What are we Pursuing?

Jan 20, 2011

Do you suffer from nagging tiredness for no obvious reason? Do you feel lethargic even after extra hours of sleep? Do you feel like your life’s compass is all messed up and just don’t know if you can go on?

If this is your condition and neither you, nor your doctors, have been able to determine the cause, then this article may be of help to you.

The symptoms (if there is no known medical cause) come under the banner Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Though the term may seem fanciful, the condition is as common as a local bus in your area. Depending on its acuteness, the condition can be devastating and may be accompanied by a host of other symptoms. If there is a problem with your life’s compass, then this could mean that you have lost the very purpose of living. Once this happens, you lose drive, you become lethargic and nothing seems to enthuse you. At some point in life, every individual experiences this phenomenon and looks for that spark to re-ignite that zeal.

It is estimated that more than 200 million Indians can buy just about anything they want - from a washing machine to a car. This is, indeed, a great blessing when you look at those who don’t know when their next proper meal is going to be, or whether they will be able to pay their children’s school fees.

People in the old days walked or cycled kilometers to work and there was one ceiling fan for ten staff in their offices. The way we have made progress, we may even have air conditioners to cool our streets. They already cool our offices, cars, bedrooms and even bathrooms. So, lack of comfort is not the issue.

When one considers the range of food that we spend on, by comparison our grandparents starved. For them it was ‘kanji’ with pickle or the thickened fish curry from the previous night. In other words, our bodies are well pampered.

Are we bored? Not possible. Centuries went by without television, discotheques, dance bars, movie theatres and the internet. We now have access to all of these outlets.

What about pollution? That’s another thing we look to blame, but the syndrome is equally prevalent in small towns and villages.

So, why are we plagued with fatigue despite all the comforts and luxuries?

If anyone is familiar with the Holy Scriptures, it is easy to observe that people have toiled right from the early days, but never at the expense of longevity. In other words, we are designed to endure a lot of physical hardships.

We suffer from chronic fatigue and lack of purpose not because we are physically overworked. We are MENTALLY overstretched because we are living in a SPIRITUAL abyss.

Over the years, the ‘love’ factor has steadily declined, with it the ‘happiness’ factor, and consequently the life span. The three are unquestionably interlinked. Ultimately, we go through this pain because our lives are without the higher purpose for which we are created.

While the body craves for undesirable pleasures to fill in the emptiness, the soul longs for spiritual freedom. We are constantly in this state of battle that leaves us mentally exhausted, physically drained and emotionally empty.

The mind is overwhelmingly cluttered. So busy are we planning for the future, that we seldom taste the pleasures of the present.

"Always say YES to the present moment. Surrender to what IS. Say YES to life - and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you." ~Eckhart Tolle

Parents are mentally torn between work and the ongoing emotional needs of their children. The modern child has to wait till weekends for quality time and quality attention. From time to time, I visit schools to take up special classes. When I look around the class, I can spot eyes that sparkle and eyes that don’t. There are also eyes that can pierce the very soul, and that is really unsettling.

A cancer specialist used to ask his patients if they still had the desire to live till hundred. Most patients who answered ‘yes’ defeated the disease with treatment. These people had someone to go back to, someone to love and someone who loved them.

The culture is to acquire plenty in a short time. It is all about goals without true purpose. Youngsters take up, or are pushed into, careers because a particular sector is lucrative. They then get bored and lose enthusiasm in a short time due to utter lack of interest. Winning in games has become everything. The slogan "let’s play fair" has been replaced with "let’s play hard".

Even when we achieve something, the feeling of goodness is invariably short. A hurt is carried on for years, gnawing at our healthy cells and causing illnesses ranging from headaches, to thyroid conditions, to cancers.

"Relinquish your attachment to the outcome. This means giving up your rigid attachment to a specific result and LIVING IN THE WISDOM OF UNCERTAINTY. It means enjoying every moment in the journey of your life, even if you don't know the outcome." ~Deepak Chopra

Many desire a decent house of their own, which to some is a five-bedroom mansion because the neighbour has one with four bedrooms. Then we want a decent car, and so on. With credit easily available, getting trapped has never been easier, as it gives a false sense of spending power.

"The great Western disease is, I'll be happy when... When I get the money. When I get a BMW. When I get this job. Well, the reality is, you never get to when. The only way to find happiness is to understand that happiness is not out there. It's in here. And happiness is not next week. It's now.
~ Marshall Goldsmith

Want a grand wedding, but cannot afford it, so get a loan. For many, honeymooning within India fails to impress friends and relatives. Taking a loan to go to Europe is easier than buying a wedding cake. The bank hoarding says, "get a loan and truly enjoy an unforgettable honeymoon experience with no worries." They make it sound as if the bank’s chairman is going to repay the loan. Eventually, it becomes unforgettable for more than one reason.

At any given time, there are millions making desperate mental calculations to repay their next installment. Some take the easy way out. A few years ago a man and his sister, who owed banks in excess of Rs.1.5 crore in accumulated debts, committed suicide. The duo had been using more than 20 credit cards.

A newly married couple gave a cheque of Rs 5 lac to charity, instead of spending the same amount for their reception. Their reason: they did not want to spend on guests who, in the end, only gossip no matter what the arrangements. Instead, the two families celebrated with a ‘grand’ tea party!

When Warren Buffet tells the world that he never parties and does not wear designer clothes, no one can say that he is stingy. After all, he gave $29 billion in charity.

"The most important thing in life is to live your life for something more important than your own life. That is what brings true happiness to you." ~William James

In vain, we constantly seek the APPROVAL of others by doing what they do. Our lives are hardly ours anymore. We even wear torn jeans because someone else wears one. Ironically, we pay more. Partying late into the night, over-indulging in alcohol, only leaves us drained the next day. But, who wants to miss the fun.

So many times we have the urge to do something good, but feel ‘shy’. Here, too, we lose our individuality.

The truth is, no one helps us when we hit rock bottom. No one cares. If we find ourselves in a pathetic condition, we cannot blame the world. Life is full of choices; our state of wellbeing depends on the choices we make. No one can rob us of our happiness, unless we give consent.

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are known to hop from allopathic, to homeopathic, to ayurvedic, to naturopathic, to aromatic treatments. The reason why any treatment provides only temporary relief is because we don’t address the root cause. It is like a diabetic taking insulin injections while continuing to binge on sweets.

"There is no calamity greater than lavish desires. There is no greater guilt than discontentment. And there is no greater disaster than greed." ~Lao-tzu

I once asked a Gulf-returnee what is it that he would wish for now that he had everything. He shook his head, and sighed: "If only I could have some peace and happiness." As with so many people like him, his was a voice of dejection and emptiness.

"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you." ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Largely, human beings will not change their ways until they find themselves on the edge of a precipice. It takes wisdom and a lot of courage to make amends before calamity strikes.

A 35-year-old, highly paid, IBM executive, working in Mumbai, was detected with early signs of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. Taking this to be a wake-up call, he asked his doctor what options he had. His doctor told him that with drastic changes he had a fifty-fifty chance of reversing the condition. The other option was to permanently live on medications.

He gave up his job (and with that his lavish lifestyle), took up residence at his grandfather’s dilapidated farmhouse in a remote village of Maharashtra, learnt some basic farming techniques, and is now an agriculturist, earning a fraction of what IBM once paid him. After a year, he went for a full medical checkup and came out with a clean chit. He said in an interview that he has never been happier.

The way to inner peace and true happiness is a walk down the road called spirituality.

Lord Jesus put things in the right order, as well as gave us a higher purpose, when He said, "...do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."

The last part contains God’s own promise.


Oliver Sutari - Archives:

By Oliver Sutari
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to news@daijiworld.com mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • K.P. Rajkumar, Palakkad, Kerala

    Thu, Mar 03 2011

    Dear Oliver, Extremely eye-opening article. But, after going deeply into the various factors causing today's situation and the colossal failure of man to correct himself in spite of his desire to do so, I have come to the conclusion that it is THE WILL OF GOD. He has willed it to be so. Otherwise, despite thousands of discourses, speeches, debates, advices, prayers, etc. etc. taking place on spirituality, why are we not changing?! Everyone should think and find an answer to this extremely serious question.


    Thu, Jan 27 2011

    In the name of progress,we are destroying environment,neglecting agriculture,eating pesticide infected food,breathing polluted air,& living in a world of horror!
    Look at South Kanara District (Udupi & Mangalore),not a single household is growing rice paddy these days.There was a time when this district had plenty of rice.Now they import from outside.Why?Because now the priority is to build palatial houses & bunglows in place of growing food.

  • George David, New Delhi

    Wed, Jan 26 2011

    Nice one and very interesting to read.

  • Kinya Mohammed, Qatar

    Wed, Jan 26 2011

    Dear Oliver, I liked it very much. No doubt, it is a wonderful article and very interesting. Keep writing. Thanks a lot.

  • J Rebello, Kaup, Udupi

    Wed, Jan 26 2011

    Wow...wonderful article from the pen of Oliver. Thank you dear Oliver, looking forward to read more from you in the coming days. May God bless you and your family

  • noreen, chikmagalur

    Tue, Jan 25 2011

    really eyeopening article Mr. Oliver. the present generation should read this article, Now a days children didnot go out to know the things, always sit inside the house, watching t.v., and never used to appreciate the real beauty of nature. Really good.....

  • noreen, chikmagalur

    Tue, Jan 25 2011

    Really eyeopening article Mr. Oliver. the present generation should read this article, Now a days children need not go out to know the things, always sit inside the house, watching t.v., and never used to appreciate the real beauty of nature. Really good.....

  • christine, manglore

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Thank you for Very nice beautiful article... and wait t more wonder full articles from you.
    Everyone run after money to live decent life and try to find happiness in materials in which we find only temporary happiness, sometime we don’t have time for family and self. we never feel satisfied or find peace of mind in that. And last regret about reality of running after money, may its too late. We cannot get back what we lost in our own foolishness
    It is true Better to live a clean and simple life. Rather than living highly worldly materials, money cannot give peace of mind what is most importance in life and only God can give that peace.

  • pallavi, manipal

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Such a wonderful article! It is true that what we suffer from now is the problem of excess. Too many luxuries, so we dont enjoy them at all. So much stimulation that we become numb. Too many tings to do, too little time, and still someone else seems to be better at it than us.... And so we keep at it, forgetting that if we win the rat race, it just means we are the best rats?! Oh for the simple pleasures of life. Yes, we need to declutter our minds and the rest falls into place.

  • L N Rego, Bendur

    Fri, Jan 21 2011

    The writer has expressed the truth of our present Society. We cant win impressing others, always there is someone else who will overtake us in that aspect and that very point disappoint us.
    The fundamental truth for better living.
    Hats of to you dear Oliver.
    Please come up with more articles.

  • Felix F.,, India/Ksa

    Fri, Jan 21 2011

    I tried my best, to find some loophole to criticize the author, but I FAILED.

  • Wilfred, Toronto

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Will give the article 5 stars... Definately something to take from it and loved the last part.

  • KGShenoy, Mangalore/Dubai

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Very nice article. Well narrated.Expressed with one hundred percent accuracy the attitude, hypocratical lifestyle and pruposeless direction of so called successful people.Those from known families (with lot of rich relatives) but born to poor parents can understand this better & also those who have been ignored,insulted,laughed at,been treated lightly because of their poor economic status.Poverty is the best Educator and not a Curse.
    People read articles,lectures of this kind on socio economic subject and feel sorry,accept the facts & feel that something has to be done.Blame the govt and a few other people.But they do not change.they do not modify or polish their mindset/attitude. They think that happiness is only in chasing and building up wealth.From the history what we learn is that we do not learn anything from it.This type of articles when people read regularly might help them to think of moving in the true positive direction.
    Best thing for those who are interested is to move on a conventional truthful path & contribute whatever best they can and not to worry about changing this world as that
    can be done only by God.

  • SK, Udupi

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Thanks for posting such a wonderful article. We never learn how much money or wealth is enough for a decent life. We want to keep accumulating more and more wealth throughtout our life and one day life ends without getting a chance to do anything useful. I hope one day human life changes for good and everyone only aims for bare minimum wealth to keep his life going smoothly, probably then happiness will prevail.

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Very nice article, in todays modern world people try to find happiness in materials in which we find only temporary happiness, but we never feel satisfied nor find peace of mind. Only by surrendering ourselvs to God almighty and accepting his will for us we can live happily and peacefully.

  • Cheryl Dsouza, Mangalore

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Wow... true to every word and highly applicable to the present life we live. Wish more people will read this article and understand the ultimate reality of life running after money, greed, selfishness only makes one life miserable and sickness is the reward at the end of it all. Better to live a clean and simple life.

  • Helen, Q8/Mumbai/Neeruda

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Dear Bro Oliver, Thanks a lots for this article. This is really aN eye opener for all of us. AMEN.

  • Janet, Moodbidri/ Kuwait

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Very beautiful article...a true eye opener! Highly applicable to the present busy world.

  • Najam, Bajpe

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Excellent Sir, Looking forward for similar articles.

  • Janette D'souza, Magalore/Abu Dhabi

    Wed, Jan 19 2011

    Your article couldn't have come at a better time sir. Thank you very much for the lovely article. Please keep writing more such articles. Even though people may not acknowledge the benefit of reading your articles, I am sure it helps a million people.

  • Ashok Kumar, Udupi

    Wed, Jan 19 2011

    Oliver, thank you for providing us such eye opening/enlightening articles.
    Please keep writing. God Bless.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Wed, Jan 19 2011

    This is a very interesting article.
    Many people are not sure about the
    purpose of life, and blindly
    marching with the crowd in pursuing
    everything of this world, which is indeed a totally false utopia. So,
    we will get sick earlier in life
    perhaps an early departure to the the other world.

    I read the story of a Wall street
    broker who made millions of dollars
    every year, but spent a few hours
    with his wife every night. One day, he was
    toally burned out, and made a
    drastic decision. He bought a
    motor home, both of them started
    travelling all across the U.S., saw
    the beautiful country, stayed
    in camp grounds and met strangers.
    They became very happy and
    healthy within days. From hell,
    they could jump into an heavenly
    life of content and joy.

    Some people are never satisfied with their car or
    home, and they must have more
    bigger things in life than
    their neighbour. Can anybody
    reach that goal in life? Never:
    because there will be somebody with bigger
    and better things than we have.

    If we are content with the material
    things we have-and never try to
    compare or compete with the
    neighbour-give thanks to God for
    what we have-spend time with our
    family more-do some good to
    somebody every day-seek God's
    guidence in life that life
    can be an abundant life.

Leave a Comment

Title: What are we Pursuing?

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.