Perspective

We were sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. We got talking. She had come from a different part of our state. Her brother’s wife was being operated on. They had been there for nearly two weeks. She appeared to belong to a lower-income group. She told me that they had spent a lot of money. They were praying that everything would be fine. She said, “Being in the hospital, looking at people with so many health problems, made her feel that their problem was not so bad.” I did not meet her later. I just hope her sister-in-law has recovered completely. Her words impressed me. So much in life depends on our perspective, how we face life. We can be positive or we can be negative.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns,

or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”  – Abraham Lincoln

The word perspective brings to mind events that have been taking place over the last few weeks. Donald Trump is the President of USA. Earlier it was all about his swearing-in ceremony, his tweets, his arrogance of wealth and power. We saw so many protests against him. That is one perspective, one side of the coin. There is another side: the darker one. There are people who believe that he will change America for the better. They have voted him to power. They look at him from a different angle. The other day with a simple sleight of hand he changed the lives of so many.  People from all over the world live in America. Many of them are citizens of that country. It is inconceivable as to how people who consider a land as their home can be banned from setting foot on it. Is this really a solution to the problems highlighted by Trump and his like? It is reported in the papers that the Brooklyn judge’s ruling has only blocked part of the president’s action. Those who have been detained in the international airports of America cannot be deported; but they cannot enter. Is pre-2nd World War and World War 2 history going to repeat itself? Do we never learn from our mistakes? People are protesting all over the country and elsewhere. But what is frightening is that there are people who  support him. What will happen to the voices of ordinary people?

Here too, there are people who think that Nathuram Godse a hero. They believe that he did the right thing in assassinating Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi supported Muslims too. This in their eyes was a crime so he had to be killed. Do we never learn from history? In these days of the internet it is said the world has become a smaller place. But unfortunately, smaller the world, the more divided it is becoming in the name of religion.

So much has been happening since the beginning of this year. We had a lot of trouble in the name of Jallikattu in our neighbouring state. It is a bull-taming contest. It has been banned by the Supreme Court of India. But people involved in the sport protested that it was an integral part of their tradition and that they had the right to practice it. There are cockfights and another sport similar to Jallikattu called Horihabba in our state. I wonder what those animals feel about such ‘human’ traditions. They are the ones who are being tortured and killed in the name of sport.  But who asks them? Violence for the love of violence defines human nature.

“Humans dominate

Animals who cannot speak

In the name of sport.”

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8 Replies to “Perspective”

  1. I feel your pain. When you write, “But what is frightening is that there are people who support him. What will happen to the voices of ordinary people?” it makes me think that it isn’t only Donald Trump who is so frightening. But rather, the millions who voted for him. What do we make of these neighbors? How can we live side by side with such knowing such stark differences?

  2. This is an an excellent haibun. Your passionate pleas moved me – when will we ever learn and when will we respect animals? Maybe now we must hold fast to the ideas that we can learn from history and that we can do better to each other and to the animals and the planet. There is always hope.

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