About Me

Someone who fell in love with the natural world early on and has been smitten ever since. A blade of grass, a mighty mountain, a tiny raindrop, a roaring waterfall, all fill me with awe and wonder. Nature feels home, filled with warmth and love. It pains my heart to see this home being ravaged. This blog is an effort to find tweaks in modern living to preserve the sanctity of this home. I sincerely hope that you join me in this green karmic journey.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Who Will Say "Michhami Dukkadam" To The Planet?



"Michhami Dukkadam - May my bad deeds be forgiven. If I have offended you in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed, then I seek your forgiveness."  

You might have heard this request for forgiveness from your Jain friends towards the end of Paryushan or their spiritual and fasting period around August-September. Jains ask for forgiveness from everyone, be it old or young. A very noble thought indeed! We all commit a mistake, knowingly or unknowingly. It's good to realize that and apologise, with the intention of not repeating those mistakes. I wonder if Michhami Dukkadam is said to Mother Earth too. Should be, since Jainism is one of the most sustainability-oriented philosophies in the world. (Recently, a Jain friend told me that they ask for forgiveness from nature as well.) 

Jain philosophy believes that there is a 'jiva' (life) in all living forms. This life is to be treated with utmost respect and not to be hurt in any way. Nonviolence is a basic tenet of Jainism and has to be practiced towards everyone, be it fellow human beings, animals, vegetation or even microbes. Jain sages wear a piece of cloth over their mouths and noses, so that even smallest form of life does not get killed accidentally by inhalation or ingestion. 

The concept of seeking forgiveness is being imbibed by many other people too. I admire that, but wonder, when will we, the human race, say 'Michhami Dukkadam' to the planet? 

Isn't creating waste and pollution, a form of violence?

Isn't mindless consumption, a form of violence?

Isn't endangering fellow creatures for momentary convenience, a form of violence?

Look at these pictures. 
A Beach in Maldives.



Picture Source- Pixabay

That mangled plastic bottle? Yeah, it's the same as you threw away when you were too lazy to fill your own reusable bottle.

That plastic bag? It's the one that you had mindlessly used while grocery shopping. You could have carried your own cloth bag.

That Ziploc...it might be the one in which you had packed your lunch when you could have used a reusable container. 

And those disposables...remember the parties you threw or attended over the years? Plastic cutlery, styrofoam plates, takeaways, packaging - everything is in this great garbage stew, the likes of which dot our planet from end to end. 

Though you might have occasionally put your waste in recyclable bins, the bad news is that almost 90% of plastic waste doesn't get recycled. Also, those soiled sandwich bags and dirty styrofoam plates are beyond recycling. 

So where does all this garbage finally land?

It violates the earth.


Picture Source : Pixabay

It violates the oceans.

  
Dhigurah, South Ari Atoll, Maldives, Indian Ocean
      
It violates animals. 

A hermit crab in plastic scoop. Dhigurah, South Ari Atoll, Indian Ocean. 

It violates birds.

Albatross in Midway Atoll, Pacific Ocean. Picture Credit: Chris Jordan. 

And it violates our own health and senses. 

It's high time we say Michhami Dukkadam to Mother Earth. 
Ask forgiveness for our past misdeeds and resolve not to commit the same mistakes again. 

How?

  • By bringing an eco-consciousness in everyday consumption.
  • Making earth-friendly choices in day-to-day living.
  • Whenever we buy or do something, run a quick litmus test on how the stuff would get disposed. How would it impact our planet? Would it hurt someone when disintegrating? If yes, think of the least damaging alternative and go for that instead.

Follow:



  • Reduce, Reduce and Reduce.
  • Reuse, Repair, Repurpose and last of all, Recycle
  • Practice BYO - Bring your own bag, cutlery, plates, water etc. for outings, takeaways, parties and get-togethers.
  • Dispose disposables. Single use products are a bane to earth's resources. Remember, the cost of our convenience is someone's life. 
  • Choose stuff with no or minimal packagingWrite to corporates to reduce packaging.
  • Speak up when you see something that can be changed in your community or workplace. 
  • Think. Think of the tweaks in your lifestyle to be more eco-friendly.
There are tons of ways and helpful websites, if we have the will.  We just need to take that step.

The earth is beautiful, kind and giving. It might still forgive us, if we mean 'Michhami Dukkadam' with all our collective hearts - now. 


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