The belly remains in a belligerent mood and makes one to keep fighting life’s battle for its sake. True, no purposeful pursuit for the society can be pursued by a hungry man.
Let him at least have the minimum of his needs then alone can he think of others. Self- forgetfulness is the best thoughtfulness of others but one can forget the self only when the self is able to sustain itself on its own. This is where the shoe pinches.
The minimum for the self, then only the maximum for others can be thought about. But what is the minimum — that is a big question. For some just two square meals a day and few clothes to cover the body and a roof over the head may be sufficient while there may be others to whom a multistoried building, a lavish fare served for dinner and drinks and a fleet of cars and crores in the coffers may still be less than what is aspired for and that what does not satisfy.
Therefore the minimum is a relative term for different people.
Care, anxiety and anguish eats like a canker into the very vitals of our body politic and there seems no relief from these.
The poet, Davies, has pointed out in the two lines __ ‘We have no time to stand and stare’. These lines remind us of what poet Wordsworth has said in his Sonnet the World is too much with us’ —
‘The world is too much with us getting and spending we lay waste our powers
Little do we see in nature, that’s ours?
We’ve given our hearts away a sordid boon.’
It is that grand spectacle of Nature — God’s benign gift to mankind — which has such a treasure, such a store that lies open before us, but we have no time to enjoy it. So busy are we in the ‘getting and spending’ in life that the vital fruits of nature remain unblocked and unused.
Wordsworth in one other poem of his has said —
‘One impulse from the vernal wood
May teach you more of man
Of moral evil and of good
Than all the sages can’.
Nature has its bounties available to us in all its grandeur and beauty but we should have the time and inclination to look at them, feel the touch of these within Us; let them kindle a spark of elation within us, and that can happen only when we can spare time to ‘stand and stare’. ‘My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky’ — said Wordsworth but the heart would only ‘leap up’ when you have time to ‘behold’ it. Otherwise the rainbow with all its variety of colours and beauty would come and go and you would remain closeted in your conference room striking multi-crore deals.
The ‘vernal wood’ has beauties and varieties in so many shapes and forms. The cuckoo whispers its message of sweetness and song; the nightingale makes Keats to sing ‘Letheward’ and there is a ‘drowsy numbness’ that overtakes him and falls into a dreamlike stupor. But this could only be when he could spare some time for it.
From the smallest seed sprouts out a plant and grows into a tree which during the ‘vernal’ season blooms with blossoms and droops down with the weight of fruits. Is it not a miracle of the Creator? Does it not impel us to delve deep into the philosophy of creation? What great philosophers teach about the mysteries of creation is there before us in the form of nature’s open book and can help us to learn for ourselves all these philosophical mysteries of life. What sages teach us is taught by nature in such a natural way — only we should have the mind to learn those lessons and a receptive attitude and temperament to respond and react. How much peace of mind and solace to the soul would be drawn from such beauties of nature!
R.L. Stevenson in his essay ‘An Apology for Idlers’ has condemned overwork and over busyness. Such an over busyness poisons the juice of life and by infection poisons the life of others too. If the sight of any beauty— whether physical or natural — does not attract the busy man, Stevenson says, ‘such a man had better be dead errand Russell, a famous writer and philosopher has also condemned the stupidity of overwork of modern life.
Money, by itself, has never been able to make one happy. Happiness demands an attitude of mind, a solace of the soul, a meditation on the mysteries of life gives one this chance — leisure is needed for this and relaxation is the result. This would be an eternal tonic which no other potion can provide. Let us give ourselves this ‘and enjoy life to the full.