My Scattered Musings

     In the inexplicable expanse of the colossal cosmos, our minuscule planet earth merits perhaps an insignificant speck of consequence; and yet we humans assume to be the custodians of existence and assert the responsibility of managing it. We validate our life to be the ultimate effort of the Creator as He worked relentlessly to perfect His product through experimentation and modification spanning billions of years. As we explore and abuse all the resources He has kindly endowed on us and appraising through our available means of understanding, we often dare to arrive at such incongruous assumptions. We easily tend to get carried away to exceed our limitations and encroach on areas beyond our sphere of ability and authority. Stretching through continents and contrasting cultures, we possess similar traits of compassion and condescension through our kaleidoscopic characters.
     As much as we think and act different, being manipulated by our genetics or destiny, the essential elements of our place and purpose here have to be decided by that ultimate authority. The most fundamental yet essential attribute of civility is a desire to cultivate certain allowance of mutual respect, recognizing and accepting others as human beings as worthy of the same privileges as we have. And invariably dissensions begin from our assumptions to the contrary. The various conflicts we constantly witness around us, from family squabbles to crusades to acts of terrorism to wars between nations attest to that basic flaw in our elements.
     Democracy perhaps marks the most progressive contribution of civilization in the last few centuries, infusing moral and administrative discipline with social equality into human behavior. As the process has been a boon conveying a universal sense of stability and an improved means of dealings between people, the philosophy has also created considerable annoyance and anarchy, from lack of balance and a misplaced sense of loyalty. When freedom of egalitarianism motivates forces that emphasize only on their rights without sharing their responsibilities, the outcome can be collectively damaging and eventually detrimental to the society at large. The trend can be pathologically contagious and analogous to infectious illnesses, dragging individuals into passionately ravenous 57 groups. The sad reality of the democratic setup lies in the lack of impartial assessment and deliberation of outcomes as personalities assume preferences over principles; issues fade to nurture individuals. Conflicting convictions and clashing characters corrode the fundamentals and foundations of many well-meaning endeavors. False sense of superiority and a lack of respect and recognition of the values expressed by others endanger the fundamental concept of co-existence. Efforts and interests in endeavors involving common social, cultural, or religious themes often lead to conflicts and controversies.
     In a setting of equal rights or opportunity of social contexts, one’s contribution may be limited to complaints and disdain but nevertheless, such passions can influence others to be sympathetic to such causes. Irrespective of the input or sincerity of the real contributors, issues that are not handled with respect and sensitivity can explode and damage the very existence of organizations. The reality should never be overlooked that there are always takers than givers and that mass obsessions may often override reasoning and logic.

Author: Dr. Venugopal Menon

Was born and raised in a loving family in pre-independent India, became a doctor, served Indian army, got married, then came over to America with wife and a daughter, established as a successful Allergist, raised a family of three children, was involved in many social establishments, retired, and wrote memoirs, 'My Mother Called Me Unni, A Doctor's Tale of Migration'.

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