Are we really becoming more and more unfit to manage the affairs of our life?
Of course, no one would like to answer this question in the affirmative without qualifying his answer. In our answers to most of the questions concerning our life lies our hopelessness and in our qualifying remarks accompanying our answers lie our hopes.
Our education system incorporates too much of mental involvement and intellectual preoccupation in all the aspects of our materialistic life. We always find our intellect standing before us like the genie of Alladin’s lamp asking for more occupation. We enjoy our status of being the master of the genie without realizing that we, in fact, have become its slaves.
The modern man had allowed himself to depend a little too much on his intellect in search of more ‘leisure’ from the drudgeries of efforts needed for his survival, so that he could find opportunities to experience the joy of ‘self-actualization’ and interplay of his exploratory intellect. However, what he could achieve was almost an absolute involvement in his materialistic life with is body, desires, intellect and ego devoted to it. It is only his emotional part that often reacts having been suppressed rather ruthlessly and in many ways.
The religious and ethical restrains do not welcome emotional attachment with worldly things, because that distracts one from the right and the righteous. Religions tell the mankind to be dutiful to others in their conduct first and only thereafter, to satisfy his emotional needs. The modern education system gives high priority to achieving success in the task in hand. And, the task generally concerns the materialistic aspect of man’s life. The modern education system considers being sentimental about man’s emotional need of togetherness and concern for each other, more or less as a weakness and sometimes even a kind of a threat to one’s performance of his task. The modern life style expects a man to schedule and programme his emotional needs and concerns, according to the needs of the task in hand. This life style presumes that materialistic rewards can take care of one’s emotional needs.
Religions try to restrain selfish emotional needs by promoting the virtue of selflessness. Modern education attempts to contain both selfish emotional needs as well as emotional needs of selfless togetherness through materialistic rewards. Religions targeted togetherness. As against this, modern lifestyle and education targeted alienation, and then, to compensate it, rewarded it materially. All this was done for achieving materialistic success. “For whose materialistic success?” this question I am not raising in this blog, because that will open up a Pandora’s Box.
We alienate people; then we put them together in teams and try to infuse team- spirit in them. No doubt, it looks a little too awkward. But, when we rub the lamp and invite our ‘intellectual genie’ to come up with an explanation; we definitely, over do things.
Are we fit to manage? Or, do we need to introspect and review many things? The bad part of being highly dependent on our intellectual prowess is that we end up doing several patchworks, one after the other, to achieve marginal and partial success only.
PROMOD KUMAR SHARMA
[The writer of this blog is the author of “In Search of Our Wonderful Words” and “Mahatma A Scientist of the Intuitively Obvious”.]