One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Learned individualism

I call it specialized mind,

Imagine a person who has specialized in a particular field….let’s say, quantum physics… but he hasn’t moved from his city… He does OK in communicating and socializing with others as he knows very well the culture he was born in, raised and worked to specialize in his field…. So he talks smoothly about….local cuisines, local clothing, locally prominent people, legends, local events and politics, movies and so on….things that people usually talk about when they get together….. He knows that he can’t use his specialized knowledge….quantum physics…that has consumed most of his times and resources… to communicate with people…. It is this general knowledge of local culture that connects him with people….It is what usually called comfort zone (Here I have used this term very broadly…sometimes it is used more strictly)… but I like to call it specialized mind…..


If it happens that this person moves to another place where he is not familiar with…. local cuisines, local clothing, locally prominent people, legends, local events and politics, movies and so on….. and also as his specialized knowledge is of less help in communication…as very few people have knowledge of field or interested in talking about the subject… so what he would talk about in his conversations? Of course he would run out of topics soon…. He has no other options than learning about local culture of the new place so he could communicate smoothly…..

The purpose of this thought process is to illustrate that….individualism is just a concept…that we learn… beyond that, there is no genuine individualism…It is more like offering one a basket of mixed fruits to choose from…choice is limited to available fruits but still we choose the fruit that most of people choose...When people talk about individualism… I do not look at it as genuine individualism but a learned individualism… Most of what we present as genuine individualism is stuffed with what we got from society….. Specialized mind can’t go far………..

Let me give some more illustrations to make the point clearer…..

I am an admirer of autobiographies…. I started liking autobiographies after finding how much it is difficult to describe oneself? The first time I read in email about help in writing CV….I was really surprised… Does university graduates needs help in writing their CV?..... Later on I found that the main difficulty is that of ….opinion… We have clear opinions about others…but when it comes about our opinions ….about ourselves …we fear that the opinions that we have about ourselves do not match with the clear opinions that others have about us…. The reality is the opinions of others are based on very few information that they have…..providing more information will change their opinions…. That is why we need help in writing CV…. To dig the information and communicate them properly…….

I had the perception that thickness of autobiography of a person is linked to the eventfulness of that person’s life…. It seems logical that if one person has an eventful life…he has a lot of stories to share and a lot of the worthy experiences and strong opinions that will add up to the thickness of his autobiography…. After reading a lot of autobiographies I can claim that I am in a position to say that…. It is not the eventfulness of one’s life that add to thickness of the autobiography but the literary mastership that adds up the thickness of autobiographies…. Those who lack this mastership…plainly describe calendar-events… while those who have mastered this art…draw the events and fit them into their paradigms…. I liked Hillary Rodham Clinton’s autobiography as it is a history of a generation rather than an autobiography of Hillary……..

By giving examples of needed helps in writing CV and autobiographies… I wanted to illustrate that what we call individualism is mostly expressions that we have learned from social exposures… It is not just the opinions that are influenced but also our preferences that get influenced by the social trends

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