Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I, too, want your lollipop.

Two children were walking down the road. One had a lollipop in hand. The other wanted it. It was made clear that it was his lollipop and, therefore, could only be his (because it was his). But the other insisted that he too has the right to it and he sat there and protested because it couldn't be his as well. He wanted his right to be #equal and exercise it. 

That how simplistic I'd make this whole #equality thing. There are a myriad of issues it represents and hardly solves but it had been made the face of all of them. For the record, I am not for it for many reasons.

#1 Sanctity

This particular kind of #Equality hippyises society. Sanctity is not relative. Sanctity is not a term you use to validate anything you want. If it is, then everything is sacred, and, at the same time, nothing is. It is a term that protects things unending. So then, what's sacred about marriage? Any marriage for that matter. We need to get that straight first. The promise is - 'till death do us part'. Check. But then till death do what us part? Two committed individuals? Check. But then what about what we may term as 'free civil unions'. There are civil unions in some countries in which bi-sexuals have two partners (that's three in all) and are in a legal civil union. So now sanctity has an increased scope? I can have committed to more than one partner and sanctity remain sacrosanct? Or must we, then, throw these words right out the window?

#2 Equating what?

What makes the world go round (romance is only a small part of survival) is not all that fluffy stuff but its social (and biological) functions as well.

It is impossible for any of us reading this to actually have gay biological parents. Well, that's because it is impossible to have gay biological parents. And, surprisingly, it takes the opposite of the same same cycle to go further on generationally. Of course, well, gay parents can adopt, surrogate or test tube but that was hardly the process that first ever kickstarted their existence.

So, as a norm to escape this biological construct, buying this natural process out from a woman is not any worthy fit to the actual process. Moreover, a person's right to make and keep a happy family is almost exactly the same as his responsibility in bringing up a child in this world. If you can manufacture that process, you can make it almost anything you like and address with almost any virtue you please by calling it a 'right', there's something wrong. You can't hijack the chicken and egg process per se as a bonafide process (in order to have a happy family), can you? That's some value there. Remember, sanctity?   

Straight parents do all of this as well at times, but then, this isn't about adoption rights; this is about #Equality. But then, straight parents do it either willingly to help people who don't have parents or because sometimes they are infertile. But then even homosexuals and lesbians are biologically capable to reproduce as well, yes, regardless of their sexual orientation, of course with the same exceptions. So, lesbians choose not to reproduce their own because they want to have their own child with their partner but they're not biologically designed to, together? Ditto for homosexuals?

So this is #Equality based on what now? I'm confused. #Equality we're born with, or one that we just simply demand? What's the reasonable fuss about really?

#3 Love and fresh air: good and healthy, but won't run the world

Being in love is alright and wonderful, so is being happy, and must be allowed, and was, all the while intertwined into the fabric of life. All that was how the world was till #equality was the measure and validator of the breaths everyone takes.

Now if you are queer and you have known the ultimate expression of love to be marriage, well, that's what your next logical step is - and that logical step is the very firm root of society. When you're gay and you get to start a family, you become that unit. It's one of the most important units of family. It, among other things, gives a child a healthy, steady, caring place to grow up in. It forms their identity. Well, a dad can't be a mom, simply because a mom must be a woman, and vice-versa. Woman and men each have their roles and moms and dads do them. Imagine when your daughter is going through her bodily changes, and she comes to you, what will you tell her, or vice-versa with a son? If you happen to be a legitimate triad or more civil union (in case of bi-sexuals), what will your children learn about sanctity of anything? There is also polygamy with straight people, but most of those cases are not to ensure consented sexual variety. What value base are you professing, larger and culturally?            

There are cases when single parents bring children up. There, the excuse is either divorce, or single parenthood. Then again, the child not made to be the dream-catchee for the gay family hopefuls who seek to redesign almost every identity and value system in the world. Is the fight for #Equality really just a we-want-to-do-what-we-please thing, and it's our right to happiness? If it is, there is no sense in even seeing reason in the demands.

Now the question: "We are gay, inescapably, and, being so, we also have the right to the family, love and happiness." Well, I'll say this. That lollipop is the other person's, not yours, not if you're going to systemically upset this entire natural cycle at whim and fancy. The idea is not to stall love and companionship. You can't just transplant happy ideas into systems of sustenance as you please. The idea is to not ruin the balance of how things were which we are discovering as we go along. Not to hijack the process.

It's not about #Equality. It's about #Equality of preference, and that's not how you gauge #Equality. It's about right precedent, with exceptions, not just plain outcome.

I'm not sure yet what the poster campaign is about, but even for the reason it has, it's overrated by the people of the protest. Any anti-thought is hate mongering. Any one opposing is homophobic. Why people who are for it with reason can't accept reason in return is another story. Opposition is always blindly questionable. Pro-thought is never. Any quote (in or out of context) that has the few keywords in support makes the guy who said it a superstar. Somehow, now everybody must be forced to accept it. Does it mandate loss of civility in existence and discussion? The arguments, hardly consistent, swing in any convenient direction to make it about an issue it's really not - divorce, love, bigotry. Again, it's hardly about equality. It's about lots more, or just lots and lots of frenzy. The issue is not a litmus test for society. There are graver issues. There's probably a better saner way to deal with it.    

As for gays getting married, the law will have to decide, and I have no problem with it, though I don't accept it personally, for reasons mentioned above. But I can't stop anyone with my opinion, and I'm all ears for a rebuttal. I see two options though. One, redefine marriage and let the opposers and religions decide whether they oppose and marry, differently to it. The other, there's civil union and granting the rights that bringing up a child come with. I'm not sure yet how happiness comes in the way, even if this is not done though. What's in a name and title if all that matters is, "I do", right? Am I missing any finer details?  

Monday, March 25, 2013

My coming out

Note: This blogpost speaks to two particular categories of people:

1) Me and people like me with respect to my confession (to any degree)
2) Everybody else who seeks to destroy the peace in my head, when they do* 

Confession: I'm an introvert - one who has learnt to enjoy the wonders of my particular inclination (and my particular neurocognitive traits), blessing or curse. It's amazing that I have the privilege and you* should envy and try and seek a peek in too, I think. I promise an extremely fun ride. You'll be intrigued to the depths of your soul. The warning's that it might just disturb your balance of existence, so much so that you can be as scared as you act cool about shoving it aside as acceptable differences, or just plain rubbish.

The rest of the confessions:

I love silence because I get to smell the flowers, and there are more flowers than you see with plain eyes. Get the metaphor. Everything smells as sweet as its beauty and it doesn't work the other way round.

I perceive more than you* do, because that's what I do. What extra I see, that you don't, is also perfectly objective and can be seen in a easy cause and effect relationship, and can be added up to form the same whole.  

I am more fulfilled** than you*. I don't feel an incessant need to fill the cup. I am, and am not only simply what I do. That gives my actions more credit than just empty movement. I don't seek, or feel the need, to define myself other than what I am  - which is a progressive, growing and changing entity. You should come over and have a chat sometime to find out.

Yes, I do get out and give myself the air I think I deserve. The air I don't care for doesn't interest me. I don't think it's worthwhile engaging myself with something I don't think I deserve.      

Now the problem I see is that there's a natural war raging - between you* and me. You strangle my mind with the exact opposite of the things I enjoy and thrive on. You almost seek the exact opposite while hoping to achieve the same goal. I sit there and stare at you in disbelief of how mindless you and your actions can be. I cringe at the very thought of it. Sometimes, you don't really care. Your only goal is to drive away the silence; mine is to keep it. Your goal is to fill the cup; mine is to make it a spring of life in itself without having the need to fill it. You almost ignore the world that passes by, shunning it and thereby robbing it of its intrinsic layers of art; I embrace it, seeking to understand it as something that exists, other than me and my kind. You fight; I don't.        

For the others (note 2) at the beginning of the post), I have a test of wits. Let's see who lasts. It's not a competition. It's about understanding why there is a war and how there can be peace.

Answer this question: What would you do if you were given the opportunity to not have to do anything at all, completely? If I assured you every single detail was taken care of - every single one, and you had a whole month/year to just do as you please, what would you do? There will be no one to satisfy, appease or please.

Do you face a fear of self/emptiness/boredom that you dread so much that you spend your entire life avoiding it? Or are you perfectly at peace with yourself? What thoughts come to your mind when you consider the option, or is it just another something you simply brush aside?

Tell me. I want to know. While I die a slow death everyday with your incessant need for activity and movement around me, while I'm in between being thankful for surviving and remaining sane the next morning, perhaps you can end this pain for me and it can be a happy world for us both?   

Think I'm crazy with what I've said this post? I have backing with backing :) 

** fulfilled in the true sense of being filled full, not simply being constantly entertaining to my fetishes, one after the other  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The perils (and lessons) from living in a competitive home environment

Taking from the last post...

I'd like to make a few observations that I've had the privilege (or misfortune) of experiencing the past few years living in what I can positively, and objectively, say is a competitive home environment. What I mean by such a thing is this:

Within the home, there is only a certain amount of potential from which the environment in it provides for happiness, peace of mind, space (mental and physical) and all other factors that contribute to a happy living environment. It's limited and can only provide so much, and no more. The more you crowd it, the less it will offer for your happiness, peace of mind and mental and physical space and such.

Just to note the Environment Factor: We cannot live separate from our environment. Our environment is almost us, save our response to it. It half-defines our existence and ensures that we comply to it. On the other hand, it is not independently existent. We create it, almost by default - sometimes like walking around with our elbows out (intentionally or unintentionally), sometimes like treading carefully so that we don't step on the flowers, sometimes like desperately grabbing from a box we ignore/were ignorant of (gross oversight) which is why were driven to the said desperation.

The Lessons:

The sky will not fall on your head ever

Repeat this to yourself everyday. Hang it up on the wall. Maybe even paint it on the ceiling in case you end up taking yourself literally when you choose to believe so. It will never happen, like (literally) that's scientifically and mathematically proven. So entertain yourself in that fear, if you do, all you please, but it will not be of any profitable avail to you.

Don't fear decision-making moments

There's a certain vibrancy to life when it's real, and it's real when it's an actual reflection of the moment, actual need and necessity inclusive. To keep it real, in all respects, decision-making moments are as important as the decisions themselves as important as the quality of those decisions are. This factor will count in terms of efficiency as I will explain in the next point. The best decisions are the ones you take in the light (note: not the heat) of the moment, not the ones you take prior to the moment so that you do away with taking decisions, as you easiest can, which you percieve to be a burden. Keeping the decision process noble, pure and brave will bring decisions, more often than not pleasantly surprising and refreshing ones, that:

1) respond aptly to moment and therefore have a sharp, precise and efficient result
2) use all possible resources to make those decisions (and prevent the gross oversight of the box I mentioned earlier)        

Any soul without that healthy war going on inside of them is a dead soul, or slowly getting there. Life's not an inane cycle of mandatory events that each one must go through to gain the honour of it. Embrace that war and you will learn to be free from your walls. It will not stop raging. It will only pit you against more challenges that you will embrace as well and wear as you reveal to yourself a world of new things that you discover everyday. The true adventure of life is lived courtesy embracing these moments of decision where you really realise the potential of what you can do with resources (and the different kind of resources you have around you). If you don't know what an awesome epiphanic phenomenon that is, you have to try it. Once done that, you'll never preempt or avoid them but wait for those moments of decision and jump in and embrace it all the way to the next frontier, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one.... 

Give yourself thinking space: Mental space is determined largely by physical space and its quality. If you don't have any space at home that's simply inviolable, you're not helping yourself make better decisions.  

Fussing is the exact opposite of efficiency

What does a dog do when its threatened? Bark and howl his life away. We, who have lived in Bangalore, will be familiar with their late night affairs like this. This is the same for all organisms including ourselves. Being threatened is alright but, for us humans, we are surely worth our pompousness to be a little more worth than that. It is not intelligently human to dwell on a threat in a similar manner. That's exactly what fussing is - dwelling on the threat because that's the best you got. It's the exact opposite of dealing with it, and it's not healthy when you do it over and over again, every single time. It's the opposite of efficiency of action, in which case result and effort put in are equally proportional to each other. Fussing is a sign of ineffective functioning and inability to handle situations. You can do way better than to blow your trumpet and scream supremacy in claiming inability - anything better than fussing. Clue in the next point. 

Purposeful activity is the happy key

The problem is not with busyness or activity. It's about the efficiency of that activity. If it's one of those things you just need to do, it's best done away with quick. If it's one of the other things where the journey's more important than the destination, it can be always be enjoyed better. When your activity is filled with purpose, everything you do has a specific reason and your effort all goes into an outcome that is always equal, and sometimes more than equal to input. When you fuss, it just spills over and keeps your anxiety pangs cooled in its own strange way, only for that to happen over and over and over again. So decide what you want to do (specifically), figure out what it'd take, get yourself up to speed and get the help and involvement you'd require. Instead of screaming yourself hoarse about how you're not able to and that it's such a mountain of a task, use that energy effectively and you'll see the wonders it does. Think as much as you need, till you've got the perfect plan. The world doesn't need half-baked plans handled by incapability.       

The Human Race wasn't made for doom

Man has survived thus far and he will further more. He was made to adapt and survive and bare minimum is not asking for the Universe. All will be well because we are made that way. Men survived, grew, developed, and progressed that way for centuries. Denying yourself the privilege to adapt is like advancing a degression back to them Stone Age thinking days.

Like John Keats says in Dead Poet's Society: "Because we are food for worms, lads. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die."

Fussing all the way through life is not how you see yourself envision that inconspicuous time on Earth, do you?

Practical steps to take:

Setup an activity meter and a permissible limit and swear never to cross it. Max. limit: 60%. Don't define yourself by your activity. Be something before you do anything about it - even if it's a dependent role that keeps your world stable. You are not what you do.   

Don't be scared by what seem to be daunting tasks. Life's generally simple because when it makes sense, it is a logical assortment of units/blocks, and better results can be achieved when you mix and match them so that you do what you want to do. Any combination that works will work.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Dilemma Of Managing A House

I've faced a strange dilemma of late - one that has sort of self-blown up in my face.

The Dilemma Side 1:

I've quit work to continue studying and, in the process, decided to come back home (I was staying in another city when I decided to do so), and one of my subjects includes Sociology. On my list of prospective subjects to take in college this year or the next, it brought to the fore the other side of the dilemma.

The Dilemma Side 2:

My home for the past 4 years or so of my life has been quite intriguing. Here's why. One of the biggest things that made life for me during those years (especially since I was much of a home body) was this incessant drive of people at him to (quote unquote) manage the house. Over the years, when I could afford the energy, I did spend time on trying to decipher what that meant. More than four years hence, I'm even more clueless than when I started.

So there. The dilemma was between the enlightenment I got while studying Sociology and concept of managing the house. I didn't ever remember emphasis on the word or the idea the word presents when home was being taken care of before those four years. When I considered it, there was some managing that needed to be done. I mean, things don't happen by themselves. We do things with our hands and feet and we do them pretty consciously, but that was never a word we used so heavily like it's a gold-plated agenda. It just happened. We usually also needed to do the things we did. You don't manage drinking water when you're thirsty and if you want to drink water when you're thirsty and there is none, you go ahead and boil some. You don't need extraordinary skills or wisdom. All you need is pretty much common sense and you're there. If you consider your house awareness evolution, you cross these barriers almost every now and then. It's not exactly rocket science from where I was coming from - but then apparently it was.

At home now it's a sacred rule book that if we deviate, we are all doomed - and it deserves our rapt attention every second. It's sacrilegious to even stop repeating the words of that rule book or violate any of its precepts.

None the less, it still seems a mystery to me. The folk at home tell me it's way more than rocket science and their paranoia seems to justify that, but I'm done deciphering the code. It's brain-damaging. I've tried a Complexity Theory approach i.e a system is more than just a sum of its parts. Making the list of objective things to manage is apparently just plainly ignorant of that mystical connection between the parts. Woe be unto me. Even making that objective list is sacrilege.

I've tried the Self-Organising Theory i.e all men and women are have the natural capability to organise themselves according to their needs and requirements. In a household, they naturally cooperate with each other to achieve that effort, and any system or set of rules comes about as a result of that. When control is hijacked in the name of managing, you defeat the very possibility of  mutual cooperation. You don't give the people in the household space to mutually respond to each other, to start with. By the theory of managing the house that they go by, you have to at least have to be able to do that and that should cover everything you'd need. Managing doesn't even fit into the picture there. By this definition, it's a level of self-organisational advancement that beats all sociological research so far.

But that has a road block. Does this state of self-organisational advancement also include excessive amounts of fuss and panic? Panic and fuss is not a quality of self-organisation. It's a quality of inability and incapability.  It's like a king who has a royal, authoritative throne but wields a powerless scepter. He can only scream and send his armies out. The obsession for control as a result of a lack of ability and capability is really a scramble for it. Why the heck? It beats the heck out of me.

What's satisfying about power or control at home is something I simply don't understand. I'm not even going to try to see what theories will help explain it. It seems to be fear of the sacred rule book. That fear seems to be based on the assumption that if we don't follow the rule book, the sky will fall on our heads and all hell will break loose - only because we didn't follow the rule book. The interesting question to ask now is where the rule book comes from? Wait, we wrote it! Here's another truth: the sky will never fall on our heads and all hell will never break loose, least of all because of the things we do or don't do. So everybody should just simply relax. We will do what we must, like how all of the human race developed up to now, and of course, make it a point not to drive ourselves to desperation in the process.      

So I'm putting this question out there. What is it about managing a house is worth all the fuss and panic? Does anybody else also have the same or a similar situation at home? Would any Sociology or Psychology Doctorate hopeful like to investigate this phenomena? Do share your research when you do please!