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10 Billion Human Beings

As I observe people living their daily, humdrum existence, I wonder about these prophecies and what the future holds for humanity.

There's clearly no hesitation on my part in sticking my neck out if it means that and saying that I wish the projection said instead that the world's population would reach 2 billion by the end of this century.

What will happen if the planet becomes a planet of plenty like some middle eastern Asian nation with a lot of oil. Will people become lazy and uninnovative?

That's of course unlikely in any case. What is instead likely to happen is a continuation of the present trend.

Think of the competitive nature of life today. Really, there's so much competition happening where everyone is trying to show himself to be smart or make money.

So many smart people working in alternative energy and physics and other sciences like automobiles to space.

There's this extraordinary race which exists where so many have to fail for a few to succeed.

Is that how it has to be for the human race not to become lazy?

Are humans intrinsically designed to have prosaic perspectives and only a few like Carl Sagan or Loren Eiseley are given the cosmic insights ... the ability to enjoy the cosmic beauty of nature?

Look at the average human life. Say, in America. As they lead their daily lives comprising of tours to the gas station, the supermarket or mall, the kids school, beauty parlor, office, highway, paying bills, etc. life has an utterly humdrum quality. Although, if you took a peasant from an Indian village and placed him in the middle of America, he will surely find America to be a land of wonders.

Similarly, the life of a peasant in India takes place at its own humdrum pace. And if an American were to come and witness it, surely he will be appalled at the lack of what he would consider to be basic amenities.

It's easy to sympathize with the story of a Lara Logan when seeing her on 60 Minutes. It's even more easy to sympathize with the kids in Florida who were shown on a recent episode of 60 Minutes.

But the bigger reality is this. At this very moment, and in a quite unremarkable way, thousands of children and millions of children continue to suffer in India.

One has to only go to near a temple on a Tuesday evening here in the North of India, say Delhi, when people's piousness overflows and the street kids gather for food.

One has to only be at any traffic light on a Delhi street to see kids plying their trades, turning tricks or selling books, etc.

I consider this to be a failure of civilization as a whole.

I don't know if I was able to make myself very clear ...


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