My persistent pursuit of wisdom from Sadhguru has earned me a collateral benefit. I get hate-mails from tree-lovers!
While they hope to turn the wild old earth into garden of Sadhguru, their tree-obsession reminds me of another phenomenon powered by similar misconception.
When we travel abroad, we feel envious of urban-scape of cities like Singapore with large corporate offices with glistening facades. When we think of our streets full of hawkers and small shops, we secretly wish that they are obliterated and replaced by such glass-fronted skyscrapers housing large companies.
You don’t need to be Raghuram Rajan to grasp that these cities have massive economies that can feed these giants, while we are a poor economy where it is impossible to sustain such edifices. And yet, we wish for them because we fall in the same trap that trees have laid for us.
The brutal reality is, obsessive trees nurturing by tree-lovers and our reverence for corporate giants are nothing but two different faces of same phenomenon that is capable of destroying the natural balance of our ecology and economy.
What tree and corporate lovers need to understand is that there is a massive difference between a garden and a jungle.
A garden is not in natural balance and it needs nurturing because trees planted in the garden are not there as a natural part of energy cycle. They are there because they are artificially supported. The moment this support is withdrawn, the garden ecology falls part. While, a jungle is in perfect sync with natural cycle of energy. It has a self-balancing system that needs no external assistance. A jungle is a living ecology that will survive for a long long time.
Ecology and economy are two systems operating on same principles. Ecology is a biological market of energy while economy is a commercial market of money.
Economic and ecological transactions work only when there is an energy gain, i.e. if lifting a cup of coffee uses 15 calories and coffee provides 10 calories, it is unviable to drink coffee for a life-form. Just as a life-form can’t survive making bad deals, a loss-making business also can’t survive in a natural economy.
Unfortunately, as trees are lovely to look at, and large malls are more impressive than roadside shops, we think that they both are representing healthy ecology/economy.
The reality of India is that hawkers and small shops are natural because they are in sync with our poor economic conditions. They are representative of natural balance of the economy, as they manage profitable transactions by keeping their costs low.
But, as we love large businesses, we provide them with fertiliser of economic support. Fed by borrowings and watered by suitable government policies, some of these entities grow into massive organizations that we find impressive as they appear to show growth and provide employment of people.
In reality, this is as illusory as a garden. Employment and economic actions generated by these entities are actually sucking resources from the economy and creating a garden economy that survives only if provided artificial support.
The most unfortunate part of assisted tree and corporate nurturing is that it is done at a cost of actual viable ecology and economy that is better suited for local flora and businesses.
If we really want a healthy ecology or economy, we need to stop assisting larger entities blindly and allow smaller ones to grow in healthy soil of equal opportunities.
This is a slow process, but it will provide us with a natural and lasting ecology/economy that is in real balance.