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Flexibility is Strength

Life is not eternal. Living beings are not immortal. But the land we live is eternal and survives disasters and turmoils.

The last few months saw a series of unrest in the Middle east. Tunisia was in a sea of trouble. In twenty three days the twenty three year one man rule was toppled. Zine El Abedine Ben Ali, who ruled with an iron fist and a surplus of crony based corruption which even his fellow autocrats in the region found excessive, fled from his country like a thief in the night of January 14, 2011.

Egypt followed suit. Its revolt is spontaneous but was triggered by Tunisia.The well organised revolt comprised students, lawyers, labour activists, network of intellectuals, few political parties who advocate for a change. The rule did change. Mubarak has been ousted out.

Colonel Gaddafi, who is ruling Libya from 1969 ha vowed to fight to the death.U.S, U.K have launched cruise missiles at Libyan targets, while French jets fired on Libyan military vehicles and at ground targets. Benghazi is fighting for its life as Gaddafi attacks.

A week back, Japan was in the grapple of a violent earthquake and Tsunami. There is a mad search for the lost. There are radiation fears. The country is mostly without power. Water supply is low.

Japan is a country familiar with seismic hazards, but this one is extraordinary. Japan lies on the “lines of infamous fire,” the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that encircles virtually the entire Pacific Rim.

Getting into the crux of these demonstrations and revolts, earthquakes and tsunami, we find fragility, impermanence and transience. The teachings of Zen praises bamboo’s flexibility. Subjected to force it sways and bends .It does not snap. Resilience of man is thwarted but it never dies. It is this factor that keeps him going.

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