Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Heat and the Light

Browsing through a selection of news, entertainment and popular current affairs sites, I look to see a reflection of my own views in the portrayals of the world by others. Curiosity is certainly a component in my trawling, but the adoption of a different point of view in the process, is a rare occurrence. Is it that I’m becoming more rigid as the years go by, and the amalgamation of life-experiences begin to merge into one another and reach what I sometimes perceive as a sense of saturation? Is it that I’m no longer tolerant of that famous idea that a test of a workable intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing thoughts at the same time and still be able to function? That is also the definition of cognitive dissonance, by the way – a theory that I am provocatively beholden to. If this realization is applied to an understanding of the way the world seems to be functioning right now (another futile exercise I constantly and needlessly engage in), the happenings around us these days point to an underlining factor in most of the transactions between public personalities. Mayawati is garlanded with currency notes – what else can you expect from the lower classes of U.P? Republicans in the U.S. opposing the health care bill – what else can you expect from those damned red-necks somewhere in Middle America? Google pulling out of China – what else can you expect in a country where the citizens are to their leaders as sheep are to the herder?
Is it a bad thing – this characterization and compartmentalization? Is open-mindedness a trait that is uniquely the preserve of the young? I definitely don’t want to feed any faint residual bitterness as I live on in this whirlwind of global and local change, but then again I have seen the dangers that an airy and welcoming mindset can have on a sense of character.

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