I’m not sure if it is hypocritical to refute it but there is some truth in the fact that at some stage in our time on this planet, we have had a prescriptive approach to life. Whether it is defined by the culture we belong to or our social background, or our own apprehension to venture away from the trodden path, we find a certain sense of security in staying within the stencil.

So the question is, is it wrong? Is it wrong to canter on a route mapped out for us by social and cultural machineries? After all, it keeps life simple to a large extent, helps us meet our committments, protects us from demons of doubt and most of all, guarantees a happier tomorrow.

So if it is not wrong, is it right then? The answer I believe lies in the choices we make.

As Laurence Fishbourne’s character Morpheus in the film The Matrix asks Keanu Reeves’s character Neo: "You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." The ‘bed’ being the metaphorical reference to scripted lives we know and follow, and the rabbit hole being a free fall into a ideal world where we are in control of our destiny; where our power is defined by our potential, passion and purpose... an adventure-filled roller coaster ride that is as enthralling as it is scary.

So what should we do? Should we take the ‘red pill’ or the ‘blue pill’? This is the trickiest trick question ever asked, I believe.

Like any other smart person, I cop out. Only because I’d like to believe there is a middle path. The path of conscious consumerism where our truth does not stand on the scaffolding of what we own but is defined by what we hope to leave behind – the legacy we wish to create. And that is the true philosophy of sustainability I believe. Happy Earth Day.

Let me know what you think...

Reach me at mshekar@gulfnews.com.

Read more