The bug is here! A niggling and nagging one. Too trenchant and troublesome. And too domineering! Life gets out of gear just because you are supposed to ‘socialize’. The bug drains you out in all ways.
Energy. Time. Money. You are clutched to cry hoarse and collapse. They say socialization is a process by which we learn from others. It is a kind of social learning method that is based on experiences, usually pleasurable ones.
However, the same social learning turns painful when we accumulate bitter encounters with sham socialization. Of course, we are ‘social savages’.
We cannot afford to live in isolation. But what sense does it make in thronging places/occasions where we get only appalling things to be weaved into our lives? And do we necessarily need to be at every place, attending each and every social ceremony?
The reply is shrilling NO. In Kashmir, this answer may invite brickbats. You have a high chance of being labelled as a ‘social outcast’, the one who is a downright killjoy, swarming with an ‘asocial attitude’.
Nonetheless, the fact is that we as a nation have yet a lot to learn and dispense rightfully. Our priorities are never set and we have enough time to squander on so-called socialization.
We feel at leisure, waiting hours for that special lunch that becomes dinner because of its serving schedule. Wishing the host, with all your heart, in brief, and rushing back to other business of life, is something that seems strange and shameful to us.
We cannot skip talking endlessly here and there on such occasions, meddling in gossip and grapevine. Boring ourselves to death, we stay on, on and on.
Our events of marriage have turned into ostentatious walking and talking carnivals. We literally fritter away our brains and bucks at such social shopping sprees. ‘Bollywoodfication’ of marriages is glorified, and we brag of such absurdity and wastefulness of our social occasions.
Painfully even our deaths are an occasion for hosting wazwan, pitching grandiose shamiyaana; not to speak of Hajj and other similar occasions; and then you will have endless justifications, religious and otherwise, for all the mockery we make of such events. Flamboyance falsely gets projected as our Fatwa!
And additionally, the baggage of false traditions, that we own so imprudently, leaves only the social mess behind. Nobody is happy with anyone. The host is annoyed. Invitees are irritated. Everyone is heated inside. Always and ever.
Still, the phoney pleasantries and smiles greet everybody. We emerge as ‘natural social actors’, scoffing at nothing and fretting about everything! How shallow is our socialization! We go on just building the ‘connections’ without going into their soul, and as such fail to sustain such social relations that are unconditional, kind and thoughtful.
We hardly try to discover and understand the skills most effective in guiding our socialization towards the valued goals.
By the way, do we have any “valued goals” at all? The type of socialization that can help alleviate some of our collective pain and allow us to build a more positive and creative future is badly missing.
We socialize simply for time to pass, freaking out; and easily pass over the serious matters at hand, rambling so casually over the realities.
How amazing that we atrociously waste the precious commodity called Time! People in developed nations cannot even imagine spending hours in social gatherings, not to speak of celebrating for several days altogether.
Though their socializing ways may be different and also unacceptable to us, we cannot deny their prodigious sense of valuing time.
Perhaps, people there understand and realize each others’ demands and priorities. Social relationships are limited but equally meaningful. Unlike here, they don’t pester and push people to attend each and every social function at length, recognizing and accepting gracefully that they may have other pressing tasks to carry out at that point in time.
This culture is not visible around. There is a need to cultivate it. We don’t have to be social ‘nonconformists’. We cannot even afford that. However, what is required is to be pragmatic and try to assimilate appropriate role-playing for everyone.
Even ‘excessive socialization’ has lessons for us, which can potentially lead us to alter our beliefs and personality. We can learn to capture time and set targets for the greater good. We can track down output in our meaningful activities and get identified as a result-oriented community.
Perhaps even those coming here on official visits as professionals and consultants are amazed at our working habits. And they too begin to take things as a matter of fact.
Maybe this is one of the primary reasons why no major projects or schemes of vital importance are completed on time. Inertia and no prioritization of tasks put vital things in the dock coupled with our comfortable complacency of wasting time over prolonged socialization.
Result-oriented communities have planned leisure as well as organized social set up to live up to their targeted expectations. Whiling away time is unpardonable and unaffordable. Fight the bug!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK