Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An angry post... A frustrated post..

Let’s do a small role play:

Imagine you’re driving on an open city road, when you approach a traffic light. About 50 yards or so from the light, the green light turns amber. You’re at that point where it is a split second decision whether you accelerate or take your foot off the pedal. You know for a fact that you may be able to cross the threshold but you will not clear the square before the light turns red.

Do you step on it, or do you follow the rules?

Let’s say now, you decide, using some miraculous sense of right and wrong, to stay within the limits of the rules and stop before the line. You’re waiting for the light to turn green, so you can proceed. And along comes a speeding vehicle, which seeing the road ahead open, decides to not bother with the rules, and just go ahead.

What do you do now?

You know no one is going to catch you. You are almost guaranteed to not be punished for not following the rules.

Do you still wait?
Exactly why do we follow rules, laws, processes, or guidelines?

Or more to the point, why do we need to follow these?

Or even more to the point, why do we follow some rules, laws, processes or guidelines and not some others?

Why, for example, do we have prashad with our right hand, and right hand only, after wiping the hand on the trouser, but not follow traffic laws?

Even when the prashad rule is an unwritten convention, barely mandatory, and hardly matters in the larger scheme of things, whereas the traffic law is written in our legal system, agreed to by representatives of our society, and implemented / enforced (at least superficially) by the protectors of law and order and an error could literally cost lives?

Are rules and processes the crutch we use only when we don’t want to do something?

Why do we say “Satyameva Jayate” when the reality is that it’s more a case of “Jayatyameva Satya”?

Why am I bothering to teach my kids to always do the right thing, when right and wrong are becoming increasingly subjective?

What, exactly, is the point of all this hypocrisy?
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