Big grin and wave from Satish, and a big cheer from the audience.
Threesomes throughout the ages – Father, Son, Holy Spirit; mind, body, spirit; liberté, egalité, fraternité; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Satish comes with soil, soul and society. We come from and will return to the soil. We think we can control nature, but we are not nature’s rulers. We need to learn to revere nature because we are part of it – what James Lovelock calls Gaia. Sowing an apple seed in the soil is a much better investment than banking. Plant a tiny seed, and a tree generously bent with fruit will grow. And you don’t need a credit card to pick the apples!
Richard Dawkins says there is no such thing as soul or spirit, but everything has soul, and if we don’t care for the soul, we can’t care for the earth. “An artist is not a special kind of person, rather every person is a special kind of artist.” (Meister Eckhart) We have potential to be another Van Gogh, Shakespeare, or Gandhi. We need to look beyond the 9-5 office existence and take care of our souls.
We have been too focused on our own narrow identities and not enough on society. If Satish had walked on his peace pilgrimage as an Indian, he would have met a Pakistani. If he had walked as a socialist, he would have met a capitalist. But he walked without labels as a human being, and met other human beings. We need diversity, otherwise we will have no unity. But we need to avoid divisions – celebrate our diversity. Tourists always complain – laughter! Pilgrims celebrate. No more living as me me me me, my house, my job, my ego. Let’s be our true selves, and live on the earth as pilgrims. Earth is and you are, therefore I am. We are members of one earth community. That is society, and we are all members.
Soul, soil and society are three connected words in our interconnected world. Leadership is not going to come out of No.10 or the White House. We are all potential leaders, every one of us. Gandhi: “be the change you want to see in the world”. Speaking at TEDx is wonderful, but our words and our actions have to be consistent. So he gives us this new related trinity of soil, soul and society.