As Narrow as it gets!

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Every organization needs a hierarchy to efficiently function, which could be of various modalities like administrative, functional, reporting based, etc. Though sometimes we see discriminations, unhealthy practices and other inherent drawbacks, I don't think the hierarchical model can be dispensed with. We see hierarchical formations in political governance as well social structures (like caste system) too. Even the human mind conceives the world in a hierarchical fashion, which is one of the basic factors that drives that mind towards a classifying tendency in gathering and organizing its intellectual knowledge. When the mind runs its cognitional processes it runs both ways, from the particular experiences to generalizations as well as univeral precepts bearing down on individualities. This could be an aspect that is uniquely gifted to human beings alone.

Its in the generalizing ascent of the mind that it sees a substantial unity in the universe and gradually transcends into the concept of a Godhead.

In a similar way, our identities also trace a hierarchical path. Our various names - first name, last name, family names, etc - are, but, a gradation of our identity. When we call ourselves humans, we generalize our self into a pool of humanity all over the world, suddenly our identities are diluted into the multitude, and we regain our individuality with our names. Similarly, we identify ourselves at different idealogical levels - At a national level, we belong to a country that has well-defined boundaries and a historical and political legacy of its own; At a community level, we partake in a cultural ethos and move in a shared existence of communal upheavels; At a family level, one draws an inner circle of belonging and makes it an extension of the individual self. Our mind needs these hierarchies to accordingly gradate our priorities and define the levels of our subsistence.

Now, while family, on one hand, is a building block of the entire social fabric, is it, in so far as it is  the lowermost node in our social order, also a restrictive aspect that boxes the mind and disillusions all aspects beyond it? Is the concept of family, while being unitary in its approach, also being unilateral in its effect? People focus on their families so much today that they refuse to see beyond its boundaries - the idea of belonging to a nation, or a state or even a religion or culture is only worth its weight in words. National pride, Relgious duty, Cultural practice are all subservient to Family welfare. Is there any meaning of universal brotherhood for a people drowned in familial responsibilities?

Is the idea of a Family, instead of being a stream that feeds into the universal ocean, turning on its head, and rather becoming a chain that breaks up the world into smaller worlds where human beings and their thoughts are caged? Is it actually making narrow minded beings out of us?


Anonymous said...

You echo one of my thought of global family, well executed. The transformation we are looking for will happen despite the fact that it will take its own course.
However it is other way round for me; upside down, I think the very concept of family will teach the new born to not only think for itself but family at large which in turn teaches Global family. Now- a-days due to more of cross religious marriages around the world, the very rigid doors of caste system is vanishing, it takes generations to change. But it’s bound to happen.
Now this world is called a global village, due to globalization and also because many countries are coming out of monarchy style to communist or democratic or republic. Countries will be ruled by the government made by the people. This will have its own constitution similar to developed countries.
We have recently seen a big change in European market; it had many currencies now it just has one currency EURO. These kinds of changes will happen around the world.
As time passes people will stop thinking of the boundaries, again Europe is an example where you don’t even realize that you have crossed a nation; it’s just like crossing any city in the same state.
There will be one constitution for this globle, one leader, one world, one currency! This world is ours and we belong to this world!

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

The analogy of Europe uniting under the blanket of Euro currency was befitting yes, but did the ideas of Euro, of democracy, of globalization arise out human understanding of the nature of family? Maybe it did, I need to research more on it.

A child is born in a family and, thanks to family, learns to love creatures beyond itself, but then it just stops there. Maybe the reason we never learn to love beyond our families is because the open-mindedness we have as children is stolen from us as we grow up. We dont grow from innocence to maturity, rather from innocence to "in-no-sense". :) In another blog, I had written about some degrading aspects of family. ( I am not sure if you agree with that too..

But you did effectively put forth your thoughts well and its in sync, in shades, to what I had thought about. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps of all the institution we know family is the best way to raise a child, the very concept of “OURS” is borne here, it will change the reflection from me to us, me to ours, my life to our life ... and our country, our world... It is very natural for any human being to find something which is ours and that "ours" is a very relative term, when we are in a community we look for our family, when in different county we look for our county people, when outside the nation, we do look for our country people and definitely when we go to space we will talk of our earth our world, it enhances and encompasses all walks of life.

In olden days, Community was only of religions, now it has changed drastically. now we find Community of likeminded people, the poets community, The artists community, the bloggers community, they think for the welfare of that community... which is the right module for the better living ... (the another blog Charity begins at Home.. so does Hopelessness! Is profound, will post the comments on itself).

For the people who had bad childhood may still consider family as incorrect institution. For them christen would be, so what if you were from a bad family, bad upbringing, after illumination “you are from which family” should not matter, what should matter is “what kind of a family you will raise?”

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

Very profound, and eye opening. Thanks!
The comment about looking for our people in a different country is very true, and when we do meet our people in a foriegn land it does evoke family like sentiments. So family has not lost its "bonding properties" after all - still unconsciously lies within us.

I feel we need to bring this into the foreground and make people feel the same familial instincts even in their own city, their own neighborhood. Treat your neighbors like your own family (and by that I dont mean, look at them as siblings or relatives but just a sense of belonging and compassion). And when this happens, people wont just stand and watch when two people are fighting on the streets, they wont just ignore it when a sick begger or a drunk person is lying on the pavement, they wont simply shout at someone for honking at them, or definitely wont ignore someone hurt or dead on the street.

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam!

Anonymous said...

The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works is the family. ~Lee Iacocca

Family and family values have been tainted due to modernization but In rural hubs they consider their neighbors as part of their family, They feel very proud to identify themselves with you, I have lived in a small city where, quarrels in neighborhood/ on the roads people walk up to them to resolve it.

The modernized concepts of urban hubs have ruined the family system. They call it as a nuclear family. They want more privacy, people who willingly come for help is considered as nosiness, obstruction a hindrance, poking nose and inconvenience... how many of you will allow your friends/distinct relatives to know what is your problem, Many of you will try to avoid people who come to you for even when in need, many of you carry a synthetic image of yourself which is phony and so you fear. .. How many of you respect such person who selflessly comes to you on a regular basis to help you.

Many of you should make an effort to be with people who are really concerned about you be it a neighbor or a friend whom you are ignoring, how many of you ever tried at least giving an emotional support to your friends/ relatives, you say they should be independent, if anybody asks for it they are considered as sultry and are asked to maintain distance. It is not about being independent it’s about that bondage, which is lacking in the youth. What an Irony, later you blame the same people when they change themselves to your urbanized way of living, blame them for not being considerate and don’t know to consider neighbors as their family.

The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born. ~Pearl S. Buck

Many countries youth are suffering as they don’t have family support, it’s time to understand what we should incorporate in the name of modernization and be clear as to what to eradicate. You the youth is more powerful who has to stick to the roots and understand and implement worthy things. We have to eradicate the wrong concept of family, “the more you are urbanized the more you are near to me and I “the concept should be eradicated. Its good to acquire knowledge but one should not unlearn our basics in the name of modernization.

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

So its modernization that erodes the concept of family bonds, you say! One should take from modernity what is apt and eradicate what is evil. Where to get guidance for this? Government says one thing, Religious guru says another, Media says a third while our school teacher says something else. Whom should the youth believe? Should we listen to the information technology avenues, to our family voice, to society guidance or to our own inner voice? Intially you spoke in favor of globalization (global family, global democracy, etc) and now you are blaming modernization. Isn't globalization a part of modernization?

I think family is like a hiding place today. Its a place to escape from the enigma of individuality and the mirage of a good society. My feeling, as a thinking and critical youth, is that, yes, family is a bedrock that supports this world, but its also an excuse to stay out of the affairs of the world.

I love your argument, You hit the nail well on its head. I wish I could read your blog, if you had one.

Anonymous said...

Due to globalization youth is well equipped; they have more options to look into, not missing out on even a small thing. Caution! Do not get carried away. One of the biggest problems which our youth is facing is lack of clarity they have the options but don’t know which one to choose, dont know the pros and corns. Due to high-speed approach, they tend to consider the wrong in the place of correct, fake in the place of real.

Keep your cool youth don’t jump to conclusions, observe the world around you, you will be able to see what is fake and what is real, what is correct and what is wrong, whom to love whom to hate, whom to consider whom to ignore.

If you want this world to be a global family start treating everybody equally, don’t discriminate.

I have seen you in many of your blogs, you stand out as critic, and I appreciate that.

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

Thanks sir/madam for your compliment. I thank you for reading my blog(s) and, all the more, for commenting. I hope to continue such formal exchange of ideas in future posts too..

Anonymous said...

I would love to read something with same intensity & comprehension.

Happy Blogging,Do keep Blogging!!

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