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Are You, You?

By Jatin Adlakha

We, humans are social animals. We are spared two moments alone, once when we arrive at this theater and then again, when we depart for the adventures of afterlife. What we are surrounded by for the rest of the time (i.e. our entire lives!) is termed Society, a dogging binding force. 

Binding, because every individual belonging to it adheres to a certain protocol, which ultimately becomes its existential identifier. Binding, because it ensures that no element in its set ever succeeds in getting away, in crossing its domain and declaring itself a different one. If ever succeeded, it tries its best to lure it to rejoin, to submit itself before the strong one, to condemn and disgrace it for its actions and finally break it, deny any reference (let alone equity) and refuse to believe its existence itself. 

We, the members of this society, designed (and programmed) it to serve this purpose. And, we did so for all the good reasons: to blend in to avoid being exposed, to feel safe in not being unaccompanied, and to define ourselves.We create(d) this force for our defense, to conceal and befog our shortcomings, and enjoy being the comfort of a second-hander. (A second-hander as Ayn Rand says places relations first, needs others to feed him. He is a parasite!) 

Photo credit - Vasudhaa

Blending in 
Being the first one, standing out, raising our own point, expressing our own views, standing up to ourselves do not occur naturally to us.(We are genetically programmed to surrender!) Even if we do try, we end up compromising and submitting before the majority, the society, the herd to avoid getting embarrassed, being declared lunatic, different or simply absurd. 

We blend in to hide our inabilities and settle with the sub-standard class, exactly what our society is, the sub-standard version of the capabilities of each and every individual who is a part of it, created to be lived in avoiding the thoughts of what could be done. We "live in the time", "follow the trend" only to avoid being called "an old-fashioned out-of-the-game oddball". 

We thrive to be different (from the rest), try to find how are we different or how can we be unlike others. But, we never wonder that the need would not have arisen in the first place had we followed our predilections and continued with what we originally were. (Now, here, if we blame to the fact that we didn't know since beginning about what we had an orientation for, then, we should leave ourselves nothing but repentance.) 

Feeling Safe 
How normal does it feel to be normal? How much okay it is if it's the case with every one? We let go off the will to fight, the desire to express the contrary once we acknowledge anything as a solidified norm, a product of the past, only to fend off the wrath of the religious outrage against self. 

We instead feel safe to be a part of it. We feel safe to be a rat inside a giant cage crowded by many other rats breathing only each other. Those who can't breathe this air or refuse to, better be dead as this system does not let adversaries dwell. We feel safe, because we get to survive and we thus, never try to find any other way out. We reject to recognize the hand of history upon our shoulder. 

Defining ourselves 
Our life has our own objectives, set of goals. Our life, sometimes, even has a set of our own defined principles we live by. Really? Our own? 

Are they not in compliance with the thought process of our society? Do they not fulfill what others expect? Do they not reflect the image of a false you you wish to pose before others? Were they not designed befitting the entire situation? Or, they just happened to do so? Are you now trying to convince yourself that that is not true? Or maybe finding the answers to: 

What if it is true? Is that wrong? Why? 

My friend, there was, is and will never be anything wrong so long as you don't find a need to justify yourself. Introspection is the name of the algorithm that yields answers!

Consider as an example: 
L1: Is our society ever constructive? Is it possible to be self? Is it possible to avoid the probable? 
If yes, when? how? 
If no, jump back to L1. 
Fix it! Get the answers! 

With this, I conclude marking this as the beginning of a chapter where we answer the unusual and discover ourselves! I lift my pen now leaving you with a question to answer: 

"Whose life is it that you are living?" 

About the writer - I am final year Computer Science student at BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus. I like to read books in my free time. I read about history, philosophy, autobiographies. Do check my blog :


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