I am an ordinary lawyer, with no professional aspirations and around age 65, so very vulnerable to the Coronavirus. I neither hope to live nor wish to die but were I to live I would certainly try to live a more meaningful life and were I to die I would want to make a last wish as is the custom. And my last wish would be to address Honorable Judges and Politicians of our country.
I understand that despite technical advances of means of communication, the art of communication has irretrievably broken down. However, the desire to communicate is thankfully not dead, so I wish to speak hoping the august audience has granted me my last wish and is listening.
Like everyone else Politicians and Judges must first and foremost learn to honestly introspect on their everyday lives and if they are lowering the benchmark. And whether their actions stand the scrutiny of aspirations of a common man and their acts are truly within the Constitutional mandate. However, this exercise must be critical and discerning. It would do good to remember the age -old simple wisdom that, 'do unto others what you would wish to be done to yourself', and reread the Constitution back to back, would be a big help.
My next advice to these two classes of persons would be to start listening with ears on the ground and develop the art of listening. Here the work of a German psychologist Erich Fromm, who had luckily escaped the evil eye of Hitler could be helpful. In his work the Art of Listening he sets out 6 points for mastering the art of unselfish understanding;
1. The basic rule for practicing this art is the complete concentration of the listener.
2. Nothing of importance must be on his mind, he must be optimally free from anxiety as well as from greed.
3. He must possess a freely working imagination, which is sufficiently concrete to be expressed in words.
4. He must be endowed with a capacity for empathy for another person and strong enough to feel the experience of the other as if it were his own.
5. The condition for such empathy is a crucial facet of the capacity for love. To understand another means to love him -not in the erotic sense but in the sense of reaching out to him and of overcoming the fear of losing oneself.
6. Understanding and loving are inseparable. If they are separate, it is a cerebral process and the door to essential understanding remains closed.
As we know in the country we live in, many of us are survivors of riots, arson, fear of imminent death, floods, displacement, and may have gone through long and intense periods of failure, rejection, personal tragedies. Life changing experiences may have altered our ways of seeing. It may have filled us with the realization, not in the cerebral sense, that human life is fragile and precious. And maybe also learnt that Life is a verb, an adjective, not a noun, and it does not belong to you alone. That the true meaning of life is in its continuous process and our dust, people born years later would find under their boots (Walt Whitman). Thus, we exist in the generations gone by, and in us exists the future generations. I agree that in this seamless existence of an atom and speck of dust in each of us without the stamp of time, is the essence of humanity and it is for this I am indulging in this exercise. I wish to leave the world a better place I found, and I am content with the thought that if I fail in my objective at least it would not be for want of trying. And that failure will be nothing compared to the immense appreciation I will receive from my 8-year-old, highly intelligent, acutely sensitive grandson.
Now the question is why I should beseech only Politicians and Judges. Firstly, because they are the game changers. Politicians enjoy the mandate of the people and determine the course of the Nation whereas Judges enjoy the trust of the people and when driven to despair it is to them a common man turns. In this sense the primary function of Politicians and Judges is to heal. The Politician must heal the Body Politic, Judges must heal the hurts caused by injustice. If these two classes of persons abdicate their moral obligation to heal, there will be only strife and violence and unsurpassable misery which no medicine will cure and there will be no plan B for future, if we survive this holocaust.
Views are personal only.