CHAPTER 10: In Search of Mindfulness

Chapter ten proposes the need of a world order of mindfulness. Within the emerging new world order, the growth of more consumerism is evident. This will lead towards accelerating climate change. Why are we spending so much of energy, resources and time making candy while half of the world is in poverty and in great need of basic food to survive? So do we close the candy shop? To answer that question, mindfulness needs to prevail amongst humans. We need to be on a more conscious process of living and behaving on earth.
(from pg 154) ..... "I quickly realised that the United Nations Organization (UNO) situated in the ‘Palais des Nations’ was not the place where one should be in pursuit of happiness. On the contrary, it is a place where the entire world’s unhappiness congregates. All the problems of the world are brought to the door steps of the United Nations and are negotiated till a majority is agreeable or have agreed upon. Some go happy, and many leave unhappy. This never stops or ends, and continues from one unhappiness to another. It is like a factory which produces expensive candy using the various natural resources and synthetic sweeteners. ....."

(from pg 157) ..... "In a recent email exchange on the UN Marrakech Process on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), a university professor and consumer researcher in Norway posed this same question to me. She asked me; “if the UN Marrakech process and the UNCSD process in general are failing or at least floundering acutely, where should people go for guidance? My answer was “To start with, the Marrakech process has become in many ways irrelevant because it is not yet officially recognised by governments and it lacks a mechanism to involve them adequately. Only a few European governments have engaged in this process which has marginalised most of the developing countries in the consultations. Perhaps the UN CSD is giving it more attention, and that too is because the reign of power held by a small group may be challenged at the own gates of the UN. A movement is definitely needed for sustainability on earth, and not a change of hands in the management of the sustainable consumption and production processes on earth. It is not about replacing the Marrakech process or any other. But to include the world’s people in this process, we need movements for sustainability so badly and need to try harder in empowering those that we already have. The UN in fact has lost its significance on earth and most governments lack faith in it. It continues to hold a global stage, only because an alternative has not been found. In any case, the real power blocks in the world had been the big industrialised countries of the G8 and they have been facilitated by the UN. These G8 countries derive their powers from the global corporations who have dictated terms even to their own governments for decades. Meanwhile, the G77 and China group of developing countries has been searching for a power-balance as well. The new BRIC group consisting of the emerging giants – Brazil, Russia, India and China – is now displaying a new wave of power in global politics. But, I still believe in people’s power; the Gandhian type of non-violent movement that lives on forever. The UN has a critical role to play in a transition world; but we are yet to see and believe that they can act in equality of all nations and people to ensure the wellbeing and happiness. It may sound utopian in the current context, but a climate sustainability platform can become a reality if collective willpower can be unearthed.”

(from pg 159) ..... "The first act in such a mindfulness pathway should be to find ways of ensuring the wellbeing of all on earth. When extreme poverty is keeping a large portion of Indian population suffering, why would India spend money in sending a rocket to the moon and wasting more on publicity? A senior Indian ecologist friend of mine says “it is for the vote”. ......

(from pg 160) ..... A second act in the mindfulness pathway could be in sufficiency. Economic growth and development no longer is a valid argument for wellbeing. Wealth accumulated through economic growth has not reached a majority on earth and has not been distributed through the so called development programmes. To me sufficiency is a process that has two central elements. The first is self-reliance and the second contentment. Self-reliance does not mean that a nation closes its doors to external collaborations or stop trading goods and services on the global market. In a system of self-reliance, each community or nation plans for prosperity within the limits of their own resources and do not plan to rob from the others. Of course any in excess is traded and anything missing is sourced as well. But the first attempt is to live within our own means and become a lesser burden to rest of the world. Then the second element of contentment is to be satisfied with what is achieved. If going to the moon satisfies India, then it should be for reasons that satisfy all Indians. They should not send a rocket to the moon just because America has done so, and they need to prove their scientific advancement to the world; they should send a rocket to the moon only if scientific research knowledge could help India and the rest of the world become a better place. But by sending a rocket to the moon the Indian government should not compromise the noted aspirations of people to live in a developed India; and a developed India for the citizens or countrymen according the former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is that all people should have a secure and enjoyable present and also be in a position to look forward to a better future."

(from pg 163) ..... "A sixth act in the mindfulness pathway is obviously to develop mindfulness. Being aware of your thought and actions, being content with your wellbeing and acquisitions, being thoughtful and sincere in your behaviour, being responsible of the impact of your actions on others, becoming compassionate towards the others in your doings, and making an effort to do the right things always may bring us into a state of mindfulness. ..... " 

(from pg 164) ..... "Now that the American President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, rest of the world assumes that mindfulness will prevail within him and his nation. It is also expected that the Norwegian Nobel committee who several times rejected the nominations of Mahatma Gandhi who is the strongest symbol of non-violence in the 20th century, can also prevail in mindfulness. We also assume that the international leadership and representatives at the climate change negotiations will prevail under mindfulness, and a 2°C pathway will be realised at the least. ...."