They went off, one by one, creating an almost continuous wall of sound, a noise on par with nails being drawn across a chalkboard to my unwilling ears. I burrowed deeper into my blankets, in a vain attempt to escape my doom. My exploratory toe had already told me it was cold outside the pile of blankets and pillows, I needed no other reason to flee back to Dreamland. A brief moment of blissful silence fell over me like a balm, and then the second set began going off. It was useless to deny their existence, and I grabbed my phone to silence them. 8:35 AM. Panic yanked me awake. I had less than half an hour to get to class! At this point, it’s a usual thing for me to be 5 minutes late. *sad face
That “Environment and Poverty: Perspectives, Propositions, Policies” article almost killed my brain…I mean, they didn’t need to use such complicated words, did they? Anyway, the main message of that article was poverty is a direct result, or the cause, of the state of our global environment. It also talked about how collaborating with the poor could either go very well or end very badly. (I haven’t the slightest idea why they didn’t just say that instead of drawing it out for 6 pages.)
During our Thursday class, I was able to contribute something very interesting to the group discussion. Our instructor pulled up an article on a new movement in India to implement cotton instead of the current crops in a wide-spread effort to stop the outbreak of suicides among Indian farmers. I was confused for a space, I sat there simply staring at the vaguely blurred lines of text on the screen. How was implementing the growth of cotton going to stop the suicides of these farmers? At a loss, I turned to my instructor and asked her outright. She proceeded to point out the different links in the proposed solution, and suddenly I saw the chain. Eagerly, and perhaps, a little hurriedly, I shared my findings with the group. First off, these people’s farms aren’t producing enough to support their families financially, so they fall into a state of hopelessness and end their lives. What they need is a way to support their families. Enter our dear friend cotton, which would thrive in this desert-like environment of India, AND it sells at a much higher price than the crops the farmers are currently growing. This would stabilize these people financially, and as a result, mentally too!
Ok, now we can talk about the fun part of this blog: Meditation! This week we went from 5 minutes of meditation to 10. I implemented this throughout the rest of the week and during the weekend, and had some interesting results. I felt calmer, still is a better word for it actually. Almost as if everything that had just been chilling in the back of my head floated off somewhere I didn’t need to bother with them. I wasn’t super strict with the snap-back to reality, I simply let myself drift back to the present when I felt like it. I’ve noticed some changes in my everyday life as well; I’ve started not stressing over every little problem, taking things one step at a time instead.
So, what would my takeaways from this week be you ask? Well…the state of the people is closely tied to the state of the environment. If the environment is thriving, so are the people, and vice-versa. Poor people in Urban areas have more convenient access to jobs, education, etc., while Rural poor are not as connected to the civilization network. Also, sometimes it’s difficult to find the missing link in the chain, but seeing from another person’s viewpoint is very helpful.