Articles under this category give insight on how with a little bit of awareness we can make our surroundings a better place to live. One doesn’t have to go a mile or take up a course or shell out money to live mindfully. Mindful living is about how much humanity is within us and how we happily co exsit with other humans and the entire eco system.

I have written this article in my average middle class apartment. Most neighbours here are slightly above middle class.

It was a new building 5 years ago and there were a bunch of volunteers who took up on themselves to manage the building’s responsibilities, which is called as “building association”. They had a tough time regulating things because of non cooperation from the neighnours. Least expected out of the owners of the building is to pay up maintenance amount promptly, which is till date not happening. Frequent messages have to be posted in the group for the defaulters to pay on time.

Well, this is a fraction of the problem of my building I have written. My building woes are many and one such is the tragic tale about the mindlessness of the people around me. Many reading this article may be able to relate directly to my experience as this is nothing new to our society.

This is a story around 2 years back in my building. The garbage segregation had been explained, posted multiple times in the group chats to the so called educated people. Even posters were stuck near the lift illustrating how to segregate the garbage. People in my building have repeatedly manhandled the garbage by mixing dry with wet, throwing syringes in the wet waste and dumping sanitary pads (how gross) in the wet waste bin.  The cleaning people had gotten pocked by the syringes in the garbage multiple times.

Despite the warnings that the garbage van will not come, posting messages in the group chat, pleading to show mercy towards the cleaners; swearing to display a bit of courtesy towards them was put on deaf years and frigid souls. People didn’t change. All that changed was the routine. So now, all of us have to go down, everyday till the gate. The van comes to pick wet waste one day and dry waste the next day. End of the tale.

Most of the time people think if he is not doing so why should “I”. Eg.: littering the roads, irresponsibly using water, leaving taps dripping in the public places, spitting on the roads, using any vacant place along the roadside to urinate, mindlessly using public toilets, road rages, and so so many of such behaviours which points at our upbringing, mindset and our culture.

When I used to live in a neighbourhood which had independent houses, there I have seen people while cleaning their patios, they would push the garbage towards other neighbours house. I mean, how unscrupulous can one get.

Man, Are you really civilized? Let me tell you, they have big salaries, well settled with multiple properties strewn across the state or have multiple income streams. They have degrees and certificates conferred on them. They buy from the branded stores, have credit cards, own at least a Honda or a SUV. Its not a big thing to own a house or a four wheeler with finance options available today. The point here is not how rich you are. The point is how people have used their mind to garner enough education to live a life of comfort; only to put all the burden on the environment to provide for their comfort and only a tiny part going back to the nature. How? Through a fraction of the human’s who are mindful about their surroundings.

I have high regard for those who live mindfully.
Lets think and act before its too late!

The lines below have been forwarded to me in my group chats, which I liked so much that I got inspired to write this article. The author is unknown. Whoever it is, I thank you!

Each one of us must realise that we are taking far more from the universe than what we will ever be able to give back. The constant exercise of differentiating between needs and desire should be an eye opener.

Below is a list of reckless behaviour, we exhibit towards our natural resources.

  1. Do we really need the water that is being poured in our glass at the restaurant?
    Will that water not go down the drain (literally) when we leave our table? Are we being fair to those who are walking miles for drinking water and yet what they get is hardly safe enough to consume?
  2. Do we really need to wrap that gift by buying ‘free’ gift wrapping paper?
    Because that shiny/non-biodegradable paper is going to be trashed (literally) once the gift is opened?
  3. Do we really need to buy gifts when we are not sure if they will be used and needed by the receiver because we want to look good?
    Isn’t it wiser to buy fruits or dry-fruits with the same amount of money and with almost certainty that they will be consumed?
  4. What do we do when we are at a buffet?
    Do we listen to our stomach or do we fill our plate with everything available (either because its free or because we have paid for it all)? Do we educate our children to take only how much she/he can consume?
  5. What do we do when the guy at Subway (the foodchain) offers us two forks and four tissue papers when we are going to be eating alone?
    Do we return one fork and three tissue papers (or all four, if we carry our own hanky) to him or we just walk away from the counter and throw away unused forks and tissue papers?
  6. Just because something is ‘bio-degradable’, should we use it?
    Can we even avoid a paper bag or a cloth bag because a tree was chopped to make that paper and earth was subjected to atrocities to create the piece of cloth?  Can we ‘reduce’ our consumption even before thinking of ‘reuse’ or ‘recycle’?
  7. What happens when we go to eat Thaali (In some Indian restaurants, a plate laden with predefined food items given per customer at a fixed amount)?
    There are so many things we know we might not eat (for eg katori of Dahi or that Bengali mithai) .. Do we return it immediately so that it can be offered to someone else or do we let it sit on our plate and leave it untouched only to be thrown away later?
  8. Do we really need that cotton Kurti/Shirt because it looks cool?
    The fashion industry is far more evil than what meets our eye. From what it does to the environment while growing cotton and jute to how it treats humans to how it treats textiles and garment waste is mind-bogglingly dirty.
  9. Do we really need that extra pair of shoes because we don’t have ‘that’ particular shade of orange?
    Do we take into account that once processed, footwear is almost impossible to degenerate on face of the earth (including leather)?
  10. Do we need to cook elaborate meals when guests visit us?
    Can we cook just enough so that everybody including ourselves can have a great time and no food is wasted (or we don’t continue to eat same food for next three days well after it has lost all its nutrients)
  11. Do we need to buy things just because they are in sale and they are cheaper?
    Do we need to buy them because there is ‘return policy’? I was reading a case study on how big retail conglomerates dump returned goods in the ocean and its unbelievable how our oceans are constantly being subjected to waste created because of our greed.
  12. Are we respectful when visiting a tourist destination?
    Do we take rules such as ‘keep silence’ ‘do not litter’ seriously enough? Do we allow the place to consume us or our overbearing presence consumes the place?


What else can we ask?

How else can we live mindfully?

(If you have liked what you read, please comment, inculcate and share with others:))


  • Veda Revankar
    Posted at 02:03h, 26 July Reply

    Thought provoking, Great article!

    • admin
      Posted at 05:27h, 26 July Reply

      Thank you Veda.

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