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We enter into creation, and then for us it becomes living. Things are dead in themselves; only we give them life, and then, like fools, we turn around and are afraid of them.

Vivekananda

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Austerity had always been an important part of the Indian culture. Things changed after the flood gates were opened with the advent of globalization. Previously people used to stay happy with what they had, needs were fulfilled, wants were limited and ignorance was bliss.

Globalization led to multiculturalism, from clothes to food habits, everything went through a tremendous change in last couple of decades. The deluge of information , communication, the cacophony of ideas, cultures, people changed the world as we know.

Today’s generation does not believe in austerity, they have unlimited wants, they want to buy global brands, eat in McDonalds, work in MNCs and so on. There is a race every where, everyone wants to earn more and more so that they find a recognition among highly competitive people around, and more importantly, find a place in the globalized middle class.

There is nothing wrong in being competitive or being open to different cultures, but what is lacking in today’s generation is the peace in life. One’s work is quantified and judged with the salary package, not the inherent happiness one finds in the work itself. In a sense, happiness has itself become a commodity, to be bought and sold with money.

But this is not the real happiness, rather greed disguised as such. Money can never buy one peace and happiness. When someone says that life is all about struggles and frustration over unfulfilled dreams, the only thing which comes to the mind is the illusory world we humans prefer to live in. Why do we forget that life comes with an expiry date, and by each passing day we are inching towards that ultimate end. How can we waste away our precious days for those dreams or desires which this material world has created for us?

Where we stand today is in search for the elusive middle. To have enough for one’s need, but not enough for one’s greed. What we need is to reject the grandiose, the obscenity of wealth, and rather embrace without indulgence, celebrate life itself, rather than feed of the envy of others.

But to do this, we have to evolve from our primal urges. Man is but a social animal. This instinct clashes with the central idea of the modern neo liberal society, the assumption of individuality. And in this transition we have lost the middle ground. To care for other, without comparing. To be better, stronger, faster, without loosing ourselves.

This can only be done when we seek joy in the process, rather than the goal. Money, fame, and all things material is but the sign of success, rather than the ultimate goal.

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