Impermanence or the temporary nature of all things is central to Buddhist teaching.
Dramatic changes always happen around us — be it a killer tsunami born from a placid ocean or drops of water magically fusing into a rainbow. And then you realise that everything in nature constantly changes. So why should human life be different? In our lives, change is the only permanent thing. Impermanence or the temporary nature of all things is central to Buddhist teaching.
Human beings have the opportunity to proactively work on changes in each area of their lives. Let’s consider the 5Ms — men, materials, methods, markets and money. Men and most people can be changed by training or kindness. On occasions, they can also be changed by punishment. However, the first method is always a better choice and the results are often more long term.
Materials can be substituted with something cheaper or more locally available. Machines can be replaced by manual labour. Inventions often happen when machines break down and one can’t afford to replace them. As they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The first rule of innovation is ‘everything changes.’ But let us consider the changing nature of life.
The height of beds, the handles of cupboards and doors should take into account the eye level and hand level of the growing child. And so do our living spaces as we grow older. Barrier-free spaces in public places will be needed by the physically challenged as well as the changing demography of rapidly aging populations. A more human approach needs a different architecture for the blind, where sensory signals can be felt with the bare feet or hands, like you feel typewriter keys with your fingers. Change in methods can transform your life. While changing markets can improve the use of household budgets and of course the infusion of money can solve some problems.
The writer is the author of Everyday Happiness Mantras