Pick up today’s newspaper or switch on any news Channel or browse through trending feeds, you will immediately get proof that we live in a chaotic, uncertain, and complex world. There is a good acronym to it called VUCA, which stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. It’s sometimes tempting to go away to peaceful, serene, and happy place. Everyone envisions this dream paradise as imagination or a tangible goal, but that doesn’t seems to be a solution.  Here is the small dialogue between Mohan and his wife Meera to start with..

Mohan got up early in the morning and called his wife from the bed itself. 

He took a deep breath and said in an uneasy tone, Meera, Enough is Enough!
I can’t handle so many things the farm, the shop, the workers, the loan, the parents, the kids and now this leaking roof  !
The world  is full of chaos, politics, and stupidity. I don’t belong here.
I have decided, I am leaving home and going to the forest.
You won’t understand, I am a free soul. 

Meera retorted with amazement… Wow! 

What exactly are you going to do there, Mohan?
I’ll wander in the silence of deep forest and valleys
What will you eat?
I’ll eat everything which is available around in the vicinity of  the nature
Where will you sleep?
I’ll sleep on the ground, the lap of our mother earth.

I see, sure, I am able to clearly visualize. Meera said and continued…

Please take our dog also along with you. He will definitely enjoy your company. At least someone would be living very much like him! 

Swami Vivekananda said, “He who runs away from the samsara ,spends time in the caves of the Himalayas to meditate and die, has missed the way”. Running away from complexity doesn’t take us to the realm of simplicity. If truth has to be realized, it is here and now.

What is the cause for this complexity?

At the root of it, it’s human desire and continues endeavors to learn, invent and create newer possibilities. In economic terms, this is to improve the standard of living through higher rate of production, trades, and consumption. Just look around, We have 50 odd varieties of only a single south Indian dish-Dosa in the food menu card, 500+ HD TV and OTT channels, numero us social media platforms, multiple customizable features in the car & mobiles. We get a portfolio of different colors, shapes, and brands for clothes, shoes, and even toothbrush to choose from.

Unreservedly, nature also demonstrates the open array of choices. Think of flowers and the types offered with the menu of shapes, sizes, colors, and fragrances. I believe the other effects of Volatility, Uncertainty, and Ambiguity just emerge due to a lack of collective ability to completely understand and manage complex systems or situations.

Everything is One“,is a consistent message in all vedic philosophy.  Is it a truth, hypothesis, or a bold claim? Swami Vivekananda has always questioned claims and  suggested that unless we work with complex “Everything” we can’t realize the simple “One“.

Let’s take a peep into a scientific storehouse to learn something interesting

String Theory is one of the strong candidates in the quest of developing the theory of everything. In simple words, string theory postulates that everything in this universe is made of a single element called a string. The physical shape, size, and properties of any material objects are just determined by the  mode and frequency of string vibrations. Sounds simple?

Take another example. Sir Issac Newton established the Universal Law of Gravitation. It  means on earth that every object on the earth will freely fall at the same acceleration (g) of 9.8m/s2. How simple! However think of the countless models, observations, experiments, objects, conditions that must have been tried over the entire 17th  century, to arrive at simplistic eqations and finite number of gravity.

These two examples conveys an intriguing fact . Complexity and simplicity are interwoven, inseparable like the two sides of the coin. There exists an innate simplicity behind every complexity and to reach simplicity, one has to deal with complexity.

The complex nature of things can create confusion, frustration, and losses. Complexity is like a demon with many weird faces and enigmatic powers hungry to swallow our time and energy. Just revisit your resentment at the end of incessantly browsing over 30 TV channels without any entertainment, Or relentlessly hopping from one shop to another leaving you more baffled. What We Need is the weapon of the right knowledge, discipline, and focus to tame this demon. This will bring not only peace but prosperity and better quality of life. This is for the good reason that the same complexity has the potential to offer us more choices, freedom, and control. 

The complexity is rising exponentially in technology, relationships,laws, policies, education and cultural norms . I think, in all likelihood, the new generation (popular as Gen Z and Gen A) needs to be educated or coached on how to reach simplicity and clarity by dealing with complexity and ambiguity.  This is an important aspect to live and flourish in the emerging VUCA world.  The best education is where one can  learn to admire the luminescence of a colorless sun-light and also relish the rainbow colors it carries within. The best results are when one demonstrates not to avert but to successfully manage and befriend this demon !

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Tushar Kanikdale

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