Saturday, June 2, 2012

The wrong that is to be right

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, who for a long time I thought was a male, highlights everything that's wrong with the modern world; none more than the habit of sneering at people who are good, mostly better than us. Ours is a society which harbours mediocrity and shelters and supports the middle-rungs. People below par, usually, and expectedly, get the wooden spoon. The outstanding ones, those who produce the silver for the silver spoon, however, receive platefuls of of jibes and sarcasm. They are accused of being selfish, if you can call that an accusation, of being callous and even inhuman. Even in the industry, the mediocre ones receive continual, albeit, gradual increments, while the A-Listers hit the corporate ceiling too frequently, and too soon. Surely this is jealousy at work.

I believe it all arises from vanity; the primordial belief that each of of us is the best and some other person's best is worse than our best. If not, then our best case best is, or has the potential to be, better, than his best.
And then, reality strikes. We realise that our best-ness isn't as good as we thought it is or can be. Then begins the process of proving this realisation false. The topper of the class then becomes the incessant sycophant, the hard worker- the nerd, the jack of all trades- the most obscenely talented and finally, the most successful-the luckiest. Even if this isn't enough, then begins the round of unusual out-of-domain-esque comparisons. Cricketers are scrutinised for their vernacular, the linguists for their looks, the actors for their educational qualifications, and the scholars for their fitness and shape; thereby forming a vicious circle of irrelevant discriminations. We then start finding faults; debugging. If someone builds a gravity dam, we discuss the advantages of arch dams and the economic viability of barrages. If someone scores a perfect ten, we analyse the flaws in the education system and approaches to make it more 'practical'. If a player scores a century, we question the quality of opposition and the placid nature of the 22-yards. The metro, by the looks of it, is always more frequent on the other side.

The middle-rungs have always had numbers on their side. Majority is usually mediocre. Hence, the mediocre have the major say. They select during elections, among themselves, resulting in mediocre lawmakers. The laws they make are mediocre. The result? More mediocrity, and yes, decadency.

Alas! There is no cure. For those who should cure, are being victimised, with those who can cure, playing perpetrators.
There may be light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel seems a bit long though.

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