“Next to ‘God’, ‘love’ is the word most mangled in every language.”
Thus spake Richard Bach, in The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story Frankly, there are so many words in every language that have been mangled beyond recognition, we hardly care about them. Outrage has to count amongst them. Freedom, even. What the hierarchy is of this mangled-ness, I do not know. Erich Fromm, writes, in “The Fear of Freedom”:
[ … ] the modern individual has lost to a great extent the inner capacity to have faith in anything which is not provable by the methods of the natural sciences. Or, to choose another example, we feel that freedom of speech is the last step in the march of victory of freedom. We forget that, although freedom of speech constitutes an important victory in the battle against old restraints, modern man is in a position where much of what “he” thinks and says are the things that everybody else thinks and says; that he has not acquired the ability to think originally—that is, for himself—which alone gives meaning to his claim that nobody can interfere with the expression of his thoughts.
On social or mass media — we see this rampantly. There is no original voice anywhere. We are all adding the proverbial 2¢ to an existing voice. The 2¢ from everyone adds up to a $. Then a few thousand $s. Then to a million $s. That becomes the voice. We are slaves to the voice of convenient beliefs. If we were ever to ask a question to our selves – what we felt, or believed, that would be too much of a task.
My country’s struggle for freedom was staged on more than one stage. Self-appointed smart-holes, corrupted by an ideology and tried and paint a picture and simplify the story to suit one dogma or the other. Other idiots join in and celebrate it. We came unto our own, after 15th August 1947. We learnt very quickly, how to exercise our rights, we forgot very quickly the responsibility we had to shoulder.
When we were a colony, we learnt to accuse and fight the foreign head of state. Over time we forgot, that the head of state was our own. We continued to badger the head of state, irrespective of the ideology. Habits, apparently, are genetic. We never came together. We were given a nation that could celebrate differences. We forgot the nation, we remembered the differences.
Some day, this nation will become more important than our differences. And in hope of that day:
Happy Independence Day.