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Ever since childhood you have been hearing ‘a coin has two sides’. You haven’t heard people giving the example of a dice – it has three dimensions and six faces.
‘Necessary’ – a very powerful nine letter word that most of us drool over and want to have in our lives. In these times of lock-down, our minds often ponder over what exactly is necessary and what is not in life. This is the best time that is basically making us realize the same but in very different ways. Many of us who are not into introspecting have started doing so – maybe to kill time or maybe just to look cool and be able to share heavy ‘stuff’ on social media like most others.
It has been a month since the sad demise of a Bollywood celebrity and since then till today whenever I open my feed, there has not been a single time when some ‘random’ opinion around the incident has not popped up. It has been quite some time since this has been there but over the past few days, opinions have aggravated exponentially or maybe I wasn’t a keen observer earlier and am suddenly noticing. This too you see is an opinion and I realize it as I am writing it. I have been a strongly opinionated person since childhood and have been proud of the same. But of late I also realize that ‘opinion’ is very different from ‘judgement’.
Not every action you come across in life can be categorized as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and neither is it necessary. Everything in life is shaped by duality – we always fantasize the concept ‘Yin and Yang’. It might not be so – there may sometimes or always be a third dimension, or more, that we conveniently choose to ignore.
The new age generation talks and posts a lot on modern outlook and liberal perspective but how many of us walk the talk in real life? The truth is we have somewhat become comfortable or made peace with customs and traditions and the thought of breaking shackles of convention is a huge task involving enormous effort.
So many of us still live by the phase ‘opposites attract’ because it worked in few cases? I have plenty of examples where it didn’t. Each individual, each situation is different. Mass generalization is a fallacy in the roots. Especially in India which is culturally and demographically so diverse that when you move from North to South in a city, a stark difference in the culture is evident.
We believe that the Universe is a perfect balance of two antagonistic forces that mutually operate. We outright deny any third opinion outside of these thinking that it will disrupt the basic system. Why does something have to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Why can’t it be neutral, a little of both and most of neutral, most of good and a little of bad or vice versa? Or why can’t it be sometimes good, and sometimes bad? I’ll tell you why.
Ever since childhood you have been hearing ‘a coin has two sides’. You haven’t heard people giving the example of a dice – it has three dimensions and six faces. Ever wondered why? Probably because the former is easy to justify to young inquisitive minds. Complex problems on the dice are good for probability sums in math books only. But is life that simple? Does this sound ideal? But ideal is theoretical, not practical. Now you’ll say ‘Not really, there are exceptions.” Well yes, there are and exceptions only prove a theory.
Our principles, beliefs and ideals are not something we own by virtue of birth, they form over years based on personal experiences around what we see, hear, undergo. They can very well differ from somebody in totally unrelated different circumstances. Then what forms the basis of judgement? It is all a matter of perception. You may not at all be able to relate to some concepts and happenings because you lived, were brought up and grew up in a different place in a different lifestyle. The value system you live by is not superior or inferior, it’s just different.
But that does not mean you reject the others’ existence. Multiple perceptions can very well be mutually accepted, respected and peacefully co-exist. I believe the heinous of crimes cannot be tagged the same at all times hands down. The same crime may have so many unique motives. There may be a different side to the story that no one lends an ear to because it is either unconventional or might not attract public attention and sympathy. We are bothered with what will go down well with the masses and in a 1.3 billion headcount, that is something!
It may sound cliched but lets admit that we are obsessed with the ends more than the means. You can at best have opinions. You see how I have expressed my opinions throughout. Aha, I guess that’s a human instinct. These too have been derived from experiences both felt and heard. For a minute, delete all I wrote and go back to thinking what’s wrong if I don’t want to raise a voice. So what if I am fine by convention and do not want to embrace the complexities. Is it wrong to prefer convenience to principles?
Trust me there’s nothing wrong and it’s absolutely fine. All you need to remember is it is a conscious call – a choice which is accompanied by consequences. And it is fair if as an adult, you are willing to assume responsibility of the same in due course of time. Never get carried away by loads of opinions you come across online or offline. Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world. Always try to understand the difference between opinion and truth.
But sometimes, you can think if having opinions also is necessary. Is it necessary because of peer pressure – when friends discuss it in a group, the feeling of being left out and not being able to participate? Just put up a fake smile and pretend to go with the opinion of majority? No, although that’s what Joey does! It is okay to admit not having an opinion or not being aware and just listen silently. The next few moments will be a journey from ignorance to knowledge. There can be so many things in the world on which you may not need to have an opinion. Even those affecting public or of national importance, you have to be aware completely on the matter to form an opinion which may not always be the case and it is alright. There is no embarrassment in following topics of interest rather than hopelessly reading through big news without a heart, if that’s a happy choice. At times for a change, try being informed instead of just opinionated. Someone’s opinion cannot be your reality.
First published here.
Image source: Pexels
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