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

Transition: Bitter and funny

The airplane was flying low when reached in the vicinity of Quetta. One could see the barren mountain chains and valleys in between. There weren’t a lot of passengers on board so almost everybody was sitting on window seat and looking out. A woman with her children were sitting on my back seat and her elder boy was protesting to her, “Is it your Quetta?.... It is all barren mountains and nothing else!!!!!!”…….”We haven’t reached yet”… the mother replied calmly…. And as we reached Quetta and the homes started appearing like small adjacent match boxes the boy shouted in surprise, “Wow, a lot of houses are there?”….

It was the beginning of transition…. It is said that the biggest sign of transition is….anger over unexpected encounters (Like the boy who found barren mountain chains that were not matching to his mental picture of Quetta) …..The change in familiar environment will make one feel uncomfortable and concerns over instability of new changes makes one confused so ……feeling Uncomfortable… and …. Confusion…are other signs of the transition….. New changes usually surprise people by the enormous amount of successes and achievements (Like the boy who shouted in surprise when he saw too many houses in Quetta)…………….

I think my interest in transition came from Paleontology… Paleontologists and evolutionary biologists are interested in transitional fossils as evidences of evolution but transitional fossils are rare…. Knowing this…. witnessing a live transition on a massive scale (transition in society) is a majestic experience that I can’t be just a mere observer but I want to be an active part of it……. the question is, what is the best way to observe the transitions?

Almost all field sciences that rely chiefly on observations and evidences rather than experiments have in common…. to look for identification keys….. for example in Geology, the kind of sedimentary structures tells about depositional environments…. River deposits, lake deposits, shelf deposits (could be more specific on micro-environments), etc… Transition in a society is part of Sociology and sociology is a field Science… so it is expected that transitions must have identification keys…. I counted some of them in second paragraph like, widespread confusion, anger and surprise……

In developed countries the transitions are led by aristocratic culture…. Or what some like to call natural aristocratic culture…. Let me elaborate a little bit….

In developed countries, artists are not judged by their race, religion, regions, native languages but by quality of their works… so it is the quality of the work which lead the cultural trends… Creative artists work hard to push themselves up into aristocratic layer of society where plenty and abundance is maintained by keeping the good work…….

Contrary to the developed countries in areas like Quetta, where society is segregated based on race, ethnicity, religion, and geographical areas… the culture is a conglomerate…. They don’t have a trend but multiple trends are going on…. And sometimes conflicting with each other…. Here witnessing the transition is very visible as cultures are not led by quality of works or creative works….. but people stick to their cultural affiliations…. The struggle is tough between traditional and new trends…. Bitterness, confusions and surprises are very visible……..

In this scenario becoming part of transition is really challenging as one has to face the bitterness, aggressiveness, disappointments and also face and sometimes get amused by funny behaviors that some show in the process…. Though the struggle is diverse within conglomerate culture however the main sources of disappointments are the struggles between conservative and progressive layers of the society…

Progressive layer of society get disappointed and also offended by strong resistance and bitter responses… The conservatives look funny in their eyes. The same is true otherwise… The progressive layers do funny things by their experiments and their shallow roots make them look funny even in their own eyes and it is the main sources of disappointments for both sides… The struggle between conservative and progressive layers of society is in every society and all the times but it really obvious when rate of transition is high….

Like G. B Stern…… I look positively to struggle between progressive and conservative forces of society… It is an every society and at all times… he describes it very well,

“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.”….G.B. Stern……..

However the thing that really shook me… is the immaturity of people who are leading the society….. the biggest sign of immaturity is extremism…. If it happens that you have faced group of individuals who are passing their puberty stage, you might have noticed that they show extreme behaviors like rebellion, anger and arrogance… These are all signs of immaturity….. Unfortunately, I see the signs of immaturity at both sides…. To me, extremism is treason… Extremism is not the set of ideas but the behaviors…It is enforcing one system of thinking over others……. It is really heartbreaking that leading part of our society is showing signs of immaturity by fragmenting the society, making people feel insecure and pushes them look to outside of their society for support….

Cicero the famous Roman Statesman recognized this aspect of society more than two millenniums ago and said,

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”…………………

The fast transition in our society is an exciting and gives me great hope and it is time that our intellectuals do not let their pens rest…find the weaknesses and diversions and help transitions go positively and smoothly……

Though there is an urge in preserving the conglomerate culture but in order to survive globalization and become an active part of the global process we need to shift towards…”Natural Aristocratic Culture”….. Why?

The reason is simple… Individuals change, Cultures change, Cultural trends change, Systems of thoughts change, Society’s preferences change, the value judgments change……but the things that do not change are… the passion for inquiry….the passion to solve the problems… and the passion for better life…. So letting all ……irrespective of their ideals, value judgments and systems of thoughts ….to inquire freely in their own ways, find solutions in their own ways and struggle to make the society a better place in their own ways… make the transition positive and smooth…. Let the quality of work to lead the society and cultural trends not people’s cultural, ethnic, religious or ideological affiliations……………

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