2. Karma

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little”

— Edmund Burke

Imagine the world that we want to live in. Then act to make that world a reality.

The trouble with human beings is that most of us act without thinking about the world that we are creating through our actions. Very few of us would imagine or desire a world without tigers, lions, elephants, birds, forests and fishes. Very few of us would consciously act to make such a lifeless and desolate world happen. That in fact, we are acting to make such a lifeless, desolate world happen is therefore, an abject failure of our imagination. Either that, or we are disconnected from our real desires and needs and are acting in a state of stupor.

But actions have consequences.

And inaction has consequences.

That in essence, is what the ancient doctrine of Karma is all about.  

Karma is not about judgement. It is about simple physics and chemistry in a chaotic, deeply interconnected system that is our Earth. In such a system, seemingly small actions can have large consequences. So can inaction. A tiny butterfly flutters its wings in the Amazon and stops a hurricane from forming over the Caribbean. A woman’s stubborn refusal to move to the back of the bus causes a social upheaval in the segregated, deep South in America.

It is impossible to predict which action or which inaction causes the chaotic system to tip over to a new state. Therefore, in the face of climate change and the environmental catastrophes looming over Life on Earth, we must encourage a million Rosa Parkses to refuse to budge and a billion butterflies to flutter their wings. That is the only way for the system that is driving modern industrial civilization over a cliff to reverse course and right itself.

1.3 Who are We?[21]
2.1 Actions and Inaction Matter
Sailesh Rao
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