Like many, I joined Facebook and last year I also succumbed to Farmville (FV).
I played FV with much enthusiasm and tried luring neighbours [mostly my children’s friends :)]. But FV also made me realize what consumerism really is. As you know, consumerism is the belief that the buying and selling of large quantities of consumer goods is beneficial to an economy or a sign of economic strength. In FV, you buy things, even if you don’t want them, just so as to earn points and re-sell these same goods at a much lesser cost, to buy even more. You get into this frenzy of buying and selling, just to see those points grow bigger and to cross into the next level. I am sure the pleasure one gets while patting the animals or feeding them in the virtual world is nothing compared the same in real life. Yes, I have had the pleasure of doing it during my growing up years. Seeing a real garden blossom under your care can never compensate for that at FV. Anyway happily for me, my vacation forced me out of FV and I dare not peek into it again.
And like in FV, so also in real life, greed can never be satisfied. One can spend the whole life yearning for material things and get no lasting satisfaction after acquiring them. And many of us may have realized over the years that doing manual labour is indeed liberating, although we try our best to minimize the same. I believe, all that we learn in this fast moving world of consumerism over the years, takes us far from the real world to a world filled with wants and more wants.
Image Courtesy: Point of Return
This year, I wanted some encouraging news desperately and that is when I remembered Good News and Point of Return, of which I had mentioned at the end of Year 2009. At Good News, I got to read of Project Why once again and understand the woman behind it a little more.
I was following the venture at Point of Return for a while, until I got too busy. Today, after visiting them and reading their progress I felt very happy and refreshed. The article “What moves Point of Return” is very encouraging.
Sunil is a young well-wisher of pointReturn, who works in the USA and has been following this project from its inception. He often mentions our work in his blog. He has been intrigued somewhat. In September, 2010 he posted some questions for us to answer in order to understand what it was all about. Questions were tailored and addressed to each of us. Recently we answered them.
The following is Sunil's reflection:
I said to myself: “Bah, who’s going to give him his life and join him to work in the wilderness”. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Karpagam and Sriram did exactly that. What surprised me was that both are well educated and with good careers; how did they decide to leave their comfort zone and step out to work under the harsh sun in the interest of common good.
If I have managed to raise curiosity and not confusion, please do hop into their site and read the rest.
Let me wish everyone a Very Happy and Prosperous Year 2011.
Let me also continue to utter the words "All is well", despite the setbacks, disappointments and heart breaks that last year may have given.
Edited to add the following comment that I found at Point of Return.. I realize, it is not only Indians who are being inspired:
September 23rd, 2010 at 6:02 pm
I draw inspiration continually from all that you do, every one of you, at pointReturn. I am s designer with an avid interest in green building and have been following DV’s project since the first windmill. Now, a project you all create. Just the other evening, in a round table discussion on the growth of gardens in my home town, I presented many photos and descriptions of your project, to the Board of Supervisors. Three years of development and hard work I showed. I had everyone’s attention for more than an hour in describing the true genius of your project at pR. Most of the questions I couldn’t answer, but I directed so many interested people to your website for further study.
So I say to the person above, who asks: “Does it help society?” Yes, it has helped this society of hard working green builders in Marin County California, across the world but with the same concerns. A new era is emerging and young people care so much, that progress will happen no matter the struggles in front.
To of all of you folks at pointReturn, by being the beacon that you are; we have modeled our garden project after yours!
What a truly small world we are, when it comes to common minds and passionate projects!
Congratulations to Karpagam, Sriram, Siddarth and especially a wink from me, in your direction DV.