I have been meaning to write about this for a long time. However every time I just began to pen down, I could see a deluge of ‘intolerant’ posts on intolerance. And just when I thought that I would abort the idea of this yet-to-start post, I watched the movie – Lucy for the fifth time! And, the movie again pulled me back in my ponderlust to the same statement, Scarlett Johansson in the movie Lucy (a must watch movie) says, “Everything that makes us, us is, primitive”. No matter how the world formed bazillion years ago after an excruciating transformation and no matter, how man evolved over eons and now, trapezes on the soils of neighboring planets, he is still primitive in his thoughts and actions. Like, the evolution for man has happened only in terms of materialistic indulgences he sees as development. The mind however, that bears the opinions, is still primal.
Like how one particular actor’s comment just set off a dynamo of acerbic comments and rude tones with all hell breaking loose on social media is an example of how we are still very primal in our thoughts, even if we vouch for all the progress man has made until now. Like, all the hullaballoo over what the actor said about how his wife felt, is a blatant example of how primitiveness becomes a person. The diatribe of scathing comments, the negativity that springs from diversified faiths, the impermeable mindset of our society speaks a lot about how we are still low by nature. Perhaps, our foremost ancestors who were apes were far advanced than us because they did coexist with dinosaurs, sabertooths and mammoths at a time, when hunting instincts were sky high! And now, after all the ‘evolution and revolution’, we are not able to stand each other because we follow different professions/religions/faiths or worse, belong to different demographics!
The cleaving Divide.
A person following a religion cannot stand an atheist. An atheist cannot stand an agnostic. A person of religion A cannot accept the same message in a different lingo from religion B. Religion and spirituality which originate from the same roots are seen as antonyms of a kind. A person in profession X looks down upon a person in profession Y. A person with better means of life overlooks and snubs the living standards of the one who serves him. A parent M thinks that the parent N is not good enough as her and, passes crude remarks on the latter’s parenting. And, the list goes on and on and on. While the social media was rife with ‘intolerance’ gobbledygook, I wondered how many of us actually understand the word – Intolerance. This is what Wikipedia has to say:
- “unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one’s own.
“a struggle against religious intolerance”
So, what does it imply? It implies, each one acting and reacting to a situation that necessarily need not affect him or her directly is an intolerant fool who, takes a certain pleasure in maintaining an air of ‘superiority’ over the others. In the process, he is oblivious to the fact that he has just made a clown out of himself with the negativity clouding his judgment.
Everybody loves to be the judge!
Now, that brings me to the second part of all the golly troubles – Judgment. To judge people based on what they eat, how they talk and the way they live is so NOT required. What is the need to comment on people who are not linked to your life even remotely? Where is the need to judge their character without knowing the whole truth? Why should one be irked by a different take on views? For instance, if a writer gives back an award expressing his anger over what he feels was unjust, so be it. It is his award. And, if an actress decides to keep her award because she does not feel the same way, so be it too! That is her take. That is all about it! How can a person’s returning an award or keeping it speak about the person? However, it sure speaks volumes about the person who passes the judgment on the character of the person who has returned/retained the award. And, such a person who passes unsolicited judgments as freely as a child throwing stones in a river to catch a ripple is, Intolerant!
Where are the empaths?
The reason the world is behaving the way it is today, is because it lacks empathy big time. The inability to understand someone’s struggles/perception/stance without hearing two sides of the same story is what I call – lack of empathy. And, lack of empathy gives rise to baseless assumptions that eventually lead to erroneous judgments. Which is why, our world is heading towards self destruction. Even Mother Nature seems to be sick and tired of the hypocrites she is sustaining. Where on one hand, the world promotes ‘Go Green’ and ‘Save animals’, on the other hand, man is busy minting money making this world a concrete jungle! However, if the world is still running, it is primarily because of a handful of good souls who continue to do their bit every day, without expecting much in return. And, such flow of genuine goodwill and brotherhood stands out when a natural calamity strikes like the recent Chennai floods. Hotels preparing food for the stranded, common men risking their own lives to help people in distress and malls and marriage halls providing shelter to the affected people for indefinite time prove to the world that, there is a lot of humanity, tolerance and brotherhood alive. Such are the times when true grit and conscience is tested and, perhaps it is a way of Mother Nature trying to bring people together, even though her ways of asserting the balance of life, is excruciating and agonizing.
The debate on intolerance may have earned media a lot of perks, TRPs and business. But then, that day shall arrive too, when a common man ignores what media portrays and, makes his judgment based on rationality underpinned by truth. And, that will be the day to watch out for, when truth and truth alone, will be the defining moment of life.
Until man understands the virtue of tolerance, the circus is on!