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Super structures

By Aditya in Experiences
Updated 11:13 IST Jan 07, 2020

Views » 124 | 3 min read

The only election I ever contested was for being the class monitor in 10th standard, which I lost to a very good friend of mine. No shame in accepting that he was a better student in every way; polite, studious, humorous, friendly, good in sports and good in arts. Of course he was excellent in subjects and ranked in the top three. He was the better choice and our fellow students knew it and did well to vote for him. It did not matter what his name was, which caste and which religion he belonged to. All that mattered was competence. Oh and it didn’t matter whether the kid was a he or a she.

A few years later some of us batch mates met for dinner, by then we were doing well with our respective careers and pursuits. Couple of drinks down and having indulged in nostalgia for a long time, the conversation slowly drifted to films, then to cricket and finally to politics. One of our friend who was connected with a political party took the lead and the conversation quickly turned unpleasant. He kept on talking and pushing his thoughts, some tried to defend and offered counterviews, rest focused on the next round of drinks.

What happened? What happened to those sensible 14 year olds who knew a thing or two about competence? How come the same individuals who bonded so well, who unanimously voted for what they truly believed was the right thing to do, now stood for completely opposite beliefs? I am a firm believer in perspectives and there being no one universal truth about anything. So I was willing to give myself and everyone on the table the benefit of doubt that, maybe they all had different life lessons and hence were entitled to their opinion. But something was wrong, I was unable to pin point it then.

Today I think I know what happened. While we are still the same kids, with similar values laid by our parents and teachers, during the years, we allowed our super-structures to grow beyond what our foundation could sustain. Greed has a large part in building these structures. Yes, that is what it is. I know it is an uncomfortable truth and I admit I am very much a part of this. Greed to have more of everything. More money, more holidays, more material possessions, more power, more control, more rights, everything more, at the cost of losing on connections and also at the cost of someone else being deprived of what they could have got had we let go of our greed, if not fully, even a little bit.

The wheel of time spins relentlessly. Yesterday someone poked and nudged us to choose a thought process that they felt was the ultimate truth. Today we poke and nudge the kids to choose a thought process that we feel is the ultimate truth. And in doing so, in the maddening urge to enforce our greed on others, we corrupt those sensible 14 year olds, who know what competence is, but the overbearing super-structures shake their foundation.

Can we stop doing that? Can we allow ourselves to go back and rediscover our core values? Can we let go of greed? Can we choose connections over commodities? Most of all can we allow the next generations to be such? I hope we do, for our own good.

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