There is so much to observe around us in our daily lives. There is also so much to learn from those observations. I was inspired to write this article because of two such observations.
I stay in Pittsburgh. The Port Authority here runs a world class public transit system. I have always hated owning a car and have been a fan of public transit though I now understand that having a car is taken for granted in the US. There are also some places that are just not accessible through public transit. The Port Authority runs a system of trains and buses. The vehicles are very well maintained, the drivers are very professional, courteous and punctual. In my more than two years of using this system, I have rarely experienced delays of more than five minutes with respect to the published schedules. What I noticed in many of the stations is that the escalators lack automatic sensors which are very standard nowadays. So, these escalators keep running even though there is none to use them. I believe that this is a huge waste of energy and small things like this, when corrected would help us live a sustainable life in harmony with this mother nature. We can also practice sustainable and minimalist living in our own lives and just ask or calculate if we are using disproportionate amounts of energy when compared to the per capita energy consumption in this world. I also just do not understand the concept of the yacht owning billionaires whose houses consume so much of energy that they could light many villages. Now, what did I do about this? I wrote to the Port Authority with a suggestion that they add sensors to these escalators. I hope that they will see merit in this suggestion and act on it.
I eat out very occasionally. In my last few visits to the restaurants, I have noticed people wasting so much food on the plates. I believe this is also not desirable as the food processing industry also uses a lot of energy and this is simply a waste. I believe it is not too hard to order just so much amount of food that one can eat and even if something is left over, one can always pack it and take home or feed some hungry souls. What did I do about this? I personally do not waste any of the food. In fact, the plate can go directly to the dish washer! I can also write articles like this with a hope that they will influence at least one soul.
January 12th is the birth day of the great saint Swami Vivekananda. This is the same person who won the hearts of millions around the world by his address to the World Parliament of Religions held at Chicago in 1893 starting with “Brothers and Sisters of America……”. India also celebrates this day as National Youth Day. I am constantly reminded of a quote of this saint.
So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every person a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them!Swami Vivekananda