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tales from the woods

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Our sensitive lives

You know, the more i read stuff on the internet, the more i feel that we've become i little too "sensitive" or "politically correct" for our own good. We elect our presidents over issues like gay marriage or foreign-origin. We worry about weighty issues such as giving spare change to beggars as if we're "aiding and abetting" the beggar Mafia.

Perhaps, just perhaps, in the name of being sensitive and tolerant to all possible cultures, genders, and religions, we've become over-sensitive to the extent that we self-sensor every word that we utter. The basic assumption that i'm challenging here is the underlying thought that by default, we're all predjudiced and hateful towards each other. After all, this is why we feel the need to watch what we say or do, isn't it? I simply don't buy that!

In my opinion, the average common man or woman will have a certain reluctance towards anything that is different. This can mean the reluctance that a Hindu feels when bringing home a non-Hindu (heck, even from a different caste) or a white American bringing home a person of a different colour. The discomfort we feel is because we do not completly share our social rituals with the person, due to his/her belonging to a different religion, skin colour, or social strata. Make a conscious effort to deemphasise these social rituals, and we begin to tear down the walls of our predjudices.

Think also for a moment of the fundamental reasons why you chose your "friend" or your "lifemate". Did it have anything to do with your religion? Did it have anything to do with your monetary position? While it's understandable that most of your friends will belong to the same social segment as you, the only reason for this is that bonding and friendship is a probability game. Due to your reliance on your social rituals, you will naturally be surrounded by others who share the same rituals. What we forget is that this social compatibility is only a peripheral requirement for any kind of relationship.

Given this fact, why do we really need to be so careful in what we say or do in front of others? An innate dislike for an entire segment of society is a patently illogical idea, for there is no cause and effect. If we really don't dislike a religion, skin colour, or gender, why the need to be politically correct in the first place? Is it simply because of our stupid habit to bitch behind people's back just so we can get some brownie points with the bitch-session group? Is this some kind of an alpha-male contest where the leader of a group is defined not by his/her real power, but by their capacity to hate and to be snooty, even if there's no logical basis for this hatred?


  • I had a topic for a writing assignment up in uni last Friday on the issue of sensitivity and political correctness. Heh. I could have saved myself the trouble and just copy-pasted your post and submitted it off. Not at all different from what I wrote up. Nice to see you blogging once more. Two posts in two days after an eternity of absence.

    By Blogger ryanomaly, at August 28, 2005 4:48 PM  

  • Why don't you do the reverse and post your assignments and essays in your weblog?

    By Blogger asli, at August 29, 2005 1:29 AM  

  • Man, you're back. What? A year now? Great coming back post btw

    By Blogger Ravages, at August 30, 2005 6:33 AM  

  • Yeah, long time, Ravages. How're things with you?

    By Blogger asli, at August 30, 2005 9:10 AM  

  • Hey .... you watch what you say ... or somebody gonna get a hurt real bad.

    Nice blog Cheetah. My take - on why people watch what they say is this -

    The mind is like a mischeivous monkey. The mouth is closer to reality. The mind can come up with a million ideas in an hour, 500,000 of which would be illegal in most courts of law. However, the mouth, the organ that communicates these ideas - the mouth looks at a bigger picture. WIll this offend anyone? Can what I say impact my life? My words - are they true? Hence we watch what we say - not because everyone hates everyone or because everyone loves everyone - but only because, in our limited neural computing, this is what makes the most sense.

    Been reading about free-will lately. And about how there is none. And the only function of the brain is to justify something that was bound to happen. As usual, all these discussions take me to the Matrix ....

    Good afternoon.

    By Blogger Melroy, at May 30, 2007 2:15 AM  

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