What’s yours? What’s mine? What’s ours? Is anything ours?
There has to be a better way for us to strive for greatness than claiming cultural artefacts. This sense of belonging and sense of identity has all of us in a tizzy. At the top, there’s Human. But then the branches come out. Religious. Political. Social. And, thanks to social media, Personal. Within these main branches, further branches erupt. We have been made smarter by the exposure at our disposal (consumption?)
Finer branches are shooting out of nowhere, and we are clinging to those. Unique identities allow us to be special. We want to be special. And often, overestimating the strength of the finer branches to see us through our lives, we cling, they break, and then we fall. Some other finer-finer branches allow us to cling to them, just about saving ourselves. And we do cling, just so that we may not fall in the bottomless pit called inconsequential.
A strong and clear identity is what we seek. But more than that, what we seek, is acknowledgement of our identity by another. Respect, is a long way off. Acknowledgement is the first step. Identity, then kneels down to acknowledgement. We are speaking too much, we are listening less. We have so much to say, we are busy talking, to no one in particular. We are obsessed to discover who agrees with us; we are less likely to have a debate of the things that we understand and don’t understand. Our lives are consumed defining and defending my -ism vs. your -ism.
There’s a beautiful arch in Vasai Fort. I was there today. It was built by the Portuguese, embellished by the Marathas, repaired by the British. Who does that arch belong to? In my opinion, it belongs to the generation of today. But, they care less.
There is no yours. There is no mine. There is ours.
I wonder, if we should blame this generation.
Tolerance is a bad word. It inherently has anger and disgust. Acknowledgement is almost bad; there is a sense of distant resignation. Acceptance, makes more sense, if at all.
FoE (Freedom of Expression) is inviolable. It is also very broad; very abstract. Perhaps we can start calling it FoEwR. Freedom of Expression with Responsibility.
But, what’s responsibility? In a Gestalt sense, it is an ability to respond. But there’s more to it. And no one can dictate to us what responsibility means. To accept another’s sense of responsibility is instant irresponsibility. Because that is not how we would respond. How would you respond? Wherein lies the responsibility?
We will have to look within.