Sunday, December 12, 2004

Human Behaviour and Identity

I am still reading One Hundred Years of Solitude � a marvelous book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; it is a tale of one family as it proliferates, generation after generation. With its myriad characters, each with very similar Spanish names based in an imaginary South American town of Macondo. I got a whiff of some form of writing apart from that of Magic Realism that Marquez is acclaimed for. I would call it the concept of Repeated Negatives � wherein you emphasize and portray the negative behaviours and activities of people and how they become, from good, harmless men and women to direction less, mean, overambitious, egoistic, scheming and morally hollow tyrants. These negative qualities are repeated again and again in great detail and glowing prose, so as to actually in effect cause a definite dislike towards such characters.
Apart from this the novel also shows in very mature storytelling, how people suffer from solitude,or loneliness even though they have or do everything in excess and also have all the powers. Finally they are in a state of disillusionment and discontent; a condition where they are ignored, forgotten or in oblivion and pass out either wasting away or in a fit of rage or some accident. Sometimes what you get in terms of material comforts is not what matters � you may feel handicapped in another field or hollow in terms of what you really want to do. Or is this the result in every case, for every human being.

Going away from the book:
If your outlook towards life is fatalistic you will always get failure and death is finally for everyone � instead live life full of zest and positive outlook with faith and always remain active; is the theme of life.
Only we need to stick to the chosen principles and not forget that the whole thing called life is for the good of people, family and friends and we always need to keep up the quest for knowledge. This is in a nutshell but still the essence. Coming to the question whether to give up everything in life may not be applicable to all.
Recently, I was reading an article in The New Indian Express by Sri Sri Ravishankar(Art of Living foundation) where he tells its not that you should refuse to identify with your identity � and give up the identity. Own your identity but do not crave for that identity � ie ego, name, fame etc. The disowning of identity is what he attributes to the decline in Hindu identity and ideology, thoughts and glory. Hindus tend to assimilate every other religion into it � however they never assert themselves. For this he gives a simple example : A Muslim Communist will very easily admit his religion � but a Hindu Communist will hesitate and try to suppress the fact that he is a Hindu � in turn trying to project himself as a true communist; an upholder of communist values. Unless your identity is clear there is no question of world standing � thats why the nation and national identity is paramount; Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam does not mean the country can be forgotten. National identity and equal human rights are not contradictory. In this way at every level identity plays an important role. Differentiation and identifying the abilities and behaviours are simple ways of deciding promotions etc in corporate level too. Remember performance appraisals.

1 comment:

  1. Identity is a funny thing. You only become aware of it when it is threatened either directly or indirectly.