Monday, September 3, 2012

The prestige - Part 2

You can't always strive on bluffing all the time. A time will definitely come when your true value or worth, apart from your personal possessions, will be tested. What will you do then? Will you be able to prove your worth without all the materialistic aids you resort to?

 Coming back to social asymmetry,  I'll cite the classic example I always cite, i.e. marriage. Good for me that I have lots of stuff to write about on my blog, but not so good for the society, which is directing its own suicide by celebrating weddings in royal styles, thanks to jewelleries , textile shops and event management groups. Those who don't know how and where to spend money to make their/their son's or daughter's weddings grand and end up spending lakhs and lakhs of money for a ceremony, a mere ceremony/ritual which can as well be conducted in a register office to make it valid. Rich people are left with a small hole in their bank balance, middle class with a considerably large hole in their savings. But the problem is, it is as if everybody saves money not to eat or live properly, but to conduct a ceremony which won't even last for barely three hours. And what do you get? A gaping hole in your account. Those people who don't have enough bank balance will take huge loans which they'll have to pay for the rest of their lives. Consequence? If somebody in the family falls seriously ill, there is not enough money for the treatment. What a pathetic condition! People spend unnecessarily ad end up being poor at the most critical moment. Where is the society moving towards?

         Will spending and celebrating marriage increase your prestige? No. People will only laugh at your backs that your extravagance ended with you being bankrupt. I don't understand why people crave for such prestige. And who on earth guarantees that wedding increases "bandhu balam" available to a person? Everyone is his/her own balam. Trying to live hoping that your life will be secure in another person's hands is foolishness. If you can't secure your own life yourself, no prince or goddess is going to do it for you. Again I will say that this is a consequence of the false beliefs about the roads to prestige. If you have so much concern about your prestige, why don't you try to become learned or wise or best at something other than show off and picking on people? The mind set that only those with material virtues is prestigious is very dangerous and ruins the whole harmony of the society.

          Pressures affect not only middle class, but poor people too. In a supposedly isotropic society, when somebody shows off their wealth to gain respect, people who are driven by statistics want to earn respect in a similar manner. This affects poor people who can't even afford the lowest of the pleasures rich have. They too will try to follow the examples of show offs of people who are richer than them, which they definitely can't afford. I don't understand this. This is India, the country whose Father of the Nation didn't have any bangla aur gaadi or anything else. There are people who don't like to follow his ideals, still, it will be a better idea to follow his simplicity upto a certain level.

       Coming back to material-show-off-ism, I'll cite a very common yet serious issue. Every single family in India has mobile phones, but only ~50% have proper sanitation facility. That means, 50% of the people don't have any good toilets to use. Now that also means lack of water and lack of hygiene. And I will guess that these 50% are not rich people or middle class people, but poor people who can't afford to build a toilet, but save money to buy mobile phones! Had they saved the money wasted on phone (no matter whatever be the talk time offers of mobile companies), there would have been atleast a reasonable toilet with running water.

         The continuous flow of money for unnecessary things invite another set of questions. You spend so much money over your material virtues. What do you do in life? All you do is to celebrate it just blindly believing what is being told to you in some advertisements. Let me ask you one question. Do all your material assets make you really happy? Or does being happy require all these material assets? Can't a person be worthy without any material assets? If you ask me what do you require most in life, I will say, food+drinking water , a bed to sleep and a proper sanitation system and a light and a fan(fan is a luxury). These are the most basic things that you need in life. Everything else is secondary. Some as required by your work, some just personal luxuries. The problem arises only when one thinks too much about luxuries rather than necessities. Everybody is entitled to luxury if they have enough money. But luxury should never be a criterion for assessing a person's worth. Worth is totally different from the concept of monetary based popularity and the standards set by it in society. People who believe that money can bring prestige are complete fools.

        One should asses a person's worth from his/her character or deeds which he/she does. What worth do you have if you are a total moron? What use is your money if you can't read and write? What use is getting married spending lakhs and divorcing the next year? Nothing. All are just a waste of time and wastage of one's own life. Just think about this. Everybody is celebrating. Are you winning any Olympic medal? No? Are you winning Nobel Prize? No. Are you even passing an entrance exam with merit? No. You aren't doing anything worth celebrating in  your life, other than just hang around idly or doing nothing other than trying to hide your social insecurities behind your material assets. There is nothing to celebrate, but only celebrations. How long will this last? And celebrations lose their magic if everything is celebrated. Life has to be simple also. Nobody can balance the society unless a person decides for himself/herself that he/she will do something good on his/her own. If everybody blindly believes in the false idea that prestige lies in something worth 30 thousand or 30 lakh, it is utter foolishness. [It doesn't mean that I don't like things/trinkets of price 30k, but it is not from prestige point of view, but for totally different reasons.] Prestige lies in what you make out of yourself. You can't just go to market and buy prestige spending thousands or lakhs. You have to contribute in a good way to the society. Otherwise as soon as your material assets vanish, the prestige bestowed upon you on the basis of these will also vanish.

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