The Delete Dilemma

Evolution must cope with revolution! This has been the law of life. If we cut out the profundities, what remains is the fact that evolution has taken place only because children have always disobeyed their parents. Holding the reins has its logic, but the turning of any idea into reality means that ultimately we have to execute the idea and see what happens. Maturity essentially means the methodology of evaluation and timing. As Mac McDougall, Computer Architect says, “play is what I do for a living; the work comes in evaluating the results of the play.” The strongest dogma is self created, usually generated from one’s past successes. So, the older we get, the more dogmas we accumulate. Unfortunately, what works once does not necessarily work a second time. And since no one can get a rational view while seated with their bottoms on their laurels, the application of such experience in the present is questionable.

It’s not going to be so easy to change our attitudes, considering the fact that our resistance to change is genetic. Ernest Haeckel, the well known German Anatomist, said, “Recapitulation is in our nature.” He stated that in our embryological development in the womb, even today we tend to repeat or recapitulate the sequence that our ancestors followed during the early evolution of life. We go through the stages of single cell, fish, reptile and finally mammal in the womb. It may be nature’s way, but we have to do better than that. For one, being the icon for the younger generation, if we continue to bombard them with our pet theories of our own past successes as beacons to follow, what will emerge is a handicapped generation. Also, the basic tussle of control of one generation over the next will have an element of unhealthy competition. Remember, no one ever wants to be proved wrong by a kid anyway, but we have to shelve our ego problems on that one.

Life has a method to eliminate crusty old people by the wayside, and most of us have no patience for the anecdotes of World War I or even II. But, in spite of it all, one generation always seeps its influence into another. Perhaps, what is most important is the moral freedom to set its own goals that one generation must allow another. The Industrial Revolution is a recent phenomenon. It resulted in a shift of focus for the working class. It created a new imbalance of the Haves and the Have-nots. The effects of that still percolate in our society, even after the passing of over 10 generations.

It is reflected in one of our popularly prevalent goals – ‘Rich’. We believe that the rich are privileged and have the means to fulfill their desires and also have better access to self realization. Unfortunately, in reality, in most cases the drive to gain wealth diverts energy from activities that are more creative and self expressive, resulting in the impoverishment of the spirit. “Tomorrow, I will play with my kid” is a phenomenon common to most of us belonging to the hard working class. Goals usually are the remnants of the unfulfilled desires of one generation thrust upon another. Perhaps that is the reason there is so much mental fatigue in our lives. We are chasing shadows. Unless a realistic expectation is attached to a goal, they become meaningless to a person. For example, if one believes that wealth and success can change a nobody into a somebody, it is an illusion. People who lack authentic goals are those who are looking for something outside themselves to believe in – a person, a system, a cause, or an activity. They look towards others for the fulfillment of their goals. Newborn babies are the opposite picture. Their activities are an expression of their self – they’re driven by it. Yet, a couple of years is enough to dissipate this trait. Very few retain it for a lifetime. Perhaps it’s time to ban the Cinderella story. It is not so important anymore that the glass slippers are a perfect fit.

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