Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Cooperate or die

Have you read SHANTARAM? What a mesmerisingly amazing book! So honest, so magical and so bloody intense! If you haven't had the pleasure yet – yes, the almost 1000 pages might be a bit scary at first, but it's really worth it. A wonderful and very rare reading experience is waiting for you!

There is a story going round that Gregory David Roberts, the author of Shantaram, started to write the book in prison. One day the prison guards found the manuscript (paper in those days) and threw it away. Roberts started from zero, got half way through the book and then the same thing happened again! So he set off a third time and when he finally got out he managed to finish it. Now, that's dedication!
Whether this story is totally true or not, I don't know, but it's possible. And for me that's what this book is about: A reminder that life itself is a crazy adventure and that each moment carries endless possibilities.

When I finished Shantaram I read a few articles and watched some interviews to find out more about the book and the author. At some point I stumbled across a video with Roberts speaking at an event in Mumbai. The whole video is really good but there is especially one part where he talks about the current state of the world, and the way he describes our situation I find quite remarkable.

We are in transition – a much needed transition! For a long time we've been competing with each other and consuming the hell out of this planet. In fact, most of the stuff we do involves competition and consumption, the two have become God-like ideals to strive for. But our circumstances have changed, rather drastically, and so unless we start to cooperate and to conserve, very soon this whole place will be a story of the past. WE will be a story of the past.

I was going to write more about what he says in the video but I think that he puts it all so well, so clear and inspiring, speaking passionately and beautifully, that I recommend you to simply watch it.

“If we don't change, if we don't learn how to cooperate, we will compete ourselves to death.”

(The part about competition and cooperation is from minute 3:05 - 15:50)


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