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 :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Illiteracy VS ill literacy

There are intellectuals who are not easy with Socrates' concept of "Examined life" so they try to play around by questioning his existence by saying either he was just a character in Pluto's Republic or questioning the ascetic life of Socrates. I would say that these questions have their weights but how if we look from purpose perspective. One of the darkest period for Philosophy is post-world war second when existentialist Philosophers were considering meaninglessness and suicide as most serious Philosophical questions. Now we know that, it was just because of lost hopes in good nature of human being after widespread destruction at global scale. Just rethink about WWII. It was not started and fought in some remote lands of illiterate and savage people. This war was started by world's center of modern civilization and was fought at the heart of "civilized world". How is it possible that the most literate part of world go such insane and act savagely to massacre 17 million people? If it was not because of illiteracy then wasn't it because of "ill literacy"? Now again consider ancient Athens. It was the world-center of ancient civilization. Athens was the most educated and civilized part of ancient world and yet Socrates goes from street to street to question people about their beliefs. It wasn't because Socrates was insane but rather he knew that "ill literacy" is dangerous for Athens and he wanted to help his fellow citizen. Examining life is worthy when it is linked with purpose as it allows to accept the fallibility and incompleteness of humans and in this way it makes easy to accept help and also more importantly to help others..

I like Jawed's column (link at the end, Urdu) not because it refers to a psychological study in which the importance of purpose in life is demonstrated but because it tells one big fact. It talk about retired officers who take refuge in religion after their retirements. Soon after retirements, the officers don't see much of purpose in their lives and with same coin they see death closing to them. In order to escape death, they take refuge in religion by frequenting in reciting holy Quran, prayers, Hajj and also visiting more often to doctors.. The beautiful comparison is to that of Abdul Sattar Edhi (Founder of Edhi Foundation; The world's largest Ambulance service provider to emergency cases besides other humanitarian services) who is more active than youths because his purpose is young.

This is really beautiful in the sense that it allows us to think, if we can't help the "imperfect fellow human beings" how can we expect that we are going to please (and of course those who have made it their mission to subjugate people to God's rule are "helping" God in His mission) an Almighty and Perfect God? It doesn't make sense to me at all. Does it make sense to you? I think we can look at it another way also, "If we can't connect ourselves with imperfect fellow human, how can we connect with Almighty and perfect God? This is the biggest tragedy of Pakistani Society where religious extremists are selling "High Purpose" that is killing and harming people with "wrong beliefs" (Just difference of belief is enough to be called "wrong")to please God. In a country where lack of awareness (not because of illiteracy but because of "ill literacy") have denied good purposes to live for, selling "High Purpose" is a hot business and have overshadowed the kind of humanitarian purpose that "Edhi" is perusing. It is really an unfortunate that in a country where Edhi is living, she is famed for suicide bombers :(

When individuals face "Meaninglessness" they do not bring much harm and it is easy to help them but when a nation, especially if it is a nation of 180 million people faces "meaninglessness" then the harm is of course disastrous and it is disastrous for all.. I am not sure if "literacy" is of much help as much of spreading awareness about "ill literacy"....

Daily Express News Story

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