This cartoon is by Chris Madden (from this site) and boy, isn't it appropriate!
The issue: the Mullapperiyar dam
These last two months have seen so many hotheaded debates with full media coverage. As I write this, innocent Tamilians and Malayalis are being tormented for being in the "wrong" state. People scared for their lives and livelihoods are vociferously clamoring against what they see as injustice from the part of the other state. FM channels are conducting slogan contests. The print media are advocating restraint and tolerance while blatantly flouting their own dicta by publishing anxiety-provoking articles in huge typeface.
For the past month I was affected by all this. Each day was spoiled to me as I absorbed all the negative energy that came at me through the media, social networking sites and the people around me. At night I woke up in a sweat several times having dreamed about more horrific scenes than those the director of Dam 999 could have thought up. My stomach was constantly churned with worry about my countless relatives and friends who are in the path of the predicted disaster. Mindless rage at the mere cussedness of people made me splutter and seethe. Most of the time I really felt very helpless.
Now I have come to a realization. This is all very easy. To be riled up like this. To hate like this. To be worried like this: it doesn't take an iota of effort. If this is how I react to an issue like this, what is the use of all the spiritual and self-help knowledge that I have been gathering over the years?
So I've decided to take the high road. I have been mulling this over for the past week and I have been taking the advice of my spiritual guides. This is what I have decided:
1. I shall not be swayed by the negative thinkers all around me. I shall believe in and visualize a safe and amicable resolution to the whole issue.
2. I shall think of all the concerned parties including the politicians with only love and compassion.
3. In the cause of being proactive, I shall put the brake on impulse spending and save some money towards a Mullapperiyar relief fund of my own.
4. I shall take seriously to organic vegetable farming as another proactive initiative. Besides, gardening is one of the best outlets for anger and frustration!
5. This essay will be the last time I shall voice a public opinion in this matter. For the rest, I shall hold on fast to the belief that everything that happens is for the best and that we can survive any cataclysm with dignity.
I love, I believe and I am prepared for the worst.