“Progress in the societies is both inevitable and desirable but we all must be conscious of the social costs that might be exacted as progress is made.”
Progress in the societies is both inevitable and desirable but we all must be conscious of the social costs that might be exacted as progress is made. Our progress in public life, civilization, religious observance, etc. should in no case make us understand that one can prosper and promote peace only by conceding more to costs than to benefits. By this we can largely grow in the society as pacifist, which is worst vice in the society. This placatory play for the sake of human advancement causes mere appeasement and more abetment that triggers society to wither interminably.
Much of our modern social systems behave like immune systems which need ‘Stressors and Challenges’ to grow, to adapt and to learn to be resilient and robust, to respond challenges vigorously and keep expanding the very life-span for any sound society. We, however, as a society wither today by sitting along and watching the encroaching weaknesses without taking curative/corrective measures. Despite pulls and pressures all around, we behave without any extra wit and grit and; our fight even for our slight survival is both frugal and feeble.
Today when cultural vulnerability is on the rise, parenting in the society is very paranoid. All men of letters parent us with a difference. Their reasonable restrictions and regulations are risked in the wrong ways. Virtuous and capable people make Doctors and other health professionals very popular in their speeches which at times prove ‘harmful prescriptions’ to the society, as people ascribe more to the actual and speak in language of redundancy.
Their drug interaction is immoderate which leads to over-medicalization. This in the first place, made people ‘Cultural Iatrogenic’, i-e, the established ways of coping with any illness are getting discouraged or destroyed. And in the second this has caused ‘muscle atrophy’ in the society where people begin to believe that they are fully frail now to respond to any illness or injury. Thirdly, such suggestions seem loaded with anxieties such as over-protection and over-supervision which on one hand adds to our inability to celebrate under the fragile circumstances and on the other freeze our fighting spirit to the extent that we get first confined and then consumed in the society in the form of suicidal cases.
We as social beings are enjoined upon to fight a just and generous war against any social intruder. Depriving human being of this ‘anti-fragility’ will see his death and decay. Today, our overindulgence in hiding behind the curtain is making people unrealistic to accept realities like disease and death, thus, preventing sense of adventurism in the society, a crucial and clear criterion to see societies growing and grooming.This new thinking in parenting is offering no safe space, rather domesticatinga tragedy, i.e, acquiescence in the society where today we scare and shiver down to our spine and we, therefore, agree without any argument. Our ‘Popular Culture’ hatches and harbors ‘superfluity of negative sensitivity’ which talks and teaches us more about pessimism and docility.
In our debates and discussions, we are pleading in victimhood or passivity where we squarely accept that nothing can be done about it. In our media messages, there are very often distorted analyses of the ‘harm’ which is both harassing and harming us more, thus, making bad situation look very worse. With this defeatist mentality, today we are turning into an inactive and unreceptive lot in universities, colleges, schools and last but not least in the societies. These modern minds are left to their own weak willed stamina with enough know-how of how to resign without response. This all culminates into what is called ‘fragility’.
Being fragile or passive in the age of contestation and confrontation amounts to lifelessness and non-plasticity of mind; therefore, distrust, non-mobility or sense of insecurity is becoming widely felt face of the the modern day society which in the grave situations like we are facing today can further quake our faith in both reason and religion.
Today, when we are in the strong grip of Covid-19, we are run more by an appetite of fragility. This has troubled us all economically, mentally, socially, culturally and politically. Our economy is freezing, our psychology seems stuck with disordered thinking, our social-cultural set-up is all cornered and cracked-with everyday sighting record breaking suicidal cases. Most of the systems and structures in place seem inadequate and inefficient today as their top-down policies are harming us more, not helping us how to defuse these calamitous virus modes and mutations. All sources of strength, be it education, health, religion or reason (Science), teach us to retreat and recede to a position where we all get re-socialized as worthless warriors and spineless spirits-to either surrender or resign from the range of roles that humans are known to. Our owned science, which is least upfront to negotiate any crises, in the society is largely hurting us as it is being caged and considered cordial only for militaristic purposes, to find new norms and forms of harassment.
Under the given circumstances, ‘Anti-fragility is better than fragility because it learns one to remain resilient, stay the same, grow and thrive even in the teeth of strong oppositions. Nassim Taleb’s, in his book Antifragility advises and advocates that by becoming antifragile to fragile, we can better benefit from shocks and risks. Today when ‘Virus Variants’ vary superfluously and challenges amplify extraordinarily, we all prefer and prioritize to draw curtains and remain indoors. By this we are playing in saftism.
Playing too much in saftism in this day and age could expose us to yet another ‘Maginot Line’ that seems impressive but ineffectual means of protection. As has been proved all along the human history that humans have benefitted from shocks and stressors, risks and randomness and from disorders and disruptions. This response to challenge has changed everything and infact made histories in the form of revolutions and evolutions, new inventions and innovations, new ideas and ideals. Thus, fighting spirit has always helped us to domesticate the dominant, conquer the unseen and inexplicable.
PS: Parenting is very crucial particularly at times when there are growing discrepancies in the society between our social expectations and our abilities or desires. Those who always tried to help us are today hurting us the most. Today fathers, mothers, doctors and decision makers are forced to teach and preach unassertiveness where one is more tamed to turn the tail and be both passive and pessimist. This loser look raises in us no battle-hardened character but cultivates hopelessness and helplessness which has ever remained a very ubiquitous force for human societies to derail and adopt deviant behaviors like suicide. Therefore, it is not saftism but a just and generous response to challenges that help struggling societies to live long and avoid any deviance or decline.
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.