Life of Contrast in India

Taj Mahal

Present India, an emerging economic power on the heels of Chinais pathetic when you examine the extremes of living conditions behind the scene. Its glossy picture is dimmed largely by the mass of poverty, ignorance, religious & social taboo & social indignity . . . the list goes on.

India is a huge mass of land of huge contrasts. The very best exist alongside the worst. Materially India is poor but spiritually rich. Human degradation is witnessed at an unprecedented scale in India, for example, children pressed into low paying jobs, with the untouchable shunned by the society. Religious taboo & language barrier add on more hindrances to economic advancement.

On the brighter side, one may also witness heights of moral ascendancy and the wealthy splashing & displaying their vast wealth by the way they live. India is renowned for its great temples & palaces. India also boasts of the second largest pool of engineers and scientists in the world. Its 50% illiteracy rate is among the highest in the world too.

The Upsides & Downsides of life is far too many to be adequately covered by the scope of this writing. Suffice for me to show the contrasting aspects by way of pictorial slide presentations here:

Young Girl documents Slum Life in India – YouTube

Slides on the Upsides of Life (including the Downsides)

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Lives of great disparity & extreme
Bridging the gap would be slim
The challenge ahead is great
If India were to make the grade!

Space to Grow & Grace to Flow

By P Chong                                                                              23 November 2011

Taj Mahal world heritage site in Agra, India.
Image via Wikipedia

When talking about space, there are areas which are normally familiar to the man in the street. There are indeed also indefinite concepts in scientific terms as used by geometers and physicists which we may not know or understand. Suffice for me to touch on some personal thoughts relating to peace & harmony, privacy, friendship, love & emotion . . . and space in the physical living or playing fields.

Even then there are confines or boundaries beyond which we may never know, and of course, there is that spiritual aspect of things where grace sets in.

In January 2007 when my friend CC & his lovely wife Phyllis were travelling & sightseeing in New Delhi to Taj Mahal in Agra, India, they passed through the countryside where some grand new villas were under construction. He noticed a large poster with these words:

GIVE SPACE SOME GRACE, AND

GIVE GRACE SOME SPACE.

Till today he remembers it well and often reflect upon those memorable words, sharing them with his friends, architects, developers and his soccer-playing grandchildren. According to him, life is often preoccupied with time & space and with grace giving us lessons in various ways.

Lately, while watching his grandchildren playing soccer, realisation dawned on him of the need of an optimum playing field where space is paramount for level play with ease or difficulty of attack & defence. He recalled & visualised the “space” concept in terms of a restricted number of 11 players & one goal-keeper in each team and where in winning the game all available spaces must be covered & exploited. Success in life to him means preempting the right positioning in space. His grandchildren are fortunate to have a grandfather with wisdom to impart.

In further extension of my thought:

  • Space is taken to overcome all boundaries, inhibitions & restrictions to explore & conquer . . . turning all adversities to victories. Space however is timeless as opposed to our limited existence.

  • Grace is herewith defined as a divinely given talent or blessing, the free & unmerited favour of God. It’s got to flow from God to fill within us & then exert forth to the external. Grace is unseen, non-materialistic and unlimited flowing from God for our faith & asking. As goodness grows, blessings flow.

From the womb to the tomb, we need space to grow . . . to equip ourselves in our daily life to intern, specialise and then to fraternise. As is said, no man is an island. We are by nature gregarious and cannot live alone. We need company. We need partner and that is why God provided Adam with Eve. Within the limitless space of the Garden of Eden, freedom & choice were available except for the forbidden fruit. What happened next resulted in the pain & suffering of mankind.

Freedom to chose & choice to make are really no option whatsoever. Inevitably, man by his own doing destroy the space & environment in which he lives. By our own strength we are powerless and though “impossible” is the word not to be found in Napoleon Bonaparte’s dictionary, not all things are possible with man. Only with God all things are possible. With “space to grow” we need “God’d grace to flow”.

Give grace some space, for man is no master of space. It sours the souls of those greedy for space by intrusion & exploitation, thereby destroying both peace & harmony . . . as exemplified by the turmoils in the Middle East & the Arab world. Under the guise of democracy, everything has gone crazy. The need for regime change is a nagging & ragging righteousness with no resultant merit except unnecessary death, pain & suffering. Nobody ever wins in a war!

Make friends not enemies. The irony is you may have but one enemy, you’re bound to face him everywhere! Negotiation rather than confrontation as with diplomacy opposed to being artless or tactless or hypocrisy. Give space to sovereignty, for aggression will meet with further aggression. Let every sovereignty grow & progress. Encroach not upon its nest.

Let moderation & good sense prevail and senselessness be assailed. LET GO & LET GOD. Don’t ever push yourself too hard. As is said in Ecclesiastes 3:17: “God will bring to judgment both the righteous & the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.”

Wait upon the Lord!