Men’s enemy in the world of nature
Somebody has observed that man is born free but everywhere he is in chains. Though this was said in some other circumstances, ma is not so free. From birth to death, he has to contest with his enemies. Where the enemy is known, man has always found ways and means of combating it. If it is disease, he has medicines for it. He would set up snares and catch certain types of enemies. He would kill them with slings, bows and arrows, spears and guns and so on. But the story of man, when he cannot fight his enemy, is helplessness as in the case of a big storm.
Among the animate enemies, the bacteria and virus are the worst for one does not know when they may strike for they are lurking everywhere only to enter the human system and play havoc. Long, long ago man believed that diseases were caused by evil sports and hence he tried to appease them by sacrifices and by worshipping them. Now thanks to the advance of science and invention of scientific instruments especially the microscope and the X-ray machines, man knows diseases are caused by bacteria and virus. He knows also how to prevent falling prey to those diseases. He has in repertoire sulpha drugs and antibiotics, vaccines and serums. Almost all epidemic diseases have become things of the past. For instance, small pox, the scourge which was taking away a toll of men has been eradicated practically from the face of the earth. Only cancer is defying all treatment.
Man has to be wary about insects that bite because he cannot hope to eradicate them. From experience he has come to know of medicines for such things, for example snake bites can be treated with serum.
Man has enemies among animals such as tigers, wolves and foxes. They do not attack man unless he interferes with them. These animals have their part to play in the ecological balance. Even the dog, man’s best friend can prove as an enemy especially when it becomes mad. The bite of a mad dog causes rabies; thanks to the pioneering effort of Louis Pasteur and anti-rabies vaccine has been prepared and has proved a blessing in healing dog bites.
These are also other types of enemies which destroy man’s food. For example, rats and other rodents destroy sizable quantities of grains and fruits. But man with experience and scientific skills has overcome these enemies. He builds rat proof warehouses where grains are dusted with chemicals so that they do not rot. He keeps food items in cold storage and thus preserves them.
There are then the enemies from the very elements themselves. The life giving atmosphere may prove fearsome when it turns into a storm or tornado. With scientific instruments man is able to forecast a coming storm. Similarly the rain, snow, ice and frost may prove to be enemies when they occur. Rain destroys life and property and leaves destruction when it recedes. Fog has caused many disasters on land and in water such as ships colliding, air crashes and land accidents. Ice was known to have broken ships. But the dangers from them are being minimized because of sophisticated apparatus man has at his command. Mother earth herself very often makes up her mind to heave and shake. These earthquakes do cause a heavy loss almost every year.
The worst enemy of man is death. One does not know what death is except that all the organs fail to function. Man may argue as to how death is caused, but nevertheless it does occur at every age and in all places at all times. There is none who is not afraid of death. People carry mascots and talismans to avoid death. The mystery of death is so deep that a lot of theories have sprung up about it. It may be a friend in certain cases and it may appear cruel in other cases. Whether death is an enemy or a friend depends on how one views it.
So one can conclude that man is always surrounded by enemies and if at all he survives, it is indeed a miracle.