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One life, many goals


Many lives, one goal


This thought I once had triggers so many associations in me that I decided to have it printed on my business card as an inter cultural trainer. In some parts of the world, like the one we live in, in the Netherlands, people are brought up to believe they have one life to live. Within that one life, they are encouraged to have goals and to achieve them. In India, people are brought up to believe that they must go through many lives in order to achieve one goal and that is –  the eventual freedom from or letting loose of one’s egoistical self.


 ‘Many lives, one goal’ – is it so difficult to let go of what we consider me? What if we have only one life to do it in? Then, we have little choice but to renew ourselves constantly so as to accept the one permanent fact of our lives and that is impermanence itself. Or, change.


Here is an example of one way that change happens. A 5th century text in India is the first to refer to the number 0 as a value. There was an obsession in ancient India with calculations. Well into the 20th century, India recorded 30 different calendars in use. In the image below, superimposed on one of these is the Gregorian calendar, because that is the one the world follows for business. There are at least two other calendars in addition. The Gregorian calendar is also referred to as the ‘English calendar’ named after the imperial power that imposed its notion of time and geo-political supremacy in this way.

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