System trap

When I was growing up, my parents always taught me about being upright and strong. Equality among people was always endorsed at home. But as I grew up and made my way into the big bad world, I realized there are no straight things.

Though we never forget our childhood fairy tales- “and they lived happily ever after”, life never offers us a chance to live out those tales. Little pieces of our selves chip away with time and many times we deliberately shave off many layers of ourselves to fit into the situation that life offers. The constraining forces of society and family forces us into submission and contains our power of questioning.

We as a people are predisposed to opposing criticism. Particularly in India where we have the spineless goodie-two-shoes culture, developed as it has with generations of socialization. Socialization, which discourages you from questioning the rules. An oppressive system or social structure makes people cynical. We live in a culture where the dominant and the powerful put hurtful constraints on the weak. At the micro level parents control their children and make them achieve their dreams and relive their lives. This culture of control doesn’t promote questioning

We thus have systems in place that have been bred because of vested interests. Systems that have become corrupt and the disease have spread all over. We hear the usual refrain that the disease is so entrenched in the system that trying to remove it might kill the organism itself. The cogs that run the wheel of the system need to be loosened one by one. We cannot be complacent anymore with just gossiping among ourselves. This also gets replicated at our organizational level.

Many times we come across cases where the right approach is always lacking and due to our “chalta hai” approach we don’t get into the root of the problem. Apparently, there are many “power points” or stakeholders involved which are invisible sometimes. Take for instance the case one comes across very often; where the Sr male manager favors a junior female team member. There are the usual bickerings within the team, most people gossip, exchange glances and nobody comes up with the courage to challenge whats happening. Nobody approaches a level higher and apprises them of the situation. Usually a scapegoat is made out of the whole situation when the manager gets to know. Generally a “sad guy” or a jealous female team member is made to blame for the gossips with the result that the morale of the team goes low or this team member quits. But the root of the problem is never addressed. People continue to gossip and there is the usual mash up of stereotypes that is repeated.

We would do a great good to ourselves to question and reflect and then take the necessary steps. The result may be we get labeled “uptight” and “difficult” but it would be worth the trouble in the long run. Otherwise what are we doing at our own individual levels to challenge somethings that have blindly been followed with impunity? It would be a good step to take for our own wellbeing and that of our surroundings. So let’s get charged and play the politics of the game the right way and get our dollars’ worth of meaning out of it. And in the process get out of the mold of quiescence.


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