Unseen Passage: Age of Science

We live in an age of wonders and miracles. It has been called the ‘Age of Science’, and different aspects of our life that changed in the preceding centuries have been attributed to science. This is completely true, but it is only one side of the coin. The flip side is that as we have advanced more in the field of technology, something fundamental to humanity has been left behind. Values such as empathy and concern for our fellow human beings are gradually being eroded due to the onslaught of our ever-evolving lifestyles, aided by the marvels of technological advancements.

Take the example of the Internet. On one hand, access to information and knowledge at the click of a button is a veritable boon to everyone (especially students) and this has made our lives much simpler. On the other hand, it has severely limited actual contact with teachers, friends and elders. Thus, the learning that a person gains is incomplete as he or she cannot easily take the advice that another person can give on the basis of knowledge and practical experience that is at his or her disposal.

Today, a small child can access and navigate the Internet with an ease that still astounds those from the older generation. But what is even more astounding is the neglect of the basic human traits of friendship, relationships and family values. Owing to all the technological advancements and the gadgets available today, children often miss out on the most enriching childhood experiences such as playing outdoor games with friends, which apart from being immensely enjoyable and physically exhilarating, also develop traits such as teamwork and discipline at an early age.

But now when the concept of friends is gradually being limited to virtual friends on social networking sites, one shudders to think of the implications for the personality development of a child because the time spent with computers or mobile phones for entertainment can never really substitute for the holistic benefits of outdoor play. Such examples can be found aplenty.

Now if we compare the hustle and bustle of modern city life and the peace and calm of a rustic village life, we can see that in cities, life is a race with a variety of factors. It is a race that everyone tries their level best to win, but nobody actually wins as it never ends.

As for me, I think this age of rapid development has created at least as many problems as it has solved, if not more. The reason is that the basic goal of life, which should be the pursuit of happiness has now been replaced by the pursuit of money. Money and happiness are considered analogous in our present society, but they actually are not so. In this mindless pursuit of money, nobody has time now to appreciate the beauty of life, which consists not of multi- billion dollar skyscrapers, but a simple act of kindness to someone in a time of need.

So there is an urgent need to stop for a moment and think about where we are actually heading- is it development or destruction? Do we have to wait until people have grown so much apart from each other that we cannot see the suffering of our own species due to our mindless greed, or can we still mend our ways?

To answer this question, I will take the help of that most magnificent of human feelings- hope. I sincerely wish that we, as the most intelligent species on earth, would take our fair share of responsibility and sincerely think about the path we should follow. Though mankind will possibly last for a long time thanks to its determination and sheer ingenuity, we have to make sure we do not lose our humanity somewhere along the way.

Q. On the basis of your understanding of the passage answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option.

  1. According to the passage, it is like one side of the coin to say that life has changed owing to science as
    1. age of science has brought wonders and miracles.
    2. different aspects of life have changed due to science.
    3. there is another side of the coin to look at.
    4. this side of coin is true and sufficient to look at.
  2. Which of the following is not true about the internet?
    1. Its an easy access to information and knowledge.
    2. It has made our lives simpler.
    3. It has limited actual contact with teachers and friends.
    4. It can easily give advice based on personal experience.
  3. Internet hampers the holistic growth of a child by
    1. encouraging human traits of friendship, society and family.
    2. enriching childhood experiences of outdoor games.
    3. providing virtual friends and gadgets.
    4. developing teamwork and discipline.
  4. According to the passage, true happiness lies in
    1. simple acts of kindness.
    2. rapid development.
    3. multi- billion dollar skyscrapers.
    4. pursuit of money.
  5. The word ‘veritable’ in para 2 means:
    1. Actual
    2. Big
    3. Latest
    4. Perfect
  6. Antonym of holistic is
    1. Agonistic
    2. Individualistic
    3. Optimistic
    4. Pessimistic

Answer

  1. different aspects of life have changed due to science.
  2. It can easily give advice based on personal experience.
  3. providing virtual friends and gadgets.
  4. simple act of kindness
  5. Big
  6. Individualistic

Q. Answer the following questions as briefly as possible.

  1. It has severely limited actual contact with ______________.
  2. Money and ______________ are considered analogous in our present society but they actually are not so.
  3. We cannot see the suffering of our own species due to our ______________ .
  4. I will take the help of that most magnificent of human feeling ______________ ?
  5. Pick out the words from the passage which mean the same as:
    1. trembles (para 4)
    2. similar (para 6)

Answer

  1. teachers, friends and elders
  2. happiness
  3. mindless greed
  4. hop
  5. (i) shudders (ii) analogous

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