[This article was first seen on Medium and has been republished with permission from the author.]
“All of this complaining that we all do as a culture, is literally tricking ourselves into thinking we are doing something “ — Robin Black
With the recent social-media outburst caused due to Snapchat’s CEO (Evan Spiegel) saying something (unverified) about India, I couldn’t help but think about just how disconnected a lot of Indians are — with themselves.
Words are weapons only when you allow them to be.
We may not be ‘poor,’ but we sure did react poorly. There’s no running from the fact that there’s always going to be someone that’s going to say or do something that you don’t like or get offended by.
Yesterday it was Evan, today it’s Sonu. I assume tomorrow it’ll be Richard, and someday it’s going to be Jagruti or Murli for that matter.
It’s a never-ending story, an extremely sad and a fragile one at that. Look, one cannot control what others say or do, but what’s controllable is how we react to what is being said or done.
So then, what if we simply pause, self-reflect and realize that somewhere we too have said something nasty (about India or other countries) but continue to get away with it as we’re not under any sort of public scrutiny.
“You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is something the whole ocean is doing” — Alan Watts
What if we are, to take an unbiased look at ourselves, go deep within and understand and acknowledge our own shortcomings, insecurities and fears — then words such as what Evan used will not hold any value.
You see, there’s something lacking in each one of us, and until we don’t fix that — we’ll continue to feel hurt, and get offended by things that don’t really matter. Things that surely don’t matter in the larger scheme of things.
Sadly, the direct effect of the above is that it draws everyone towards bringing others even further down; even though they’re already falling.
Why else do you think celebrities or famous people get attacked the most? Because somewhere, as soon as they start to fall — they become just as human, just as regular as you, me or Jagruti.
Our idea of patriotism is quite worrisome too. A sense of pride should be warranted only if each one of us consciously and consistently adds value to our environment.
In recent years, it has become scary to see my fellow Indians being lost in their own private ideological fantasies, which they’re clearly misinterpreting as a reality for not just themselves, but others too.
A reality that seems extremely fragile, does not allow any criticism and is not supportive of anything that is beyond it’s understanding.
Facts don’t seem to matter either. Everyone’s out there to assume the absolute worst. With how instant the outbursts are nowadays, we’re clearly not even waiting for the information (rumour) to be verified.
We don’t seem to believe in ‘benefit of doubt’ either. Sure, we understand it in the realm of cricket, but most humans beyond that very boundary-line are proven guilty without trial.
You see, in giving away control, you gain it. Let’s face it, the world needs more people telling it just like it is. Truth hurts, and in recent times a lot of us have proven that we just can’t seem to handle it.
So then, let’s say India is your mother, and we all agree that mother is god — don’t we? Now, we all know that god is everything but are we willing to accept that everything has the ability to not get offended by anything.
But anyway, what I’m trying to say is — here we are.