Sunday, November 16, 2014

Things I find strange about the World

1. Of all the millions of species on the planet, humans are the ONLY species with the concept of "money" - something not inherently of value, but manufactured and artificially injected with value. And it is the most important concept in our entire civilisation. An entire species.

2. We can allow a person to live for years and years in misery - whether from terminal illness, or depression or any other cause. But we do not give the person even the basic right on their bodies to determine that they want to go. We can give them comfortable palliative care, but we do nothing to end their misery - when the body is theirs and the life is theirs. Did they know, when they were born, that their lives will be held hostage by a million people who don't care about their happiness, have no valid reason for prolonging their misery, have contributed NOTHING to their lives, but who need to give an "approval" for their death. Would we still choose to be born if we knew our lives were hostage?

3. There are, at this time, at least 7 billion human, living bodies around the world. They all have flesh. We are also ok with varying levels of nudity in our personal  and public spaces. A lot of people watch explicit porn, sometimes even at their workplace. BUT the minute a celebrity suffers a "wardrobe malfunction" or does something that shows flesh, we are "scandalised". I want to understand, what is so scandalising about naked flesh? Everyone has flesh and skin. Its who we are!


Onkar said...

Very true

Z said...

Two friends I have visited recently are in pain from terminal cancer but both desperately want to live. Ironic, isn't it?

Miss A said...

yes, I'm honestly getting a little sick about the money concept. It didn't just start, the sickness. And it's not little.

We should go back to the barter system. Give me something of true value, instead of your greens - which honestly make no sense coz their value is weirdly inflated to suit a few folks. It sucks because you're not born with it. And I don't mean inherited wealth, I mean it's just not natural to be born in a place where the currency is not something you can achieve without foreign inducement of it. You should be able to have a respectable life, as you're born, while doing something with your own capital/self/what-god-give-you. It shouldn't be this hard if you're not born with a silver spoon in your mouth.

Secondly, I agree with all that Atul Gawande has to say about living life on your own terms. It's not worth it and in extreme illnesses, it should be allowed to make that decision to stop with the indignity of going on without being self-sufficient. At the same time, I dont want people making hasty decisions, dieing because of a string of bad dates... ;) We can't play God. And it is a mystery, this being born, this living life. And so I see where that confusion stems from - to want to be in a place to decide such a thing that you weren't responsible for in the first place.

"Would we still choose to be born if we knew our lives were hostage?" Good line, been meaning to put this into words since I was about 6.

About the nudity, there's something called as personal space... and I dont care about flesh so much as the crassness of the act. There's the nakedness and then there's the vulgarness of it. If we're calling ourselves civilized, it means we choose to focus on the good, sophisticated parts of it. Doesn't mean we deny the nakedness of things, it just means we chose to artfully show some things publically that take hard work to present elegantly. Not everybody is in the mood for crassness at all times. Sometimes it's tolerable. sometimes it's kitschy. but we'll always talk about it if it's an offense to our senses; for some it might be the moral sense, for some just an aesthetic one. Are you sure you're fighting for the right sense?

How do we know said...

Onkar Sir: Thank you.

Z: :) No, I think its very good that they want to live and be well. One of the most potent arguments I heard against the Right to Die was "The Right to Die must not become an obligation to die." I think that that battle will also have to be fought in our own minds..

Miss A: To me, flesh and skin mean nothing. Neither crass, nor vulgar, nor artistic. To me, they are very commonplace - something everyone has. All women have breasts. All men have a flat chest and a penis. Its who we are. So why label some parts as being "erotic" and then ban their "public display". I just don't get that part. That labelling is entirely human, and only present in one species, just like money.

Himanshu Tandon said...

Very interesting...

You know money and concept of skin are very much alike in certain aspects.

Money was devised to facilitate things and trade. It allowed people to specialize and take up various trades. Money creates disparity - which is a very important vice for maintaining order in life. Every layer has its own function. One can't survive without the other.

The temples of Khajuraho were built because too many people had lost interest in life and were abandoning worldly pleasures. If you viewed all skin without feeling anything erotic about it, the world would stop procreating and that would be an end of all species. There are seasons for animals and they seek partners based on other traits. For human beings, it is about zones about a partners which makes one more desirable than the other.

I agree the labeling is entirely human.. but it serves a greater function and is much needed for maintaining a social order.

Call me shallow, but then if I could I would live my life as Hugh Hefner...have truck loads of money and a playboy mansion in the west ;)
I doubt if you will even find one person who wouldn't want to live like him :)

How do we know said...

Hi HT: so, if the objective of feeling aroused at skin display is procreation and survival of the species, that does not explain all the ooh-ing and shock over Kim K's photo shoot, Deepika Padukone's cleavage and so on. Like the ToI itself said, Deepika has shown a lot more skin in a lot of ways, and we do see a LOT more skin in the life around us. Why is some celebrity wardrobe malfunction such a hue and cry? Every single time? It used to be amusing.. now I am like, people, get a damn life.

WritingForLife said...

I love your second point, but while reading I was thinking about it in a more symbolic sense to and I realized, sadly, that we do that healthy people too. Most of us are leading miserable lives because of others. Sigh.