How can we reclaim our nation back?

We have lived on handouts. We have been given loans, trade-offs, Money Swaps, call it what you may, all in the name of repaying our debt, not as it should have been on “creating wealth” resource of the nation.

by Victor Cherubim

Sri Lanka has been over the recent past years been comparing its journey to other nations. We have been giving ourselves grief about not doing enough. What if, this is our toxic natural trait, one that is keeping us chained to the lower realms of existence?

This is now our year 2022, to let go of our false sense of competition, as we commit to being better than the past image of ourselves. This is one of the most successful ways of who we were meant to be, a caring nation, a nation living within its means.

Modern life is built on addiction. Craving, overconsumption, drink dependence, shame, or the chasing of irretrievable or imaginary “highs”. It is are not just a weird deviation from the norm. With the Coronavirus, we like to think these cravings have become the norm. But don’t let us kid ourselves, or shift the blame on the pandemic, It has been the norm, perhaps, the default mode what our modern world economy is built on. 

We in Sri Lanka have wanted the impossible. This is not a bad trait, because civilization has been achieved by doing the impossible.Over the recent years we have not earned it.

We have lived on handouts. We have been given loans, trade-offs, Money Swaps, call it what you may, all in the name of repaying our debt, not as it should have been on “creating wealth” resource of the nation.

That said is all well and good, but how do we repay our unlimited borrowing? Who made us borrow over the limit? Did those who got us into this irretrievable position have a hidden agenda? Can we blame anyone except ourselves to have put us in this position?

We have always wanted to live Singapore in Sri Lanka. We have always wanted to crave for or be in the mood and mind set of indulging in our five senses. But how much is too much? Could our sense of judgment be tearing us away from our happiness? Something to think about, before we go for a Currency Swap, an extension of the loan repayment, an infrastructure development for the “444th time.”

Challenging as this may seem in the beginning, let us commit to finding joy, peace, and the inner happiness which the Buddha taught us. We have been waylaid from the simple everyday things like watching the beauty of our natural environment, like watching the Sun rise or the Sun go down from our perspective, or spending quality time in the peace and tranquillity of “the Dhamma,” by worrying about our burden of debt.

Why did we not find joy in the simple everyday things, not about mimicking Lewis Hamilton with his Lamborghini’s, or Skyscrapers or long distance four lane motorways or skyways?

We possess the power and freewill to create our own happiness, really our own inner happiness. Why did we not commit ourselves living in alignment with our sacred purpose?

Among the many deceptions of life is that we have not harnessed our energy for this purpose. However, if we did have, were we short of ableinpiring leaders to show us the path towards our future?

This is something to think about, as we sip our milk tea every morning in the New Year.

The very fact that we have been assigned a “CC” rating by Fitch ratings Agency is a good wake up call. We have come to see the folly of our ways in the past for going for the temporary, not the timeless. 

Social Media and its addiction

We can of course beat ourselves with the “cane of misjudgement”, our inadequate leadership, our lack of innovation, or our lack of skilled labour, but spare a thought for us being addicted to Social Media” instead.

The mechanisms of addiction of modern economy, whether we are addicted to legal painkillers, struggling with an addiction to crisps, chocolates or biscuits, is hardly comparable to our “status anxiety”. The Big Issue: is: “How to survive without Social Media”.

Social Media is supposed to bring us together. But the evidence suggests it is tearing us apart. It is making us “lazy, angrier, less empathic, more fearful, more isolated and more tribal.”

John Lanier, world famous Silicon Valley Scientist, first alerted us to the dangers of social media. Liberating oneself from its hold will transform our lives and not only in Sri Lanka, but the whole world for the better. 

Social Media addicts often try to hide their addiction, especially from themselves. But often it shows. They are rushing for affirmation, addicts become anxious, strangely powerless. Hard CoreSocial Addicts are like “junkies”, or ruinous gamblers. Addicts seek out suffering which is a part of the cycle of scratching an itch. We are told “gamblers are addicted to not winning. But a junkie is addicted to not winning, but to the process of losing, which is more likely the difference between a high and a low”. 

“The ethics of Attention Seeking Economy raises unique concerns not confronted by other more familiar addictive products. It harms users in a way that is both demeaning and objectionably exploitive.”John Lanier.

Does the International Financial Community want to turn Sri Lanka into a “zombie” to be shackled in debt as a lesson for other nations, is a subject of deeper discussion?

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