Monthly Archives: April 2010

What are we?

We live somewhere, we observe things around us. Things such as people, their behavior, character, events and inanimate things like the buildings and vehicles. We learn from our observations. As a mortal, I have been observing the things around me. I wish to present some of my learning in this post.
Let me start with the question “What is right and what is wrong?” The answer one might come up is “Anything that is right to a person’s conscience is right and whatever that does not is wrong”. One more possible answer is “Anything that is accepted by the society is right and others are wrong”. Both these answers are correct. At times these two things may contradict but still they are right from their perspective. The actions of a terrorist may be right in his conscience but the world will never accept it and hence it is wrong from the society’s perspective. When it comes to the society, what is right in one part of the world may not be right in other part of the world. A friendly kiss when people of opposite gender meet or drinking wine is right in France but it is not so in India. What is right at one point of time may not be right at some other point. Polygamy was legal during the times when kings ruled in India but now it is not. Society changes and so do its views and the distinction of right from the wrong.
As kids we learnt from our environment. We did not know what is right and what is not. We were an empty slate waiting to be written with rules and distinctions on what is right and wrong from the society. Gradually, this knowledge we acquire penetrates deep into us. After a few years, what we call as conscience tells us what is right and wrong and guides us. When we look into it from a clear sense, this conscience which we say to possess is nothing but a collection of lessons and rules we acquire from the society. This is why a terrorist thinks his actions are right but the world does not agree.  
When we grew up we had parents guiding us everywhere and in everything. They showed us what is right and wrong. But again, they form a part of the society from which we learn and they are nothing but a collection of learning from the society they grew up in. What we see in our parents is what has been decided by them to show us and what they feel is right based on their learning. We firmly believe the rightness of this knowledge we get from them and pass it on to our kids. So when a kid grows up, he gets the knowledge from his parents, which is nothing but the essence of the society they were brought up in and also the society in which he is a part of. Thus I may say that society models us.
After a few years of growing we start reading books and do other things which expose us to cultures, ideologies and societies from across the globe. We learn from them as well and again they have their influence in creating us. I think a friendly hug is right. But my parents think it is not. I think it is right because I have at some point been exposed to a society in which hugging is considered an expression and sharing of love. That had influenced me to thinking that it is right. But my parents haven’t gone through the same experience or had been to a contradicting experience and so they feel it is not right. This is just a small example I used to demonstrate how what we call as ‘generation gap’ is created.  In such cases both the parties are right from their perspective but wrong from the other. Other examples might be birthday bums, loud music, ‘modern’ dressing etc.
By now, you would have understood what point I am trying to prove here. We are nothing but an essence of the society. We agree on something because we have been influenced to agree by the society at a very premature stage of life and we disagree because of the same reason. Only when we do or act which cannot be called as influenced by the society we have come across, it can be truly stated as the characteristic behavior of us. Try to take a moment and think of how much the society has influenced your thoughts, actions, dreams, verbiage, in short you.  
Until my next post, take care!
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Do Indians suffer from inferiority complex?

Inferiority complex is a psychological phenomenon by which an individual feels shy or humiliated when he/she comes across something which in that individual’s perspective is superior to what is possessed by self in a metric defined by that particular individual.
Every moment of our lives, we seek out and compare ourselves in everything and with everything. The dress we wear, the mobile phone we use, the way we keep our desk at office, our hairstyle, personal ethics to everything under the sun. We do this to keep reassuring ourselves that what we have is good. The comparison that we do gives both positive and negative results. Positive results give us that reassurance we sought out for. But negative results are an area of concern. We might learn from it and try to improve ourselves. This is what drives constant innovation and improvement. But if we do not take it in the right sense, we fall prey for the pangs of inferiority complex.
From a different angle, it may be viewed that inferiority complex arises purely out of the lack of knowledge of what is good for us and what is not. Inferiority complex is prevalent everywhere across the globe and no specific race of people are immune to it. But for our purpose I stick to Indians. An average Indian feels inferior about many things like any other human in any country. But the problem arises if he feels inferior about the fact that he is an Indian. The strong urge to migrate to foreign lands especially the ones termed as ‘developed nations’ mixed with partial knowledge of only the brighter side of life in those countries creates this inferiority complex. Yes, there are Indians do suffer from such a cruel from of inferiority complex and there are Indians who don’t.
The good news is there is a gradual shift towards the number of people who do not feel inferior about being Indian which is a good sign. But still there is a large percentage of people who are on the wrong side. The reasons they give might be the opportunities available abroad, scope for financial development, the infrastructure, the quality of whatever service that is offered, cleaner politics, government that takes complete care of citizens, cultured people, climate, lack of reservations etc.
These people who suffer from such an inferiority, adulate the western nations, their culture and language. They would do anything to migrate to these nations and even worse they feel disgusted to reveal their Indian origin. For all those people, I wish to bring something to the light. If one nation can withstand the test of time for several thousand years, still continue to exist with the same name, language and culture, there is something special about it. Still if you feel the same way about being Indian there is one thing that you cannot change and that is the fact that your mother land is India and you are an Indian. So ask yourself ‘Does loving your mother go out of fashion?’
With that question, I end the post by saying that I am a proud Indian who wishes to take the goodness from across the globe wherever it might come from but remain Indian till the end.