vendredi, novembre 26, 2004

Stepping Stones for Mankind

The month of Haj has spurred the thought - the more diverse our backgrounds are, be it cultural or religion, the more amazing our intrinsic similarities. Individuals have their personal quests, every culture and nation its holy pilgrimage or great journeys. Man's need to travel far and wide has brought about progress in and wealth creation.

Great journeys
It doesn't matter whether one lived in ancient times...or made history in the modern day. Aeneas of Troy travelled the Aegean seas to fulfill his destiny of founding Rome, Neil Armstrong took a small step on the moon to forever change our viewpoint of the earth.

Following God's will, Muhammad travelled the desert from the cruel and unforgiving Mecca to a more friendly and open Medina. Moses crossed the Red Sea to save his people and lead them to freedom only to be betrayed at Mount Sinai. 102 pilgrims tavelled across the Atlantic aboard the puny Mayflower from England to America to preserve a way of life just like Noah who took a pair of each and every living animal on board his 500 year old arc to be safe from the Flood that would have eradicated all land creatures.

Kings and Emperors support the forays and ventures into the unknown because great risks are often rewarded with even greater returns. Cheng Ho made seven collossal voyages from China in search of knowledge and unchartered territories. The same incentive caused Quuen Isabella of Spain to put Christopher Columbus on the same course, though at a much smaller scale, to fame. The conquering Portuguese travelled in the 16th century in search of riches in the form of spices, gold and territories.

A personal quest
Not all journeys are in pursuit of wealth and fame. In search for inner enlightenment, Siddharta Gautama sat under the Bodhi Tree for 60 days. 3 milleniums later, Mahatma Gandhi avoided violence to free his land by fasting and praying. Selfless acts by two men of different lifestyles and times.

Sir Isaac Newton must have heard how well the tree worked for Bhuddha to adopt a similar ruse to solve his questions on gravity. And where would our nation be if Parameswara did not sit under a particular malacca tree in the midst of his quest for a new kingdom to rule.

All the above actions in one way or the other helped further the cause and destiny of humankind.

No matter what religion, race or beliefs.

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