Saturday, January 3, 2015

Duality in Truth

Would you do things in a comparatively free society that you would have considered not doing otherwise?

There can be several reasons as to why you would consider not doing something.Might be because you feel it is unethical, or because your loved ones feel it is unethical or may be just your social structure does not endorse it.When I say "unethical" vs "non-endorsement", there's a difference.You might feel marital rape is wrong and thus unethical but Indian law does not criminalize it. That's one example.

In US we do certain things with such grace and innocence, that we might not be able to do back in India.
Keeping a close watch at the dustbin to get hold of any thrown away materials like sofa,mixer etc is one example. All to  save some dollars.And not to mention,buying used stuff from the nearest garage sale.In India, our inflated ego doesn't simply allow us to buy or use used stuff or thrown away stuff.We are taught to think that the family background we have come from , is more at ease to "give" than to "take".I feel this is an example more of social stigma or social "way of living" and does not correspond to facing one's deeper self.

Dating++ with any girl/guy giving a damn to what "ye zamana" says is another example.In this country it doesn't matter who is doing what with whom.So people try out things which might be simply grave , when they are back in their homes.It is not just a social stigma in that case. The entire definition of ethics or values changes.You might not be able to face your near and dear ones , if they come to know about your "karnamas", but simply because there is no chance of the information reaching to them, you feel comfortable.

This country also endorses free style fashion which means wearing any funky stuff, any combination of colors and exposing of course!!Any fashion that is different and makes you stand out, is a "yoyo" here.It doesn't matter if you have "red lips" tattooed on your cheeks or if your trousers is almost slipping from your waistline or if your jeans is ripped off at strategic places.I was wondering if I litter in India, would I feel the same amount of guilt compared to if I do it over here? Or would I not give myself  a pat on the back if I cross the busy road in India in between traffic.But here I would be afraid of the comment from the by stander, that because I am not from here, I don't even know this country's rules.And for sure, I am never taught to hold the door for complete strangers , in malls, in restaurants, in airports and if I do this back home, it is going to evoke lot laughter at my "USish" behavior!

The list is endless. But what surprises me is how do we determine that something is apt in some place at some point of time and the same thing is not at another instance.Is there anything that has an universal definition of right or wrong? Things that are not social stigma, that are not loathed or mocked by others gain the right to be right and others are wrong.

Nothing has an absolute definition.The same activity experienced by different people, in different places or at different points of time gives rise to different situations and states of mind.So if  in a relationship, someone experiences sheer love, the other person may just have a time pass to overcome his or her loneliness. I tried thinking again...killing? Is it not a heinous crime and beyond doubt that it should be universally bad? But then again, we do respect our great soldiers.So killing under a specific cause under certain circumstances is not bad.But that means, killing is not bad if you are part of a collective goal, like our freedom fighters had, like our country's soldiers have. But don't terrorists also have a collective goal? Is all collective goal good? Even rioteers have a collective goal be it in the name of religion.And I believe people who are part of such crime organizations actually have very strong collective goals to achieve.Otherwise such organizations wont be able to sustain.They have vision, mission!! This is what makes it difficult to  fight against them.They have a collective truth which is perfectly legitimate to them.Because it is collective, social stigma is not experienced.We learn to despise something or follow something based on how much social stature we gain out of it or how much positive attention it gives to us. And if some truth is collective , then it is really difficult to break that chain.

Everything in this world is dual in nature. Truth has many colours. For truth between two people, it is only them who can know it and appreciate the truth of the truth. For collective truth, it is more complex .If only we can find a way  amongst the different versions of truth....
Having said that, I , personally believe that changing oneself as per the requirements of a new place is apt.But as long as that does not change the morals or values which are so intrinsic.So if it is some change of fashion or food habits or lifestyle or courtesy related then it is welcome.But if it leads to something that you are changing your values, that is unwelcome and not endorsed.

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