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Live with one identification for a while and then move to another, and gradually take each one of them to a meaningful end.
Be a crow, be a cuckoo, be a squirrel, be everything. Beat your survival instinct and identify your existence with everything. Now that I have those metaphors off my chest, it’s time I make some effort to elucidate.
Our survival instinct is shadowy and lurks around our existence. It waits like a croc in a swamp. It waits for our existence to go short on identifications. It waits for our existence to become stunted and meagre so that it can pounce.
So, what’s wrong in identifying our existence with merely one or two dimensions of life? Do we become more prone to our survival instinct in doing so?
It’s a myth that our survival instinct impels us for food and material alone, and that once our stomachs and pockets find peace, it takes a back seat.
Once we are stable or satisfied materialistically, we begin to identify our existence with some other dimension or aspect of life, and with that our survival instinct starts lurking around this newfound identification, waiting to pounce on it.
If we stick to this identification only, without exploring other possible identifications, our survival instinct starts piercing its claws into our psyche and we begin to lose the purpose of that identification. We start becoming oblivious to the natural progression of that identification and to its journey, which has a beginning and an end. We turn into a warrior instead, defending that identification and battling for its survival. And does a warrior go all alone on the battlefield? No.
Think of a young feminist who just identifies her existence with gender equality alone. She will end up pushing the pendulum to extremes and will function just for the survival of her only identification, trying to nitpick, seeing even non-discriminatory remarks with discriminatory lenses and taking every single judgment as an attack on her womanhood.
Think of an environmentalist who identifies his existence with nature’s flora. If he fails to identify further, he will start fighting for his identification’s survival. He too will push the pendulum way too far, and he will open a front even against an ounce of capitalism or an inch of development.
Think of a nationalist or a liberal ideologue in this light who tethers his existence with a single identity. Same story. He will become uncompromising and an absolute desperate. His survival instinct will make him gather an army, an army of ideologues, who use their swords and arrows to majoritize their insecurities.
So how to fight this survival instinct, this termite? Make your existence rich with a multitude of identifications. Keep moving back and forth, to and fro between different identifications. Don’t give your survival instinct that breathing space.
The meaningful end to feminism is coexistence and not the domination of one gender over the other. That young feminist can identify with the feminism of men, which is more romantic in nature. Women are intrigued by the struggle of feminism but men are intrigued by the romance of it. This coexistence of romance and struggle can make her outlook more balanced, less rigid, and resistive to her survival instinct.
For the environmentalist, planting hundreds of trees on a stretch of land can bring that meaningful end. Just like how Saalumarada Thimmakka aka “Tree Woman” did it. She planted over 400 trees over a stretch of 4 km between Hulikal and Kundur in Bengaluru rural district. Saalumarada and her husband started with planting banyan saplings, and today she is a Padma awardee. She didn’t have to open a front against the establishment.
For the nationalist, identifying with subcultures can lead him to that meaningful end. Isolation and utter ignorance of different cultures or way of life make people paint everyone with the same colour. Some use the colour of nationalism, to create a false idea of uniformity for themselves and validate their ignorance. Accepting pluralism is the essence of a nationalist. Nationalism is about addressing the pluralism of the land in one voice when needed.
The finest of humans on earth will always be found fusing one healthy culture with another to achieve what the shreds of art so dearly long for, by being both storytellers and listeners at once.
So, identify your existence with as many dimensions of life as you can, and don’t keep the count.
Image via Pixabay
This post has published with none or minimal editorial intervention. Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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"There is a story and a vision which makes us gravitate towards cinema. Even as we worked as assistants on ads, we realised that cinema was our true calling," say Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh Raseen.
The Railway Men. Mili. Cuttputli. The Diplomat. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. And more…
Let me introduce to you the talented designer duo who have worked on these, and can be considered today’s upcoming costume designers for the screen. Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh.
Having studied at NIFT, Gunpreet Kaur Mann sent her portfolio out to several designers. Her first gig was as an assistant stylist with Manoshi and Rushi, who also happen to be a designer duo. She worked on an ad film starring Saif Ali Khan and eventually landed a full time job with designer Vikram Phadnis. Years of experience as assistant costume designer followed, which eventually led her to getting a break.
A ‘thank you’ makes a lot of difference in the way any woman in your life sees herself in your eyes. It might even mean the world to her.
I have not received any appreciation in the past. Probably never will. This is the experience of ample women across the globe. The expectation to be thanked for all the sacrifices she makes to keep others happy has faded. Yet the urge to hear few words of acknowledgement always lingers.
There is never a day when she pushes off her own burdens. She knows not to give up on people she loves. Women in general, are givers by nature and hence, give without asking anything in return. They have been the care givers and lovers since centuries however receive no appreciation.
It will mean the world to your mother if you answer her calls. If your sister seems lost give her a hug and assure her about her strengths. Tomorrow, there might come a day when you would have to make your daughter feel empowered with few words of wisdom every now and then. For the children to feel wanted and loved, you must be able to spare some quality time with your wife and be present in the moment.
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