I am identifying one thing that troubles me about:
Perfection indeed sounds like a good quality to have. I look at it, as a superpower. It’s mostly useful and is great to make you look good, but not everyone is happy with a superhero flying around. Some say I only do that for the limelight, some say I’m too much! Some say it’s just unnecessary and things are better off if left imperfect. Going by the superhero example, can you name anyone superhero who everyone is happy with? Either the police is against him, or the media or you always have a villain who just hates the superhero’s very existence. I go through that too. Sometimes I just need to say things as it is, I need to stick to the rules because there is a sense of order, a logical order, that doesn’t inhibit anyone. But people around are ok to bend the rules once a while, remain politically correct or just be silent. They argue that it’s their preference and people are different. I argue the same, and being silent when something is not right, is not my preference. Well, we are different. My preference is to speak out loud, correct he imperfections. If you find that to be the problem, well, you need to look inwards to find the solution. In no way, I’m saying that I’m a superhero, but I’d like to be one. Having a superpower can be a curse.
There’s a saying, “Speaking is silver but silence is golden.” On the same lines, “To err is human, to forgive is divine”. Why then is nature so unforgiving if nature has been believed to be created from a divine power? Nature is indeed beautiful. But is it also a beautiful manifestation of Anger of the divine power? You pollute a river, it will kill the fishes, it will block water flow. This will deprive you of seafood and burn you with a drought. Worse, it will change course and its flood will destroy your home. Climate change, global warming may be natural reactions to how human has exploited nature. But wouldn’t it be great if nature could be a little more forgiving? On the other hand, if nature was actually more forgiving, man would exploit it much more than he already does.
3. The Economy
There are many sciences… physical, biological, etc. For a science student like me who has majored in Computer Science and Engineering, I find Physical science and even biological science as the “real” science. I know this is going to anger many people, but if I try to look at it from a neutral perspective, then I know that the world is driven today by the laws of physical and biological sciences. If anything goes wrong during surgery in the operation theatre or if a hurricane was not predicted right or if a spacecraft failed at launch, then it’s highly likely that there were miscalculations, they forgot to assess external factors or other foreign bodies or it might just be something that was never discovered because it was simply not known before. Now, in the same way, let me take a look at social sciences: economics, sociology, psephology. Why are they within theories always? Why do actual election predictions end up in blunders most of the time? How can we not understand economical markets? Will appointing the best economist at the helm of global institutions really help control economies? Are these sciences totally affected by external factors? In that case, their definitions are incomplete because external factors always change with time. So yes, my trouble with social sciences is that they aren’t sciences at all, because they never have any consistent reasoning and studying them doesn’t actually help understand current or future scenarios.
4. Racial Identity
I am sure that I am going to offend a lot of people in this short essay. Why is racial identity so important? If I address you by your race, what is wrong with that? Aren’t you from that race? Why am I racist if I simply address you by your race? My problem with racial identity is that people and the world have given way too much importance to this topic, and this has over sensitized this concept.
The other day, I was looking for one of my seniors in school to clarify some homework. So I checked with my friend, who happened to be Indian like me. He said, “Well, I don’t want to be racist, but the person you are looking for, is the black lady over there, standing by the pillar.” Now tell me, is this a racist slur? Actually, there are many dimensions to this statement. If this is not a racist slur, why did my friend feel that is “being a racist”? Is he so scared that he may offend someone, by just mentioning someone’s race just to identify that person? Will the black lady be offended by this? If yes, why should she? Isn’t she of the same race? There’s a big difference. We did not compare her race to anything nor did we call her race by any other name. We addressed her race by what it is. What is wrong with it? What should be wrong with it? I can go on, and I will sometime. But for this short essay, let’s leave it at this simple example.
Essentially, my trouble with racial identity is that the world has over sensitized this and we are all stuck in fear of offending anyone around us.
5. National Identity
Nothing can more troubling than this issue right now. I just moved a few months ago from India to the USA.
India – a multireligious nation with a majority of one Hindu religion where its extremists want the nation for themselves with thoughts to flush out the other religions and are equating their identity to the ruling government and political party to every citizen’s nationalism or patriotism.
USA – a multiracial nation with a majority of one White race where its extremists want the nation for themselves with thoughts to flush out the other races and are equating their identity to the ruling government, political party and especially the newly elected President to every citizen’s nationalism or patriotism.
That’s not the most worrying issue. The actual issue is that the non-extremist, regular citizens are confused in the middle of all this. They want to support their government or President because they think or want to think the best of their country. But some of them belong to the same religion, to the same race or support the same political party or share the same ideologies. This need not mean that they have a thought of flushing out the others. They are perfectly alright to share and live in harmony and diversity. However, in this crossfire of thought, fires of debate, arguments, and insecurity ignites. In this fire, freedom of speech is snubbed or burnt for both sides of the debate.
6. My Friends
My friends are precious. After my immediate family, all priority of my relationships is reserved for only my friends. I consciously want them to be with me, to help and support me, but subconsciously I know I need them. The issue originates from ‘dependence’. I depend on my friends to be there when I need them. This gives rise to expectations, and when expectations are not met, it leads to disappointment, anger, and fights. That goes for them as well. However, my discontent from my friends arises in a reverse way. They have expectations on me, and that leads to taking me for granted. With that comes, the opportunity to take advantage of my trust, my friendship and that generates misunderstanding, fights, and most importantly disrespect to my space, time and values. This has happened in the past, and the good thing about this is, it helps me understand who my real friends are. My true friends make amends when they realize how values between us are different and yet important. The others were stubborn enough to hold on to their assumptions and expectations that they created themselves, and therefore, I had to let go of them.
7. My Family
I am 29 years old. My family treats me like I am 9 years old.
If you know me, you will realize that I do behave like a “child”. I am definitely not the typical 29-year old that you may assume. And I like that, because I’m glad I’m not the same as everyone, and I know I don’t come across as mature as you think I should be. However, if you are very close to me, you know that’s not true. (Mind Blown! Kaboom!)
Now, this is totally different from my family, and when I say family, I mean my parents. My brother and sister-in-law know me, and they treat me maybe not like a 29-year-old, but definitely not below 20 years old. My parents though, yes, I will always be a baby for them. And that’s not only in a good way. I am a baby, I don’t know how to eat, I don’t know how to keep myself warm, I don’t know how to fix a phone if it’s broken, I don’t know how to safely drive a car, I don’t know how to pack my clothes. I’m a baby, with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering; A baby, pursuing Masters of Design in a new country on my own; A baby, living outside my home, alone for the past ten years and managing myself with no one’s help. I’m a 29-year-old… baby.
8. Comics and Literature
For me, Comics are tough to create but fun to read; Literature is easy to write but boring to read. Ironically, a Comic cannot be perfectly “read” or understood without a literature or some text that actually sets the exact context for the comic. I don’t read many comics, but I love creating them. Having said that, I have read far fewer books than I have comics. I wish illustration and drawing from memory came as natural to me as writing this blog post, and therein lies my main discontent with Comics, while I can go on writing literature with the hope that it entertains someone else because I’m not a person who loves to read the plain text without a purpose behind it.
Why do we clothe ourselves? To not be naked? To keep warm? Both? We know there’s more to it. If we just want to clothe ourselves, why don’t wear a shirt? Why do we need to choose THIS redshirt? Now that’s where clothing has evolved into a world of fashion and its art. Having said that, you may agree with my view that fashion is an expression of art while keeping ourselves comfortable and elevating our self-esteem to present our physical body in the best way possible. So my definition of fashion really doesn’t have any scope for clothes which does not let you move or walk, even though it might elevate your self-esteem and make you look damn good. Why is that fashion? Why are clothes created that look fancy, but doesn’t let you move?! You may call this expression of art, but then express it in some other way! Why this medium? My definition of fashion includes function, but that doesn’t seem to be true with the world’s best designers and celebrities that “walk” the red carpet! What is fashion that can’t make you walk?
Everyone has the right to food. However, what the world needs to focus on, is to take away the right to waste food. This right to food wastage just because you can afford to must be taken away. This must be taken away, as long as all countries achieve the target of most of its citizens being hunger free. This will restrict every average citizen of any country, poor or rich to think before buying and only buy what is just required. On the same lines, people should have the right to eat whatever they want to, and whatever they like to. Coming from India, the food debate has reached a new low in all my years I have lived there. People in India are killed by mobs because they eat beef or if even suspected to have eaten beef. Why beef? Because the majority religion of India is Hinduism, and they consider the Cow as holy or a form of God.
You consider Cow as God? Then don’t eat it. I do not. I will eat it.
You consider Pig as Evil? Then don’t eat it. I do not. I will eat it.
You consider all poultry as unhygienic? Then don’t eat it. I do not. I will eat it.
You consider Dogs as good meat? Then eat it. I do not. I love them. I will not eat it.
Basically, Food is my right. Do not tell me what to eat and what not to.
Housing is a tricky matter. It should be a right to all humans, but this is a right that needs to be affordable because housing uses public space, which is also a right to everyone. Space that everyone has the right to. So only those who can pay will get rights to how much they can reserve. Do we then need to worry or ‘care’ for homeless people all across the world who cannot afford a decent housing because they are poor? YES! Why? Because they are human too, and it is their right. There aren’t enough debates and public discourse that conveys this message as a Right to all. My discontent is that this simple basic right is muddled with so many factors; complex and unpredictable factors like the economy, climate change and corruption of the bureaucrats, governments, and real estate. Being expensive is just one of the fallouts between the right to housing, the need for the economy and all the factors that influence it.
12. Health and Illness
Again, another right that needs to be affordable? Yes, but there’s a difference. Health is a right to everyone, but are we taking it from someone else? No! So then why is healthcare such a contentious issue especially even in developed countries like the USA? Healthcare is again influenced by the economy, climate change and corruption of the bureaucrats, governments, and the medical insurance lobby. Ironically, health and illness are all about caring. Do they organizations in charge look at it as a basic right or as a business idea or market? Is there anyone who truly cares or is caring a business market too? This reminds me of something funny. In Christian weddings, we take the solemn wedding vow by saying:
“I will be with you forever, in good times and in bad; in sickness and in health*…”
*If you have good health insurance.