Once upon a time, a 10 year old accompanied his grandfather from a rural village to a big city.

The child was surprised how city life was different from village life. Things were so different and there was so much hustle bustle everywhere. He had never seen so much crowd, so much sound, traffic, pollution and chaos. Moreover, he had never seen so many people, all dressed in beautiful clothes but always in hurry.

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The child questions his grandfather

– From where did all these people came here grandpa? And where are they all going?

Grandfather

– Nobody knows where all these people came from. In our village, everyone knows who the other person is and where he might be going. But in cities, nobody knows who the other person is and what they are upto.

Child

But why are these people so busy everyday? Where are they going?

Grandfather

All these people are afraid and they are going to meet their fear, greed, ambition and needs that they have created beyond what is required.

Child

You mean, all the people I see are afraid?

Grandfather

Yes they are. And the funny part is that they don’t know that they are doing it out of fear.

Child

Are you afraid Grandpa?

Grandfather

Yes I am afraid too. I am afraid that if it doesn’t rain, I will lose all the crops. I am afraid that if I can’t grow crops, I won’t be able to feed my family and my cattles.

Child

Then what is the difference between you and them?

Grandfather

My fear is real fear and there is nothing that I can do about it. I can grow the crops but if it doesn’t rain, there is little I can do. My fear is “Natural”. However, these people have imaginary fears and they are driven not by how nature acts but by their imagination about something and what can happen if they don’t do whatever they are doing. There is a lot that they can do about it because they are not like me, dependent on nature for survival. They are dependent on their knowledge, imagination and intelligence.

Child

Which means, they are smarter than us. They are not depending on Rain for food but depending on themselves.

Grandfather

Sure they are. They are a lot smarter than us. But not necessarily happier.

Child

You just said they are afraid but they don’t know that they are afraid and doing things out of fear. What does this mean?

Grandfather

Fear is of two types. The first type is the fear for survival. You are afraid that you will not have food to eat tomorrow. This is the fear that I have, fear of survival.

The second type of fear is the fear of status quo. This fear is dangerous than the other one since this fear has no end. My fear has an end. The moment it rains, my fear is gone. But the fear of status quo is an never ending one and hence the people who have the fear of status quo are always afraid and hence they are always chasing something.

Child

So when does this end?

Grandfather

It never ends. Fear of status quo never ceases, it just changes its form and keeps growing as the subject walks the path.

Child

How do I know who is trapped in the fear of Status quo?

Grandfather

The more a person has, the more fears he will have. Fear of loss, fear of robbery, fear of competition. He keeps wondering whether everything will be finished one day and therefore is at a mad chase to protect, grow and preserve his assets. He is never at peace with himself.

Child

What is the point of education and employment then when it goes against someone’s peace?

Grandfather

This chase has nothing to do with education and employment. This chase is the chase of ambition, the desire to fulfill, the thought that I do not have enough and that I have to do something to have “enough”. Alas, it will never be “enough”.

Child

Will I become like them, someday?

Grandfather

When you be educated and intelligent, you will learn how to progress and move fast. You will not be like me, sitting in my farm all day ploughing fields for a handful of crops. You will know how to use your intelligence for material gains and since there is no end to material gains, you will always be chasing something or the other.

I am not educated or intelligent. Nobody will employ me, hence, I have nowhere to go. I have nothing to chase and I have nothing to lose. And since I have nothing to chase, I have no other option than to sit and be at peace with myself. But that is not the case with these people. They have an option and hence they are always going somewhere, not necessarily knowing where they are going.

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