Our Senses

Humans have traditionally five known senses, sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. Some would add balance, acceleration and proprioception, but let us look at the main ones.

The sight is the sense that we use the most in our modern lives. We need to see to believe. We watch the world through our eyes, the TV, our phones, our tablets, our books, etc. A famous interior designer was once asked about the best client response received. His best client, he said, was a blind person who forced him to pay attention to touch.

With the pollution increasing in environment, we are gradually losing our sense of smell too. Air pollution, plastic products in the sea and ocean, disappearance of forests, increasing use of tobacco and sheesha make the world smell like one single element.

Taste too is a fundamental element that helps in absorbing our food. However, taste has today lost its value. This is because of fast food. Food has an initial taste, that gradually enhances other tastes. For this, the French have created restaurants that serve ‘Slow Food’. One has to take a long time to eat and appreciate what we take in. The refined tastes then transform into colours, ideas and sounds, etc.

One of the senses that is suffering the most in the modern world is hearing. So many youngsters driving motorcycles, jeeps etc, make modifications in the vehicle to create more noise and the government does not make any effort to control this behaviour.

Consequently, people develop hearing problems and avoid public areas. Sound pollution is also caused by trucks, construction equipment and other engines. Our youth do not know the sound of birds singing, sea waves and other natural sounds.

The touch, which is a very refined sense, deals with all our surroundings, our seats, our clothes, our skins, our hair, our furniture and in simple words our environment. But, with the arrival of plastic, petrochemical products, nylon, etc, we cannot appreciate materials like silk, wool and carpets enough. Our fingers are gradually losing their sensitivity.

There are other senses, a sixth one, the one which can control our stability and positioning, scientifically called proprioception. This is not a real sense but only a perception.

When a person loses one sense, it has been proven that the other senses would get stronger. In the early days of Islam, mostly a blind person was selected as a muezzin. It was believed a blind person would have a much more attractive voice to call for prayers.

We need to slow down and appreciate what nature has given to us, and we should learn so much more about the beauty of life, and it does not cost us anything to slow down. Take time to see, smell, touch, taste, listen, and you will truly enjoy life. 

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