Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I had yet another long break in my writing. Sometimes when I feel lost, I just read the things I have written before. Today, I came across a response that I had written on one of the acquaintance's post. Having become lazy, I thought I will just copy it here rather than write something new...

Here it goes:
I think somewhere in our externally forced learning, the internal voice within ourselves is suppressed. We are taught that there is one correct answer, there is one correct way of doing things; which, of course is an outright lie. Parents approve one correct way of behaviour; teachers agree to only one correct answer, that is their answer; at work, there is only one correct way of doing work, that approved by boss; society gives one correct way of progressing career (more money, bigger house, bigger car, etc.); we are told there is only one correct religion (well, we are taught to be tolerant, which is not same as accepting each religion might be right for the circumstances in which it came up) and as if this is not enough; nowadays there is also one correct way of managing your health (well different people will propose different things but everyone will insist that theirs is a better way), and even one correct way of communicating. Our basic style of learning in our childhood which is shaped by our teachers and parents, pretty much decides how much we understand ourselves. The ‘one correct way’ is enforced in all our dimensions of our life. The loss of our internal voice makes us dependent on external measures to know our self-worth thus reinforcing the vicious loop. We no longer know when to stop eating, we stop based on some arbitrary measure we have established for ourselves; we don’t know how much should we learn, we are habituated to depend on external measures like exam scores, performance appraisals, etc.; we can’t be certain of hanging out with a person until our friends have approving looks. Unfortunately not just we measure ourselves but also enforce those measures over other on whom we have the influence. We judge people based on what we have established as our one correct way and anyone who dares to be different,we discourage that person. But when the very same personn for some reason gains recognition we celebrate the same ‘dare to be different’ of that person.
I think we start getting disconnected when we can no longer listen to this internal voice within ourselves. We can no longer be just one person, we try to adhere to different parts of our life based on the norms established in the circles of that part of life. In our office, we try to be like our colleagues, in social circles we try to be like our friends and families, etc. We are only one person, the mental, physical, spiritual, and social dimensions must not make us different people. I have come across many people especially in corporate world who think something else, say something else, and do something completely different. I wonder how do they live with themselves, but they apparently do, they do live quite well with themselves at least on the surface. We become aware of our spiritual dimension when we can have questions about ourselves that we cannot answer, we have questions about the world around us that we know nobody around us knows. But this one correct way fools us there also, we are no longer content with the question remaining answered or just exploring them without jumping on the conclusion; we want somebody to answer those questions for us and once we find somebody who answers, we rationalize our choice by saying well that person is like this and this how can he be wrong, or billions of people believe this so how can it be wrong, or it is wisdom of thousands of years so how can it be wrong. We force ourselves to accept or reject things as a whole rather than learning and keeping what is good with us.
In a way, we human being have always had leaders and followers model and some accepted norms for living life. But, earlier the circles were small and made up of same people. With increasing globalization and connectivity, we are moving towards more and more accepted uniformity for larger and larger population, leaving more and more people disconnected. And we also have different circle of people for each part of our life; people at work, people with whom we hang out, our relatives, our family, our online friends, etc.