Monday, March 07, 2016

Principles. Practicality. Pride

I am, um, committing the crime of generalizing things and bucketing them. Wait! You can't warn me because I've warned myself.  But the fact is that I normally think about such things, write down whatever occurs to me and then leave it to my subconscious mind (which is apparently more in tune with the Universe) to apply it only in situations wherein it ought to be . And, note that I don't hang them - my generalizations, I mean - around my neck and make it my primary instrument of perception and interpretation. You'd better believe me ;-)

Righto! All the nonsensical prelude aside, here is what I cooked up as I inhaled what must have been carbon monoxide and watched riders/drivers break rules and jeopardize the lives of many innocent people on the roads at ~8.32 am. There are broadly three kinds of thinking that people engage in while going about their daily decisions. Thoughts that are driven by Principles, Practicality or Pride. (My mind keeps discovering words that alliterate or rhyme when I set out to explain - unnecessarily, of course - various phenomena in the world and I pretend to play along by expanding them into lengthy and meandering paragraphs.)

Coming back to our - ok, my - three categories of thoughts that in turn dictate to decision making, a lot depends on both, people's inherent nature and how they've been nurtured. Parenting (apart from one's individuality), methinks, has a Major (M in caps) impact on whether we are driven predominantly by principles, practicality or pride.

If your Parents thought they were at the far right of the chart of human evolution, gave you less or no room for making mistakes, sermonized at the drop of a hat, did not allow you to break any of the so-called rules, were rarely lenient, were attached to their value-system, culturally sensitive and so on, *and* you lent yourself to all of this or succumbed to it (depending on the way you see it ;-)), you are likely to now be an adult largely driven by principles; mostly those that were conditioned into you by your parents. In certain cases, you may have, of course, added a few self-discovered principles to the list that was thrust down your throat.

The point to note, however, is that if you were a rebel despite your Parents being obsessed with idealistic and rigid rules and approaches, then you may now be an adult driven by pride.

If you were subjected to so-called "smart" and in-touch-with-reality parenting, you are probably an adult driven by practicality. If your Parents' focus was almost always on survival, people-handling tactics and techniques, financial security, materialistic prosperity and the like, you surely grew up seeing yourself as a self-serving cog in the world's chaotic wheel. If you watched your parents sacrifice a few or several ideals and principles in order to obtain results and get to the finishing point in the various races run by society, you are likely to be a person who values practical thinking. You may very well be one of those street-smart adults who rarely gets bogged down by the world's evil ways and, in fact, knows how to get what he wants without creating much of a flutter. You undoubtedly have earned a lot of naive and clueless people's admiration. Sweet-talking, subtle wins in psychological or emotional battles and a certain type of ruthlessness are perhaps your forte.

Brings me to, unarguably, the most meaningless kind of parenting. That which results in children who grow up to pat and pamper their pride every day of their miserable lives. They lose track of logic and have no idea what values are all about. The most important thing happens to be empty egoism and vanity. They are so focused on fulfilling their ego's needs that they neither let the people with principles propose the vision nor let the ones who are practical get things moving or done. Come to think of it, they may not even know why they are doing what they are doing and are so narcissistic that they believe the world exists to serve them. Good luck to them because they must be careful not to kill people on their way to nowhere. O_o

Principle-based thinking more often than not results in condescending curmudgeons. Practical thinking results in ruthless rascals. Pride, ewww, delivers repulsive reptiles. That, my dear friends, is what we, the human race, are all about. Tada. Om Shanti.