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…..