Monday, April 27, 2015

I am so sorry for doing this to you

A statement oft-repeated. One could say this in so many daily situations. Say for example, someone knocked another human being down, and spilled everything they were carrying over them as well. It may be an altercation causing episode, could hurt the parties physically. Supposing in the worst case scenario that it went too far, it may even cause long lasting mental trauma. But then maybe i am getting way ahead on a small accident.
A very unlikely situation could be hearing it from some random business partner of yours, who had ran away taking all the money, left you broke, and paying for some deep fraud charges as well, committed by you know who. This then would be a completely professional situation, one which involves courts, lawyers and lots of time. In some cases, police as well.
A sad and unsettling situation could be listening to it from a loved one. Not so because you don’t expect this to happen, in a relationship, in fact that should be one place or angle, from which you should see this coming from, way before it actually happens. Everywhere else it could be a bad shock at max, but when these words come from someone who has already said in the past that they love you, it feels like someone just punched in your empty stomach, real hard.
Its the people closest to us, who have this power to break us from within, with things as simple as spoken words. So much more so than any stranger in this world. It may be because we hand over to them our feelings on a platter. It could be because they are allowed to twist, turn and play with our emotions. And I am not saying that’s a bad thing. It just seems so much similar to trusting everyone driving on the road, not to run over you, just because they are driving fast and you are crossing it blindfolded. What’s wrong with expecting people will drive nicely and follow traffic rules?
After so many I am sorry’s of this sort, both saying and listening to, more listening than saying but of course, to and from people close to me, there is only one thing that can be boiled down as a lesson by my awfully slow, emotionally overloaded, brain. And that is, matters related to emotions are never simple. There. As soon as i have written this piece of self realisation, i am confused as to how something as common as this cannot be accepted and realised more often.
Why do our actions cause hurt? When we know we have the power to hurt someone, should we then, be more careful and pretend to be who we are not? Is it possible that our hurt is not dependent on any external force or action? Would that make us less emotional or a lesser human, if we knew how to control our hurt and not blame others for whatever happened? There maybe no definitive answers to any of these questions above, save a deeper understanding of what is the actual reason behind getting hurt, and that may make relations eventually a lot more simpler.
Every relation is based on equal or near equal parts of exchanges. Exchanges of care, expectations and values too, hopefully. How are these exchanges made then? They take place with the help of certain medium. Starting with language, vocal or sign, actions, ideas and promises, and finally tokens of affection, or a signed deal if it’s a marriage.
Working in either direction, upwards or downwards, left or right of it, any event can be divided in layers, each one pertaining to medium, and feelings, and that may help us realise what actually causes us to be hurt.
More often than not, it’s not what we say, or don’t say, also it’s not what we do or don’t do to ourselves and to others, with whom we maybe or may not be in a relation, which causes hurt. People, more commonly, humans have expectations, like the ones exchanged in more or less equal parts in any relation, from themselves and from partners in these relations, and it’s fear of unfulfillment of these which cause us to be hurt, angry and eventually unhappy even. In turn making us even more fearful. Depending on who is on what plane of maturity, which side of the action, and whose baggage of exceptions is it, which got shaken, there is eventually a perpetual flow of guilt. Of doing something wrong, or of being wronged.
It is a free world, may not be so much so free, but that’s what everyone seems to be fighting for, freedom from one thing or the other. Hence there has to be an equal number of freedom of choices as well. Choices which we can make on our own, or which are chosen for us by emotional parameters thrust upon us.
“I am so sorry for doing this to you”, doesn’t sound good if you are starting or ending a conversation with these words. It does make a good start for using all the mediums for sorting out our relations, though. 

For if we can keep aside our hurts, expectations, and wishes and listen to what the other person has got to say, maybe these words would only be then required for strangers on whose toes you stepped in the crowded local train, or state transport bus. But then that’s me speaking my mind, and I am not expecting much.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Thriving off Stupidity and other insights....

Man’s progress, and by man, i don’t mean man as in men, i mean the progress of humans as a race, all over, has been in the hands of a few individuals, who have been hailed as game changers, geniuses by others.
Our dependence on them has always been on the rise, with time and with the complexity of changes they keep bringing in the scheme of things. One could guess, that with so many advances in number of schools, universities, everyone getting good education, there would be more people coming out on the top. But that does not seem to be the case, we see so much disparity all around us. What then are these apostles of change fed? What do they see, which by others remains unseen? Is it something in their genes, or the DNA, that makes them different? Or is it their ability to spot a problem and start working on it’s solution before everybody else?

Lets glance back at a few thousand years, lets view early human being, primitive man, cave dwellers, nomads through a different lens on the eye. Imagine the scene when one of them, out of a group, accidentally created fire. There would have been no instruction manuals. There would have been no disclaimers. Just some part of common sense to help him survive. Fire, would have been known already to man in a lot of different shapes and sizes by then, smalls ones which he could probably spit on, or blow some air, to put them out. Some of them would be large ones, which common sense would advise one to run away from, and not try and put them out without external means. If though, anyone was stupid enough to light one up and then try and put it out by jumping in it, or sit in it for that matter, they would naturally perish and hence had the right to remain extinct and cleanse the world of their stupidity too. These days we tend to call these kind of accidents manufacturing defects, and lawyers help us claim millions in damages.
Survival is the main term here. That has what has been constant since the day our species arrived here, on this planet. Infact that is the whole purpose of any species. During early ages when the term “civilization” hadn’t been coined in its modern meaning, one needed a specific skill set to survive. And back then survival meant actual life and death situations. Not just survive education, girl friends and bosses like we do each day. Some of us have to deal with all three, some are lucky enough to be cursed by just one of them. To complete one basic task, say trekking down to some nearby stream to get some fresh water, must have come with a rider - stay alive during the ordeal. Nature and man would have been in a constant fight with each other. Here is where the game changers stepped in. Why not make products, instead of people scurrying around making fires, gathering water, why not provide these as services and charge for it? And then someone went ahead and patented it. Say, rather than everyone creating their own fires, a few of them started going around selling standardised fires. Why let the people take risk of lighting one up and arsoning one whole village with their stupidity? These game changers made life easy for everyone else around. But these are the ones which didn’t let nature take care of the ones which were not meant to be thriving. The game changers brought about a very rapid change in the environment. It meant people could have improved survival chances, lesser heading out in to the wild and hence an extension of chances to spread more stupidity around. Why and how would one buy as simple a product as fire?  Some people may ask. It is simple to create, very easy to control, one of the earliest tool man discovered, which gave him power over most of the other species. For one, there would definitely have been some great marketing strategy behind it. They would have highlighted the chances of reducing mishaps, the dangers of doing it yourself, various accidents that may happen. Then, since people would have been evolving as a colony there would be regulations in place. A personal fire may be only so high, temperature could not be more than so hotness (there were no units by then, so the hotness could be measured by sacrificing something or someone less liked by all). Why wouldn’t then it be better to go for a standardized product, something which could alleviate your chances of survival by manifolds, rather than trying getting killed while creating one by yourself?
Another off shoot of this would be courses being given on how to create the perfect fire. Something, which one could very well teach oneself on his/her own, would not only be taught to them, another aspect that they would drill into everyone would be that they are completely dumb, and if they didn’t teach one how to light a fire, these people would be better off being eaten by a lion, in the confines of their homes. Some of the precautions that one may have had to learn the hard way, through way of experiences, would now be available to you as digests. One could now take courses, take a look at demos, read pamphlets (sorry not pamphlets, writing wasn’t invented by then), thus enabling even the most simpletons of the pride to be as smart as the first man who accidentally created fire by rubbing stones. Somewhere down the line, we are still the same dumb, scared afraid learner, this i could deduce from the numerous warnings and disclaimers mentioned on products of everyday use. Batteries, deodorant cans, electronic items, anything under the sun can start a potential fire, of which we are still afraid the same.
Eventually over the history, what people with ideas and game changers have done is provide great solutions, but a few amongst us were greater marketers and salesman, they were the ones who actually gave meaning to these changes. These were the ones who convinced everyone that they could be lazy, safer and survive better were they to adhere to usage of these products. Soon the products became a necessity and not a fashion statement. Case in point the latest smart phones of a fruity named company.

Civilization, as it seems started, because humans could not survive alone, because each one had a limited skill set. We as a race needed a combination of these skills to get by. We needed each other. With the advent of civilization came progress, use of technology, creation by some and usage by a larger number of people, with that came security and safety in the confines of a culture. Now in a group, hidden amongst the doers, a lot more people without any skills could survive, unchecked. Infact those were the ones who would survive the longest. They could grow in huge numbers thus increasing the count of stupidity manifolds. But then they had to do something, otherwise people would have identified such freeloaders, and thrown them out. Thus came into being, politics, religions and economics. With increase in the size of each generation, came the chaos.

Where once survival meant saving ourselves from predator and nature’s fury, with our original game changer’s brought along progress, survival meant one had to had the skills to survive the most dangerous predator of all times, man himself. And the sheer count of descendants of the firmly safe and secure, lazy and stupid version of the us, roaming around freely, is what is making any and all skills redundant really fast.

Majority of us are the descendants of the one who hadn’t thrown a spear, hadn’t gone out hunting, hadn’t lighted a fire on his own, because he opted those game changing products to keep himself safe. And these descendants are the ones now hunting all over the world, in business suites, in religious places, in political arenas, studying what others have taught them, speaking what other spoke before them. These are the ones driving complex machines on the roads, even the roads too have now been planned by similar counterparts.
The game changers, the inventors, the scientists and everyone contributing towards progress did bring us forward by leaps and bounds. Without them we would all still be sitting in some cave carving stone tools and painting on walls. But that also made sure that we would always have a community of people thriving within us, who could be stupid and survive and later put all humanity at risk, just by being alive.

I see a lot of people around who would have been better off extinct, but then its still illegal to murder someone. Stupidity can thrive like the worst viral epidemic. Despite the fact that we have so much more to be afraid of, so many more things we could die by, exploding phones, road accidents, nuclear warfare, airplane crashes, and yet we are still here does go around to show, stupidity can survive humans. If you do think about it, stupid isn’t it?