Thursday, 21 July 2011

London is cold

Some say I'm on a quest to uncover the fabric of the universe. Others say I'm just kidding myself. Among the believers of the holy grail, there are some that believe I'm looking to discover myself, while others are convinced I'm trying to make sense of the people around me. And then there are some that believe that the self and the other are but trivial and inconsequential objects in the majestic vignette of the universe. And yet, for us imbeciles, we are our world. Life revolves around the self and the other, more pertinently, the significant other. We often spend lifetimes comparing and contrasting ourselves with our contemporaries, and occasionally with our ancestors. Yes, we are remarkably short sighted, but everybody is, so we're not made to feel the need to see otherwise.

I'm both amazed and vexed by the amount of time we spend trying to merge with the social structure, the latter of which is also incrementally shaped by our actions. In effect, we constantly shape and perfect a mutually accepted paradigm for all behaviour. We then feel good or bad or indifferent about ourselves with respect to the world, depending on how closely we ourselves adhere to the seemingly arbitrarily determined paradigm. Arbitrary being said, I must add that it is something that we (I for now) cannot or WILL not understand, as it might be too complicated for us (or me). But there might still exist a perfectly valid reason for which social structure is the way it is. Beats me.

Why are we constantly calibrating ourselves and our peers as against the set benchmarks of social righteousness and 'cool'ness? Why is it so unacceptable to be completely independent of what the cumulative wisdom of the society believes correct? I would love to specify an example, but run the risk of being judged in that respect, and then stereotyped and dismissed. Then again, being a psychologist I do understand the need for stereotypes and heuristics. However, we do need to get better and more discerning at it. Because right now, the rate of misses and false alarms is ridiculously high.

The world creates this out of us. Then again, we created and continue to create the world as it stands. Suspicion always comes before trust. A stranger always first belongs to an outgroup, not ingroup. Does it really have to be so? Can our neurons be rewired, and our preferences modified, just like they are done by commercial advertising? We need more love, more energy and more trust. And thats got noting to do with the lack of sunshine in London.

Ojas Mehta

Author & Editor

Has laoreet percipitur ad. Vide interesset in mei, no his legimus verterem. Et nostrum imperdiet appellantur usu, mnesarchum referrentur id vim.


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