As we prepare to mark Nyepi, the Hindu day of silence, on Tuesday, we are mindful that it is a time like no other on Earth. The everyday conveniences and distractions that make up our lives are suspended, and for many it is a time of personal introspection that is enriching.
Efforts to impose, at least voluntarily, this phenomenon nationally and even on a global scale are laudable but because of the pounding pressure of commerce are never likely to match the total, environmentally friendly shutdown that is seen annually in Bali, where it seems that for 24 hours the world has come to a stop.
Despite zealous debate over issues such as climate change – whether our planet really is heating up due to human-driven carbon emissions or if it’s a cyclical occurrence – there is no doubting that, with the global population now nearing 6.7 billion, people are ravaging the planet as never before.
This has severe detrimental effects not only on the immediate environment where each of us lives, but is also crowding and straining the entire Earth like at no time in its history.
On Earth today, traditional wars are being fought while a more clandestine enemy seeks to destroy nations in the twisted name of religion. Elsewhere, famine, disease and poverty persist as they have throughout time, while leaders rise promising to end all suffering but leaving their charges in a worse state.
It is easy to become disillusioned and disheartened by the condition of mankind as we continue to evolve – but into what?
A day of disconnection gives everyone a chance to connect with the ultimate values of life, no matter what creed or belief. It should be prescribed medicine for all.