Fries, Pepsi and God


It sure feels like a volatile time these days. Someone or the other makes a declaration. We have hash tag battles being waged. There are rebels in abundance ( causes going scarce) , protesting is the way of life. Then there are trollers, the liberals, the ‘cool’ who play devil’s advocate by not picking a side and unceremoniously criticising everybody else. There are social observers armed with their opinion. God is also dragged into the mix and the big divide and debate over religions fuelling madness and madness on the pretext of religions. Yup, volatile times indeed.

The latest in that list was about not in my name and I was both amused and annoyed by the widespread use of that hashtag. Opinions poured out and I found myself caught in a storm of arguments that were flying past me. God didn’t ask for it, one bloke screamed in caps and bold. Religion is the opiate of the masses , another articulated. Men will be men, a silent murmur. I couldn’t help but wonder about fries and Pepsi.

About three years ago, I made a conscious choice to set my life choices straight. I bid adieu to junk food and embraced fitness into my life. I made the time, altered my priorities, refused to jump companies because the other company refused to accommodate my priorities. Without care for a balanced approach, I did enjoy a nose dive to a stringent audit of what I ate and the time I invested in the gym. So what does Fries have to do with the context at hand? EVERYTHING.

It would probably be lousy bad for the business if the McDs of the world promoted the health risks along with their juice deep fried products. It would be a nightmare for the Pepsis of the world if they promoted the serious risk of excessive sugar intake and how long term exposure to its products leaves the mass in a state of malnutrition. The shortest conclusion is that these companies don’t see a need to force feed choices down our throats. They offer what they can, make a money while they can, settle disputes when they are challenged and keep figuring out new ways to sustain business. 
It would be rather foolish of the folks to say that we endured health risks because the providers didn’t bother take ownership of the mess that they were selling. 

I think a similar parallel can be reached when it comes to God and the path of religion. It is what it is. The onus rests with us. We made that choice to adopt and embrace principles. We made that choice to express faith and be fanatics about it. Hiding behind an ideology is convenient because the said ideology does not have a way to express it’s own voice and opinion. In fact, if God was to walk among us, she’d probably spend a lot of time alienating herself from the silly things that we do on a daily basis. 
I do feel amused at the amount of silliness that goes unchecked because neither god nor religion has a direct say in the things that surround us. They both have representatives and that reduces the argument to one bloke’s word against another bloke’s word. It narrows the conflict to whose side do you fancy picking. 

Choices define us. Such choices are not restricted to larger than epic issues like god, religion or outlook towards life. Choices do have a say in even the most insignificant decision that we stand to make. There are those who own their choices and deal with the consequences. There are those who wait to delegate the blame for being forced to make a choice, there are those who do what they can from making any choice at all. The recent volatile battle of opinion and ideologies does share it’s boundaries with the said accountability of choices. 

People pick their heroes. Heroes pick their options and propagate them. End of the day, you and I are left with a choice to either get swayed or make an informed decision. Next time when you face an outburst and a public spread mania, ask yourself that question. Did that bag of fries ask you to eat it? Did that Pepsi beg you to drink it? Did that gym force you to spend some time in it? While it might not solve any problem, it would be an amusing train of thought. 

Karthik

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