Image Courtesy: Time of India, Pune - Tuesday, 03 July 2018
Increased cases of accidents because of apathy, honor killing, armed militancy, mob lynching and suicides, all resulting in painful, disgusting and extremely poignant unnatural deaths, have few common things as their motive or root cause as it could be understood with the help of theory of evolution and human psychology. If we could delve into the fundamentals, we might find some solutions and reforms to get back on the track of humanity that we discovered, understood and embraced not long back.
We, the Homo sapiens, have been animals just like all other species on earth with four basic instincts, ‘Fear’ being most prominent as it directly influenced the struggle for survival and hence went deep into the DNA. It sits there throughout all phases of evolution and technological advancements that made Human the Superpower today that not only tops the food chain but even amends, modifies and governs it at free will! Fear makes a living being insecure and helps it resort to attack – which the best defense as the conventional wisdom says!
And the most dangerous fear is the fear of unknown that can move mountains. This Fear of unknown that triggers the defense mechanism vigorously is the principle element making any species violent; remember how the otherwise lazy cat shows defensive aggression through its claws, teeth, tail and fur when it feels insecure? It becomes the most fearful small beast in a life-threatening situation. However this same cat plays with the mouse before she kills it. Even the carnivorous animals kill their prey strategically, not violently!
Since Homo sapiens evolved to become the Humans with their civilization and settlement, they earned themselves a special status of ‘Social’ Animal! There were some common values and principles that facilitated the early formation of a society. Love and Faith were the primary ones along with Compassion and Empathy. However, with sense of belonging developed a sense of comparison that ultimately resulted in fervor for competition. Competition for petty reasons like small time sporting events and entertainment soon carved the paths for establishing power centers through the victory of a group over other and the triumphant started to claim the shield, cup or throne as the symbol of their victory.
These rewards of victory eventually conditioned the minds to gain the position of power by hook or crook and the moment the thought of grabbing the throne superseded the feeling of empathy and brotherhood, humans once again entered the barbaric state of mind which they could not get rid of till the moment in this digital era of super modern, ultra developed and over-evolved state of mind!
In the power struggle, the contenders of the throne soon understood that it is the number game and more the head count on your side, brighter your chances of claiming the throne. For the developed and evolved man, the means of communication were many and ‘Media’ became its weapon to command, ‘Mass Communication’ offered it the sovereignty to rule from within a newsroom and ‘Social Media’ made it almost invincible by fetching every screen under its dominance! All it needed to do was to make hatred and fake news ‘viral’ and it soon will reach every ‘head’ of the target audience initiating a commotion that would take charge of the situation.
What it signifies is not the unsophisticated mentality a group or mob demonstrates but how it had been there and nurtured throughout all these thousands of years of evolution. Who did this and how it succeeded to hold its grounds in spite of all the cultural sophistication and even if the DNA also undergoes corrections over a period? Can we find the culprit and blame it on him or her?
A simple story offers the explanation –
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said,
"My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued,
"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed".
By the way one might find this story an old cliché or very philosophical and many might have heard this before but do you know what the ‘feed’ is? And more importantly who is the ‘feeder’?
The 'Social Animal' has evolved to become an [anti]Social Media Animal and the power-hungry ‘feeder’ is using it as a weapon of mass destruction by continuously and religiously providing the feed of hatred on regular basis. Just opposing to the definition of democracy, hypocrisy is the disorientation of the masses by the masses and for the masses. This picture could be changed only by the masses as objective of their feeder is clear; none of them intend to facilitate peaceful coexistence as it will eliminate the need of their very existence and purpose.
Considering this hateful scenario that is apparent at the moment and catastrophe that is imminent sitting just around the corner waiting for the signal, all what We The People could do is to decide which wolf to feed. It is either Empathy or Hatred... and that’s why World today needs more Counselors, Saints and Philosophers than Attorneys, Businessmen and Politicians. Well if we can’t be either of them, we still have a choice... whom to feed... that will make all the difference, sooner or later!
And how we can do it is really simple, as I exclaimed sometime back in response to something regarding social work that - in today’s date doing nothing anti-social is social work enough! Similarly how we can change the face of the fate that is being written for us by, not just taking us for granted but using ourselves as the medium of that Armageddon, is by being extremely conscientious while using Social Media – Do not Receive, Read, Like or Share let alone Write or Spread anything that has violence – literal or symbolic, entices hatred or prompt an action in an impulsive or unconstitutional way.
If you made it a habit to use social media only for 10% at the max of your working time, that too just for entertainment and important updates and succeed in training your mind to remain uninfluenced by anything that pops up on your gadget of communication every now and then, it will lead you to peace of mind through Enoughism and being mindfully Sane. Try it and you will not regret it for sure...!
Let us be Awake, Alert and Mindful against any act of deceit and hatred and not feed the Evil Wolf!
Way to go...
Update : The News
After those intimidating headlines of yesterday, today’s headline offered some solace and hope. The government has warned the Social Media carriers to immediately stop the spread of “irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation” by fixing some technical responsibility on them. However the ultimate moral responsibility to uphold the constitution, as usual, lies with its protagonist(s) – We The People!