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Are We Living or Just Existing?

A question I often ask myself.  Although I am an engineer, I chose to write my first article on Life because I feel that, in today's rapidly degenerating society, there is no other topic of similar importance to majority of the world's population.  There are no statistics quoted here, only my observations during my travels and my discussions with random people are expressed.

My job takes me to different parts of Australia and the world where I get opportunity to discuss life with people from different cultures and socio-economic groups.  My observation is that overall the majority of people, at least with whom I have spoken to, are living a very discontent life.  I am sure there are many lucky and blessed people on this planet but I have not come across that many. Regardless of people's culture or position in the society, people are complaining and blaming others.  The managers are blaming the workers, the workers are blaming the management, the teachers are blaming the students and the parents are blaming the teachers and finally we are all blaming the leaders and the governments.  Do we have any control on our own lives or are we controlled by the chosen few?  In order to find this out, I think we need to ask some fundamental questions to ourselves.

  • Are we being rightly educated? - Yes, the technology has provided society with several tools to accumulate knowledge but do we understand it?   Is suffocating the brain with knowledge education? Are we teaching our children common-sense and life skills?  In my hotel room I wrote "If one has only job skills, there is a good chance that the person may fail miserably in life but if a person has life skills, the job skills are already included in it".  Who is going to teach us the life skills?
  • Basis of our relationships - It seems that right across the planet the human social fabric is falling apart.  Is it because we are very selfish and there is no compassion?  Do we need to go back to fundamentals?  Are we selling our bodies, minds and in some cases our souls for regular bursts of materialistic pleasures?  
  • Role of philosophy and spirituality in our lives - Do we have time to admire the creation around us.  So often we are running to work and miss out the ocean or a beautiful hill.  Can we slow down a little and experience life?  Are we just going to go from the womb to the tomb without experiencing life?  I used to play golf with my associates (some of them retired directors and CEO'S), and most of them had only one thing to say Ï missed out on life".  Even their children do not care about the money or the position they held.  What a tragedy.
  • Self Knowledge before Success - Should we try to understand ourselves before chasing the society defined success?  Is that what we really want?  Many people who are on the highest rung of corporate ladder later find that it is not what they really wanted.  One more unhappy grave.
I feel, regardless of one's position in life, philosophy should be an integral part of our lives so that we can create an environment for well being of our physical and mental health.  We are here to live and not just exist.  I will be grateful for feedback expressed through feelings on my article.