Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Common Trait

Sometime ago I happened to see on TV a live footage of  the aftermath of a minor collision involving a motor bike. There were quite a few onlookers around the accident spot and in animated arguments. Little scuffles also seemed to happen. Then came a Maruti car, which stopped nearby. A man alighted from the car came eagerly into the crowd, he jumped through the small group and gave two hard slaps to the guy who was probably the rider of the bike. And he exited as delightfully as he came.
This, though comical to watch, perhaps tells the underlying psyche of people. The uncontrollable passion and eagerness to comment on anything and everything of which they may not know much. To pillory someone without even knowing the antecedents of the matter.

When the going is wonderful or seems to be so there may not be accolades, but when one stumbles you have raised hoods coming at you from all possible places. Authoritative dissertations, statements and, advices even unsolicited are thrown at you by all and sundry. The cruel and equally jocular aspect is that none of these opinionated gentry has been privy to the road that you have tread and the travails that you have felt or survived. How great it will be if one could retrospectively correct the course, and out- fly the insightful ones!
Is it proper then to make an imperiously authoritative statement on something that we cannot honestly claim to know about? Commenting with mere speculative knowledge and hearsay to substantiate our opinion is quite unjustified. But then the world is such that we have more people who know more about our life, our difficulties, our means and sources of happiness and distress than we ever could.

I think that it is the pleasure that people get when they involve with something that they have no knowledge about and make statements like they were  experts of the matter, that drives people to be so. Like the man who ran out of his car to slap some stranger he presumed was the villain of the piece,  how often have we uttered things that may have added to another’s misery, all along being aware of our ignorance of the truth of the matter.
What goes on these days in television news channels ( call them ‘tabloids’) perfectly sums up the state of the matter. Tragedies are dissected to suit the ratings, victims are disregarded  and culprits are decided by the visual media, carefully playing on the mindset of the gullible viewers. The pleader, the juror , the judge and the executioner is the media. A blatant trampling of privacy and ones basic rights.

It must be a careful tread I guess, else  may result in mauling an already bruised person. Isn’t it better to be silent, quiet and  sympathetic than be a marauding ,boorish and insensitive? It is quite true , that when the going is good you have a score and many to revel with you and in distress may be your ghostly shadow for company and brick bats to chase you.

But  then  why must you be sensitive to someone’s feelings and plight? That is what is in most minds.
Ironical life is! Indeed it is!


Insignia said...

Your post title says it all. We are the "know all" species.

There is no dearth for people who can give advices and suggestions. Everyone is an expert in all matters. We just need to seek them; oh no! they will insist you take their advice

Best to ignore

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

I agree with what you said. What’s mentioned in the opening para is entirely true. It made me think, what pleasure one derives by hitting a hapless person. You can often see that, if there’s a scuffle going on and people will be beating someone, even a passerby will gleefully join the crowd and give the victim a punch or kick without even knowing what it was all about.
“Isn’t it better to be silent, quiet and sympathetic than be a marauding, boorish and insensitive?”
But what’s the fun in that? See, your idea of fun is not their idea of fun

Balachandran V said...

Yet another bleak aspect of human nature. We can only hope that they would realize their folly when something similar happens to them.

Mélange said...

It's going to a never ending story.Perhaps increasing day by day..Once while I was watching a complete drama from inside the vehicle for long,I was wondering why this is n't called as a psychological disorder ? but then,may be the people who are busily into this,for them it may be sort of ventilating so called depressions of life..just like that of gossiping..One thing we can do..Learn to an expert in that.

anilkurup said...

@ Insignia,

Yes the way you suggested, ignore and move on.

@ Arun Meethale Chirakkal,

It is not better and pleasant to be silent because there is no pleasure found in being so.

@ Balan,

Cynical may be but the fact is so. Quite bleak!

@ Melange,

Yes Escape to Timbuktu, or to Shanghrila.

Anil P said...

Must be due to some primeval human instinct of wanting to be a part (in a good way or the bad) of things about us.

The incident you narrate is revealing, though not surprising. After all it's in a mob that we reveal ourselves the best!

anilkurup said...

@ Anil .P

Thanks for the visit and comment.

Well then it is herd instinct, mob frenzy that rules the civilsed world!!!

amalg999 said...

An incident, similar to the driver of the Maruti car, happened one evening in Chennai.

It was evening and the workers from a leather garment factory were leaving the factory, after work. There were many working women also in the group. A man in an inebriated condition was paying undue attention to one of the girls and grabbing her hand. The guys in the group abused him and when he said he was a cop and he would jail them, the workers started hitting him. There was quite a crowd.

A cyclist who was passing by, asked one of the onlookers what the trouble was. He was told that a drunken cop misbehaved with a girl. On hearing the word "cop", the guy dropped his bicycle and rushed in and gave couple of juicy one to the cop, then went back to his bike and cycled away !!!