I have few favorite quotes that I keep telling myself. Sometimes, it’s amazing how a quote can influence someone so much. When in doubt, they act as guides and support you. They embolden you to take an action or give you encouragement to do something that’s deep inside you.
One of my favorite quotes (which I put in my profile) is:
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality. - Alighieri Dante
One could take a stand, be neutral or fight it out. There is a tendency amongst fiery youth to fight for a cause vehemently and vociferously. This has brought in many revolutions on the planet- both good and bad. The problem is when they do not want to see reason and want to uphold their belief no matter what.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. - Bertrand Russell
The problem is not with our youth, but with the way they are brought up. There is a practice inherent in our human evolution which involves parents teaching their kids lot of ‘rules’ to ensure their survivability. Example: It’s better to teach the kids to be wary of snakes instead of allowing the kid to experiment with it and find out. This teaching helped by sheer innocence and immense credulity on part of the kids is a very important trait in humans because it allows the kids to learn lot of stuff in a very short period of time so that they don’t have to waste time in experimentation to learn what many generations prior to them have already learnt. But there are some negative consequences to this teaching though. In addition to the basic skills and bare necessities, parents also teach kids their habits- both good and bad, customs- of religion and caste, idiosyncrasies, belief systems, and even prejudices. In an ideal environment the kid grows up to reevaluate what he has been taught, but that may not happen, especially when they are taught not to reevaluate. In societies like
I think there are two types of teaching- Intentional and Unintentional. Intentional teaching involves parent consciously teaching the kids- like how to pray, or ride a bicycle, eating habits, etc. Unintentional teaching could be dad smoking, mom scolding the maid, dad upholding secular principles while talking to others, mom talking negative against certain religions or caste, dad throwing garbage on the streets, etc. This kid who is trained to believe everything his parents teach also acquires these prejudices and habits without questioning them. While some kids are taught to reevaluate their learning, most others inherit all their parents' prejudices. For those who do not reevaluate, their ability to acquire new learning also diminishes and they continue to harbor the same prejudices all their life. If needed they fight vehemently and vociferously, blinded by faith. They do not know what they do not know and hence they seem to believe they know everything.
I am not young enough to know everything. - Oscar Wilde
I don’t consider myself wise. I don’t consider myself a fool either. I am in between somewhere trying to understand the complexities of this world. When in conflict or a dilemma, most often one can find the right path after certain amount of deliberation. Nobody needs media or other experts to deliberate it for them. But I guess most of them are just lazy. It’s extremely easy to believe than inquire.
Hence the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire. - Friedrich Nietzsche
It’s not like people cannot converge on a right path. It’s not like our eminent directors of institutes, business leaders, and famous doctors are not sensitive to the social issues of
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. - Sir Winston Chu
In my discussions on Reservations I did not use too many statistics. Many are available at http://www.theotherindia.org/ I wanted myself to ask some basic questions and provide answers to instill healthy discussion and debate in a composed and calm manner instead of joining the bandwagon of
I borrowed the following from Gaddeswarup's blog
BenjaminFranklin at age of 81:
… for having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought were right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow the more apt I am to doubt my own judgement, and to pay more respect to the judgement of others. Most men indeed as well as most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error….
You must be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi
I will start with myself. I apologize.
I apologize to all my fellow low-caste Indians who have been discriminated, persecuted, and ostracized for centuries. Millions of you have died without knowing what it means to read or write, not able to appreciate the beauty of poetry or the music of art. This land is considered great for inventing zero, and you could not enjoy knowing mathematics. This land produced Arthashastra, but you had no idea what it was about. For thousands of years, we have denied you access to religious places, our village wells, and our schools. I apologize on behalf of all my ancestors who have ill-treated you.
I shall teach my kids to be more tolerant of other kinds of people. I shall teach them to respect the oppressed for the pain they have endured for centuries. I shall teach my kids the evils of discrimination and take them to villages. Hopefully they will grow mature to respect and tolerate special rights given to certain people. Hopefully my kid will be able to understand and respect why this backward-caste kid has special rights to get into this institution while he cannot. I sincerely hope he will not be out there protesting, fasting and groveling on the streets to secure a place for himself.
I apologize to all the women whose only duty in this world was to serve, feed and produce kids. You have been discriminated for centuries in this country. When your husband died, we put you on his funeral pyre to die. You had no identity other than being attached to another man. Millions of you died not knowing what it means to be heard.
Finally, I apologize to all minority religions in
I sincerely apologize.