Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
Daily Mirror Editorial
Nov 2, 2011

As the world commemorates All Souls’ Day today with florists having a rosy day, it would be an appropriate time for all people and especially powerful political leaders to remember that everything in worldly life is transient or impermanent and a physical death is one of the grim realities. We need to remember this reality because we often tend to delude ourselves into thinking that worldly factors like power, prestige, popularity or wealth will last forever. Although aware of impermanence many people and leaders especially live as if what they are and what they have will last forever in this world. Today’s graveside ceremonies need to remind us, it is all a matter of dust to dust or ashes to ashes.

Those who are clinging to power with the ill-gotten wealth that comes with it need to remember they are suffering from the foolishness of clinging to dust or ashes. They need to remember that swift to its close will ebb out life’s little day, that worldly power and its dubious glory will fade away because such things are subject to change and decay. Major religions while reminding us that physical death is an inescapable reality, also teaches how to live in a manner that takes us beyond this worldly life. They tell us that we need to live one day at a time, from day to day or moment to moment carrying out our responsibilities and duties honestly and to the best of our abilities. The major religions teach us to live truly, speak truly and deal truly, acting justly and humbly in a spirit of love, mercy and forgiveness.

In the light of these realities and spiritual truisms what we see in today’s globalized capitalist market economic system is largely selfishness and greed, deception and hypocrisy and a desire to dominate people, seek prestige or popularity in subtle ways and accumulate wealth by plundering the resources of the country and the people. Leaders and others who live in this way need to remember today they are only building carpeted super highways to the grave, the pyre or hell itself.

For those who are on this super highways to self-destruction or the graveyards of history, today might be a good day for deep-self-reflection, to turn the searchlight inwards and turn around to the high road of a life of sincere, selfless and sacrificial service to people and the country.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka