Man is basically a social animal and although would like to be left alone for whatever reason for short periods of time, it is very evident that he is constantly in search of security and is constantly in need of a moral and physical crutch to get through life in a reasonably smooth manner and to get over the many hurdles that life throws at us. However trained, educated and self-dependent an individual might be, he will need this help to maintain stability both in the gross and the subtle world, and it is this very tendency to need help from time to time that he will seek the support not only of other human beings but of different entities and existences that lends some sense of stability to an otherwise complicated life.. Man essentially lives in this bubble that everything is permanent, well understanding and being aware that the opposite is true. This very self-deception that is lived out by entire humanity, and by every generation has lead it to feel secure and safe and have a sense of permanency.
Is there any religion when we are born? Definitely not! … At least not in the initial years….then the environment consisting of the household, the school, media and a host of stimulation takes over and the learning process commences. This starts with the Do’s and Dont’s until such time the changes over time and our experiences mold us to make a choice that we consider to be our own when in fact we are driven to it not so much by choice but by circumstances, family and peer pressure and societal requirements and a need to adhere to the set norms and rules of behavior laid down by the fore generations.
There has always been a keen interest in our origins and these, over the years, especially as science progressed, has developed into many theories from the world of biology to religious mysticism, until lack of satisfaction led to an earnest study of the ancient monuments and cultures and lore that have left behind an indelible footprint in the form of ancient writings and religious practices and various structures and the very books and stories in the religious books that have pointed more towards science and less and less towards the much accepted speculation that we evolved from the primordial soup so to speak , up the evolution ladder.
……… MAMTA APTE
The human being is an animal and is one in every respect …let there be no illusions about it. He has started so and will end so unless there is an evolutionary upheaval or the great leap forward takes place. Barring that there is only one road left and that is for man to take it upon himself to enhance and upgrade by putting in the effort on their own and thus progress to a better version than the present one.
With time being the constant constraint and tiredness a constant companion due to competition healthy and otherwise and the materialistic concerns that rule life now a days, there seems to be an avid reluctance to thinking, to going beyond the purview to do that little bit extra that makes one stand out or be different. Of course everyone wants to be different …in fact that is the name of the game for success and growth…. but in what way different and why, is another thing altogether.
Be it the workplace, home, social functions or even when one is alone the uppermost thought is… well, let’s just do what is wanted and not take that extra effort …after all it’s not paying is it? What’s the point? There is neither time for it, and the money and the inclination.
This attitude has come down in everyday life and leading to tremendous degradation in relationships as well as the way we look at others, which is mostly in disdain and disgust and lack of complete sensitivity to the others plight. This has increased the distance among the humans and the relationships are becoming more strained, matter of fact and with an attitude of ‘just get the job done.
There’s a definite change in the way children are brought up today. Being an educationist, I am often accosted by parents and asked for help and advice. The words often used are… “: my child doesn’t listen, or has no feeling of guilt…. Refuses to respond to my shoutings….is willful rude and arrogant….takes what is given for granted….has little value for what is given….is threatening me…..” and the like.
Now let’s go back a little to the previous generations and take a look at their reactions and what they have to say about such behavior. One will often hear them say…” We didn’t behave this way…we respected our parents…never talked back or argued…touched their feet every day….were obedient and followed their lead…. took their advice …didn’t oppose or be belligerent and understood their wisdom…” and son and so forth.
Well both are facts that was and is the case respectively. Then what changed, what is different that has resulted in the total turnabout in the behavioral patterns and how is one to select the right pattern of bringing up children?
If one were to be left standing in the middle of a softly flowing river , not too deep and one had to choose between the banks on either side which one would you go to? What would be the parameters on which one would base their decision? This is easy you would say…one would definitely choose the greener and more fruitful and life sustaining bank. True…but what if this is the river of life and both sides look fruitful and successful what then would you decide.
We are at a point of time when there are three generations …one which is purely traditional and fast disappearing and then there is the other younger which is entirely modern and then there is the one in the middle that can see both the banks so to speak and toggles between the two. Actually this is the best position to be in. Perhaps from here matters are less clouded and one is able to see both sides of the coin at once. While the flow of the traditional life was slower than that of the modern both have much to offer and it bears to look at it in greater detail so as to get the best of both worlds. There are value additions on both sides…the trick is to balance out the two to best suit the life that we have chosen to live.
Thus the traditional has to be brought into modernity and vice versa and this will make life more balanced and enriching. Both are essential to our very being and rejecting one or the other does more harm than good. Balance is after all what life is about and extreme living patterns don’t seem to have done well. If one were to say that the traditional pattern promoted orthodoxy and the modern promotes freedom then the former saw social revolutions on many levels in the Asian and the western world and the latter is resulting in degradation of life and value system to the point where the existence of God is being questioned.
The social system and the established societal norms in either patterns didn’t do well either. These also have resulted in dissensions and have been subject to various internal pulls and pressures leading to the break of the joint family systems in the traditional and now the breakup of even the single family unit in the modern times, the last of which seems to be on its way out as well and living together has become the order of the day.
While living a life is itself a challenge, much of the rules and regulations that we lived by either voluntarily or involuntarily and were imposed or superimposed as the requirement of times and got changed or obliterated for the same reason. Acceptability of a rule or norm was not always a matter of reason or rationalism…rather it was mostly a matter of convenience to whom it mattered most or to those in power. The rest followed without being questioned by the masses thus escalating the process and bringing frequent change rendering every successive generation more confused and exposed to a flawed system full of patchwork and an eroded foundation. Are we then heading to a chaos where finally everything built up in the past becomes redundant and a new world order gets instated altogether with both the traditional and the modernity are annihilated and a new foundation of a completely new system hitherto unheard of is laid . Science fiction is not short on the various types of such systems which again project extremism in one form or the other and each having resulted in response to a dissatisfaction of the existing system for a better one.
It is therefore necessary that we get the best of both worlds and chalk out a middle path that is based more on rationalism and realism, and less on ego, desires and materialism and one which leads to true value addition rather than a game involving politics, rampant subjugation of the individual will, personal invasion, corruption of the self and a need to control at all costs.
The question here is how best to pass on and develop this attitude in the young minds so that they are given the power to judge for themselves and know the right from the wrong…perhaps the last is the very place to start…..