15 July, 2006

The malady of expressing one's opinion

Someone had started a thread on another network with a mail forward that spoke of how resilient Mumbai-people are, as a means of getting us to appreciate their courage, their spirit to survivie. It was also a means to convey the enormity of the tragedy that has struck us.

But we did not let it be. Seeing, understanding( a bunch of people who write and express emotion so well, are also deeply in touch with feelings unexpressed and motivations unspoken of- I am assuming) the intentions behind the post, we proceed to analyze it. Just as we would another literary piece.( I actually am surprised someone did not point out the sms-ese evident in the forward)

Now of course one may argue with a "this is a literary network, the grammar and composition should indeed be meticulous" but events like this do call for a little stretching of the rules. and it is not even a stretching of the rules. Because it is about feeling at a raw level, a collective consciousness of sorts.

But no, we proceed to first reply to the post, or ponder on the political correctness of the piece... and then to comment and re-comment on idea threads that grew out of it- totally forgetting the original intent.

Healthy discussion - and a creative one like the one that ensued, is extremely entertaining, even commendable - but for something that is light hearted to start with, not in the face of tragedy. In that light it just seems totally inane and a desire to be heard at all costs . Of as dubious taste as "Apart from your husband's death Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play"

So I wonder, are we slowly becoming totally desensitized to something that should impact us as a mass of humanity on the whole, and let the fact that we want to express our opinions overpower it completely? Because we do not realize there is a time for everything. Is it of paramount priority to be heard - and is that more urgent that expressing solidarity? What happens in this case- that we hold forth on how plastic wrapping for medicines is dangerous for the environment, over the deathbed of a cancer patient( I am sorry, the analogy is a little too extreme, but in my opinion, the "lively discussion" that ensued is similar). just because the one second in which the "I" is not served is wasted? Is that what our feelings and deep rooted sensitivity, that we so keenly express through our original work here are about? Is that indeed what our education is about?

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