17 January 2012

Have we really evolved?

After my daily tussle with completing home chores, the maid, telecallers and other invisible forces, I zoomed out of the house to make it to work on time. As my car idled in the choc-a-bloc traffic, my mind was in a spin. Though totally unrelated to the IT industry, current developments at Satyam had disturbed me thoroughly. What was worse was that it seemed only to be the tip of the iceberg of a widespread rot.

I remembered a proverb: Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men”. The current incident is certainly not the first but for whatever reason we simply shrug off and move on. Some call it resilience or is it that we just don’t care? We are so preoccupied with our own needs and wants that nobody wants to learn.

We go about stoically as terror/scams/ Nature’s fury unfold in some distant place affecting somebody else. Why bother, I am not affected… What it is that must drive such attitude, such apathy?

We are totally engrossed in reaching our own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow come what may. Stopping for an accident victim or going that extra bit to save the environment or even help in safety of our neighbourhoods seem to be a hindrance and burden. Trust - that is the basic premise for any transaction including business or social is fast becoming extinct.

Greed (whether for tangible or intangible assets) fuels unethical / unlawful behaviour and always leads to disastrous results. How much is enough? All said and done irrespective of our earnings, one needs only six feet by three feet space to sleep on and one can eat only about 250 gms of food at one time and that too judiciously. Any more and it brings along uninvited guests like diabetes, heart ailments.

Man claims to be at the top of the evolutionary chain with his wrinkled grey matter and mastery over baser instincts. Yet do we not display the same animalistic characteristics that remain coated in a thin garb of so called urbanity? In the perennial rat race we call a career, we search for a better position and better pay packet but the winner still remains a rat. In his letter to regulatory authorities, the outcast IT czar too likened his position to that of, “riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten.”

So complacent are we about our superiority that we go about plundering and destroying nature. We pride in keeping our homes spick and span but dump all refuse outside. Atrocities on and exploitation of women continue across all economic strata and communities. Road rage, intolerance and disputes among communities for trivial reasons often end up hurting everyone and the issue remains just there- unresolved. If it ever existed that is….

A round of horn blaring jolted me out of my reverie. My daydreaming had insulated me partially from words being showered on me for delaying cars behind me. Hastily I shifted to first and moved on, my mind a whirlpool of thoughts. Are we just animals in urban jungles, some selfish uncaring creatures morphed from Homo- sapiens? Have we evolved at all?

Think about it...
Have a good day!
This was first published on 17 Jan 2009 on 4indianwoman. That site is not available online anymore.

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