Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Individual point of view

Sometimes I think that most of the wild life experts have got it all wrong.

I feel they are barking up the wrong tree when they complain that the elephant, the tiger, the cheetah and the panda are in serious danger of extinction. I'm not worried about them. I'm sure they'll find a way to survive and outlive all of us. Now dont get me wrong. I am a passionate supporter of any conservation efforts designed to protect the flora and fauna around us.

But my focus is something else.

I feel that much more vulnerable than these animals is something a lot closer to home. I am talking about an 'individual' point of view. It has to be one of the rarest of qualities if one ever has the privilege of finding it -- among the people we meet, that is. And is something that can so easily disappear even after locating it.

Now I don't understand why this should be the case because everywhere you go people talk about 'independence', 'autonomy', 'self-respect' and all other forms of action that require personal initiative. It is considered to be a mark of independence that a person can choose Coke over Pepsi or Burger King over McDonalds. Or for that matter, some people consider it to be a matter of pride that they are able to choose an Armani suit over a Saville Row and make a personal preference over Givenchy, Cartier, YSL, Pierre Cardin and other olfactory monsters.

Alright. I have nothing against people having a choice over these matters and to 'each his own', is how I'd put it. But tell me... is this all there is to life? Is this why we were created in the first place? Are we the highest life form because we are able to differentiate between brands and are able to evaluate them?

I feel we are created as individuals and are born with certain individual characteristics that define us and shape the way we live, act, behave and interact with others. This individuality is not just about the shape of our nose or our facial features but it is also about possessing an individual mind that thinks and reacts and, yes, even opposes.

But the world is marching on a different drum. There is a constant clamour for homogenity and in the process anyone who dares to be themselves and adopt an individual stance is considered an oddball. hence, people shy away from being themselves because they do not like or want to be ostracised. The need to belong becomes stronger than the primal need to be oneself.

What's the solution?

Break away from the mould and break free... or stay if you really want to be there. The choice is yours.

2 comments:

Pragya said...

Exactly!

Choice is always what it is all about. The only guideposts along this journey we call life are the choices we make and the resulting consequences.

Pragya

Ashish Gorde said...

But sometimes people are not able to make their own choices because they tend to get, unnecessarily, 'influenced' by outside forces. That is the challenge facing the world today, I think... we are just not given the opportunity to think for ourselves and decide for ourselves.