Sunday, March 1, 2009

The GREY world around me

If someone asks me what my favourite colour is, I would always say- Grey.

I always feel that as individuals in society, we should have the capacity to look at things around us or people whom we relate to, with complete objectivity.  Let perfection remain an imaginary concept just as no one or no situation is completely hopeless.

If we go by that state of mind, we will be open to accept criticism starting from our own self,to knowing that friends may not always be right, the way we work may not be perfect, religion we adhere to, systems of interaction, societal norms, traditions, global values that permeate cultures, celebrities etc etc can all be wrong and hence i can't always blindly follow them.

A lot of problem in this world has been created because we have accepted our institutions, our friends, relatives, political groups etc to be right and understood certain things to be always wrong. Hence the notions- don't argue with your parents; follow the affluent; criminals are bad people etc.  We have blindly gone by these ideas. 
At a larger level it gives way to a group thinking which has very harmful impact. Remember the hippie culture? Traditional continuation of racism in developed countries, Casteism in India to name a few of them. Or the immediate reality in front of us in the form of both examples of excellence as well as threats to peace, environment degradation, noise, psychological problems etc.

If we understand that neither individuals nor insitutions are purely white but grey in shade, we will be open to understanding whats right as well as whats worth relooking. Some examples-

  • I would accept critique from anyone who finds fault in me
  • I will be happy to accept that my relatives, friends, teachers all have their areas of improvement 
  • A Congressman would accept that heredity doesn't guarantee leadership
  • We will constantly evaluate our lifestyles and try to improve
  • Organizations would understand that all their processes are worth revisiting and developing upon
  • People adhering to certain religion would understand that its only the search for truth that matters. Rest are all details.
  • Emerging parties would understand that they also may not have the answer to all the ills of this world 
  • Youngsters who are heavily influenced by the west would try to understand what ails that society too
  • Developed world would see the peril of too much of acquisition both to their own mental state, to the environment and also to the people who are trying to benchmark their ideals to this kind of living
  • Children would accept the fact that their parents are not perfect. All instructions from their end has to be weighed on the balance of reasoning and merit not of their own self but the larger society that we are a part of
  • People would not blindly emulate stars but would try to learn from certain qualities that they stand for
This acceptance to the fact that nothing is really perfect or completely imperfect, can open several doors to improvement at various levels.

The moment the onus on understanding shifts from popular notion to myself, I realize how important it is for me to observe myself, my notions, values as these are critical filters through which i  make sense of the world around me with all its seemingly colourful shades but with GREY being always the dominant one. 


Ankur Chandra Srivastava said...

Hello Ujjwal,I complete agree with you on this one.
Reality of this world is not in true black or white colours.
But I also feel as a human it is our natural instinct to look for clarity and that's why we aspire to see things in black/white. In fact, that's why we find leaders inspiring when they talk in extremes. Politicians know it too well and use this nature for them.

Rahul Gupta (RPG) said...

Dear Ujjwal,

I liked your blog and at the same time, I liked AC's comment. Personally adding nothing to the ongoing discussion, I will just say that following your approach, it will make better argument for our judgment and give more rationality to things we accept or not accept. So its a handy tool for self improvement when we give possibility to everything possible.

AC has a very valid point and reflects things when looked from different angle.

Ujjwal said...

Dear Ankur and Rahul,

Thanks for your comments.

This thought comes to my mind whenever i see people irrationally clinging to either their own mind sets, or the groups they belong to, or individuals they relate to etc.

Anything that closes our mind towards clear thinking according to me is detrimental and should be avoided. Irrespective of where it is coming from.

The ownership of understanding something or someone objectively is the beginning of intelligence. Otherwise we remain conformists.