life, and reject the narrow reductionist science and linear thinking that have dominated the last two centuries.

The second similarity in these articles is that all of them talk of starting with oneself. Not from naïveté that individual action alone is enough and will solve all problems; but from a deep commitment to value Nature, to be ethical and to actually enjoy life more deeply!

While we start with ourselves, we certainly can go beyond and work with our families, community, organisations and our governments. As Paul Hawken writes in his book, “Blessed Unrest”, there are millions of individuals and groups today working for ecological wisdom, like a huge network of an immune system for Gaia, our living Earth. We can join in.