An early-morning sight-seeing trip to cooling pond #1 of Bokaro steel plant gave me a direct channel into a part of the Indian psyche. The cooling pond is a raised, artificial pond constructed to provide clean, cooling water for the steel plant. It is surrounded by a large raised wall and wetlands, as well as green areas. The pond is huge, somewhere on the scale of 22 km around, and has a number of planted fish living inside it (which you can fish at a fee per hook).
I found myself the other day in front of this documentary about a story of rise and fall in a rich society – and it touched me!
The challenge of being different in a society (like many “modern” societies) that almost completely lack strong social bonds between people creates a loneliness that is undeniable strong. Further curiosity lead me to a Forbes study of happiness and well-being around the world, and then more material about suicide rates.
Interestingly – in many rich countries people are overall thriving and feel they have strong future prospect. However, day to day life experience is affected more by how well our psychological and social needs are filled – something that rich countries seemed much less adept at providing.
The failure of the “developed” societies to provide the adequate social community to take part not only in the successes but also the failures of the members of the society. It seems to me that true community building (not only that which connects us around a sports club…) is a skill that we need re-learning in many societies.