Bijay J Anand | July 9, 2016
I am compelled to write this piece upon my return from the US a couple of weeks ago. There were some myths that were shattered during this particular trip and some revelations that I feel that I am duty-bound to share with everyone.
America has always been known as the land where dreams came true. We associate America with inspired and inspiring people who dream the American dream and make it big, become famous, successful and thrive. In short, a land of plentitude and abundance.
This myth was shattered this time as I engaged in numerous conversations with several people about what they felt about living in America. Since I spoke with a cross section, I was able to get responses from not only native Americans but also immigrants who had migrated to the US from countries as varied as Congo, China, Columbia, Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan, India amongst others.
I came to the conclusion that most Americans are not trying to become Gordon Geckos or Rockefellers’ of the world. Most were simply fighting to SURVIVE.
This one Uber driver, a proud father of 3 kids that I spoke to had me shocked when he told me how he had to take a bank loan of $1,500 just to pay for his root canal which cost him $2000. Another one told me that he had to pay $800 for his root canal despite having insurance for dental.
The irony of this situation is that one can get a root canal in India done for as little as $50.
In fact the owner of the largest vaccination manufacturing company in the world once told me that the very same vaccine that he supplies to the rest of the world to for $1 is sold in the US for $168. In fact he says that American drug companies have such a vice-like grip on the govt. that he would not even dare to think about selling his vaccines there to the extent of fearing for his life.
We all know the problem of obesity in the US. Do we know that despite being 5% of the world’s population, America consumes 75% of the world’s prescription drugs?
There are drugs prescribed to hapless patients for everything. From disturbed sleep, anger issues, headache and flu to ludicrous things like growing longer eyelashes, making the libido larger and improving the eyesight.
In all my travels across the world, more than 50 countries as of now, I have never seen an unhealthier population in my entire life.
Most people I looked at looked like their bodies had been rotting from the inside out since a long period of time. Most are of course grossly overweight but the scary thing was how mentally unstable, depressed, sad, stressed and angry a lot of them looked. Spiritually speaking, most had no auras at all.
Here’s a truncated list of some of the major problems.
When you sit down at any restaurant in the west, the first thing you are asked is what you’d like to drink along with your meal. Most choose some fizzy drink, chilled water, wines or juices.
The Eastern wisdom has always followed the understanding that no liquids should be consumed along with your meal a half hour before a meal, along with the meal and a half hour after the meal. Drinking anything, especially chilled and cold drink along with your meal extinguishes your digestive fire rendering your digestive juices ineffective and useless and causing your food to not digest well. This obviously causes fat retention in the body and leads to obesity.
The bigger problem is that it impedes the ability of the vital vitamins, minerals and other healthy nutrition from being supplied to your body.
The quality of food itself is a major issue. American junk food is priced at 1/5th the price of healthy food making it impossible for many to be able to afford a healthy, nutritious meal. A pizza at a food court will cost you less than $5 with a Coke and fries whereas an organic meal at a half decent restaurant can set you back by at least $30.
Then there’s the major issue of Genetically Modified Foods being consumed by all except those who are aware and can afford organic foods. Companies like Monsanto have become global poster-boys for everything that corrupt, evil and detrimental to our health.
Unhealthy eating habits like ‘food-on-the-go’, irregular meal times, upsurge in use of cancer causing microwave ovens, added preservatives and color in food products, replacement of healthy breakfast with cereals, croissants, muffins and the like.
The issue of what Americans are doing to their body vis-à-vis their eating habits is so long that a complete book may be written about it.
Eating meat occasionally is one thing. Having meat for all three meals every single day of your life is quite another. In fact, most Americans look down upon vegetarian food and are disgusted by the very idea of having it. Spiritually speaking, meat raises the amount of Tamas in the mind and body, affecting your mind, health as well as your aura. Having those steaks rare with blood still oozing out of the meat is not helping anyone having it.
The amount of cholesterol it adds to your arteries should act as an added deterrent to those who care about their health.
Paying $300 for a day at any of the parks in Orlando it is shocking to note that there are no healthy options for anyone to opt for at all. Not at those parks, not at the airports, not at the food courts at the malls. Even a yoga practitioner like myself was reduced to eating fries, burgers and pizzas due to the sheer non-availability of healthy food at such places.
Everywhere you go. Wherever you look. You see sugar. In the form of chocolates, candy, colas, cupcakes, ice creams, at bakeries, patisseries, roadside stalls, sugar simply stares at you in the face everywhere.
Your body rejects sugar and hates it. It can handle it in small doses but when you stuff yourself with so much of sweetness, you invite fatigue, ill health and worse, Cancer.
Mozart could himself be playing at the subways and not a single person would care to stop by to listen. People are always so stressed, so busy, so caught up in trying to survive that there is no time left to just be. To just enjoy life and to celebrate it. When I looked at people’s faces, the one outstanding feature that I could read in almost everyone’s face was stress. Loads of it.
With 95% of all Americans surviving on 2 weeks of vacation in the whole year it is easy to see why.
Lots of it. As soon as you step out of JFK, it hits you. The sheer noise. Sit in a cab anywhere, there’s always something playing in the background. Even though most of the cab drivers would not be listening to what’s playing, they’d still have it on. Music, news, comedians blabbering in the background, advertisements, it didn’t matter. There just has to be noise.
Same if you enter any store, restaurant or outlet. Something always drilling into your head in the background.
As if the constant screaming, wailing of the police sirens, ambulances and firebrigades is not enough.
This goes against the grain of a peaceful and meditative life. You definitely need silence in your life. You need peace and quiet. Without this peace and quiet your mind disintegrates. Degenerates. As it is happening to everyone in the US.
There is just so much violence everywhere. And I don’t mean the gun control Act or criminal activities. Even the popular sports are violent. When you look at the TV screens in pubs and apparently most homes, what are people watching? WWF, WWE, boxing and worse of all, the most popular game in the US, football, has so much of physical damage involved, its incredible.
The most popular video games on X-Box and Nintendo have explicit violence that even children are now addicted to. And what is this doing to everyone? De-sensitizing them violence.
I tried watching Game of Thrones and could not get past 3 episodes. My entire body felt like it had pinpricks all over. My aura felt corrupted and violated.
And this is the most watched TV show in the entire United States of America.
I have many friends and several students who are American. I love them all dearly. I am not writing this to offend anyone or hurt anybody’s patriotic feelings. I am only writing this because as a teacher, I am duty-bound to point out to potholes on the road when I see them.
And what I saw in the US on this trip were not potholes. They were craters.
Love to all. Light to all. Peace to all.