“In a land where everybody wants to be right, soon enough, there wont be anybody LEFT”
As the world shrinks, as we stand to reap the benefits of globalization, there is something so fundamental, something so simple that all of us had made a choice to overlook it. As the lands shrink, more and more folks are coming face to face with each other. As one big tribe of humans, we are now competing for a space, an identity in this new promised land of global opportunities. The lines that were once drawn clear by continental drifts, boundaries of nations are currently blurred and we find ourselves amidst a revolution of sorts where all of us are a part of new boundaries that is being drawn in violence and hate.
I’m definitely no expert in social dynamics or the psychology of the mass. I am but an observer , who is defined by the rules and norms that I feel are acceptable and are the ones that I choose to abide by. Using these are my biased filters, I’d like to observe and narrate rather than cite and judge.
Security in numbers :
This is one of the oldest traits of any culture. Birds of a feather flock together, blokes of a tribe stand together , fight together and help survive as one. It talks about unity. Unfortunately, that umbrella of unity has a very limited coverage. We are bifurcated by language, the gods that we choose to pray to, the money that we make and the status that we delude ourselves with. There is a sense of immense togetherness within a confined boundary. Science calls this ‘Cohesiveness’. The affinity of like matters to form bonds and share an ability to remain as one. Hence cohesive.
The security in numbers is a reflection of the status one shares in a given society, community and even land to a great extent. Entropy mandates that the majority does not give a damn hoot about this cohesiveness. Majority does not even see the need for this security. It’s assumed to be omnipresent and is usually taken for granted.
As we form newer tribes in an overcrowded section of the given society, natural fears and consequences of perceived competition and natural instincts of insecurities help the cause of security in numbers. This explains the grouping that is existent in any given ecosystem.
Whenever there is an us, there is always a them. Even within the smallest confines of what I call an office space, I’ve seen a lot of sentiments around us versus them. They are the gate keepers, they are the policy makers, they are the blokes who judge us and decide upon our fates(also read as performance evaluations) and in most cases, THEY really dont get the real picture. They have their favorites and they are partial. The mentality of us versus them exists because for various factors , us and them are not able to coexist.
When this is the case in a controlled ecosystem that is governed by organizational policies and where business is supposed to be the first and primary objective, when we walk outside beyond the walls of an office space, real life does not enforce such objects down our throats. Real life is about living. Live, let live, be happy, spread happiness. And once you mock the statement with a sarcastic ‘Yeah right’ smile, you see where I’m getting to.
Real life should have been about life. It’s not. It’s about survival. It’s now about one’s ability to thrive in a given ecosystem. It’s also about us versus them all over again. We take comforts in demonizing them for all our misgivings. There are times when this is not just a case of transference of blame. There are ample realities where ‘They’ do force limitations upon us. Oppression and Suppression are a way of life. Those in power, those with money, those with influence do tend to exercise the might it provides.
The motto has never been that of coexistence. How could it be? Coexistence is subjected to context and convenience. As long as someone benefits from the current as-is, there is coexistence. With any given as-is, there is an organic growth, there is an organic expansion. As one develops and grows, one’s needs and wants change. Hence the claim to a bigger chunk of a pie , hence conflict of interest. The status quo of coexistence is therefore challenged.
Insecurity plays a vital role in fueling mistrust across the table. The us versus them solidifies. Greater cohesiveness. Grander the outburst.
While the above stated govern the basics of how our minds work, there is a larger man made, man influenced factor at play here. It’s called conditioning. Conditioning is an ability of adaptability. We condition ourselves to adapt better to the changes in the ecosystem where we are trying to thrive. We make due with what we have, we make an effort to coexist. We grow as much as we can. When we hit blockers, we struggle with them till we find a solution that benefits us. While all of this sounds euphoric in words, in reality these do have drastic consequences.
The condition comes into play. The first lesson that I ever learnt in a professional context was that of a ‘Dog that is cornered’. A dog that feels cornered and feels it’s now currently stuck in a hostile environment will bark and bite. It will do whatever it takes to fight back. It does all of it because it does feel threatened. It’s primal survival instincts kick in.
As professionals, we are expected to assess and judge to see if we are really in a hostile environment. We should either equip ourselves with the right skills to avoid getting into tight corners, or brave the consequences of our actions to not be in that corner.
A lesson that was good to read, nice to believe in but I found it tremendously hard to live by. Like or not, sometimes we are in a hostile environment whose nature and purpose is not there to nurture us and facilitate our growth. Go figure!!!!!
Realities, same shit. We are not always in a nurturing environment.
The underlying difficulty is the fact that if something bugs us, we cant always pack bags and walk away form it. Confrontation is apparently the only viable option.
While I’ve narrated what I’ve observed, I think staying politically correct is the lousiest way to keep the demons appeased. The contributing factors are as complex as complex can be and they are that way because we try to appease.
Call a spade a spade, take a stance and things might be a little easier. This , of course, sounds euphoric on words, realities , we are yet to see.