When is it ok to lie?
I don't know why I feel like writing about ethics today. Probably because I have been through a really painful lecture, in which the professor talked about ethics in a completely disconnected context (Which brings me to another question - why do people spend endless hours debating questions, that they know do not have any right answers? But, that is a discussion for another time and place (read - never). For someone who reads this blog, I am sorry but, I understand now why I like the way Rushdie writes, talking about everything and anything and completely digressing from the point. Confusing isnt it?)
Back to where we started - when is it ok to lie? The simplest answer to a really hard question -- "depends
" (the magic word that management students love so much, maybe even more than "leverage
" and "value add
"). Like all questions pertaining to ethics, this too doesnt have an absolute answer. If it did, I think it would probably lay to rest a million other debates on ethics (a sort of cascading effect like the one "proving P equals NP" would have). And then there are the usual arguments - its ok, if it doesnt hurt anyone, its ok to lie if it does more good than harm? We've all heard them out a zillion times over in one context or another. There are also the absolutists, who will stick to a stance no matter what. Lying in a sin, they say. If you ask me, everyone is looking for an easy way out. Some wish to save their own ass and justify their own actions, others just find it too hard to mull over situations and want a definite rule to apply to all situations alike (one size fits all).
Well I am done now. This topic isn't as interesting as I thought it would be when I started writing this blog.
A streak of masochism
Had gone to a presentation where someone happenend to jokingly ask the audience," do blank blank if you have a streak of masochism in you". The phrase stuck in a corner of my mind and got me thinking about how all of us at some point of time in our lives deliberately inflict pain on ourselves. At some level masochism
seems like an anomaly. Aren't pain and pleasure two opposites of each other? How do some people seek pleasure in pain?
Scientific theories state the role of hormones that rush through our viens when we experience pain, in explaining how pain to lead to pleasure. Bearing pain could be somebody's everest, a experience that lets you stretch your physical and mental boundaries and provides a sense of accomplishment. For others, it could be a way of punising themselves for wrongs committed. The feeling of relief from guilt can be also be seen as a form of pleasure. Pain is also like a spice without which life would be plain vanilla. After all normal can sometimes mean boring.
But, the underlying truth remains the same. All forms of self inflicted pain can be seen as means to experiencing pleasure.
Tum jo nahin to aise piya hum, jaise soona aangana
Nain tehari raah neeharein, nainnan ko tarsaona
It has been a bad day
Life is like a mixed bag of M&Ms and pebbles. Days are like draws from the bag. Sometimes you draw an M&M. Thats when you have a great day. Everyone is nice to you. Everything works out. Its just does, even if you hadn't quite figured it out to be that way. And then there are times when you pick a pebble instead and thats when you have a bad day. I could say that how each day works out is like a flip of a coin, but that is not really the case. Because, for every good day there is a bad day too that you will have to live through. But, there is always that lingering hope that maybe 'my bag has more chocolates than pebbles'. You wish you pick out all the M&Ms first and die before you start with the pebbles.
Maybe that is why, people have their lucky charms, their someone special. They think that they are having a good day because of their lucky charm when actually, a special someone can turn even a bad day into a good one and if that someone goes away, the best of days feel like the worst.
Then there is the creed of people known as the optimists. Reminds me of Tom Hanks' character in Forrest Gump when he says, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you'll get." So what if its bitter, its a chocolate after all!
Georgie comes calling
I can never understand why everytime a US president comes visiting, the media goes into overdrive talking about the ("invisible")
behemoth that is the India economy, about our glorious foreign policy, invincible miltary might, nuclear shastras etc. etc. etc. The glorification definitely sells for one. After all, who wouldn't like to be told that he is important, important enough to merit a visit from the US president. Make no mistake
India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world and the US along with the rest of the world realise that. However, if we read too much into these gestures and conclude that USA's very existence is dependent on its relations with India, that in my opinion is carrying it a bit too far. Its wasn't very long back when leading Indian scientists such as Prof. CNR Rao were denied visa or when our own George (Fernandes) was subjected to a strip search at a US airport. I think the question that we need to ask ourselves is this: Does India's opinion on world affairs matter to the US? Or is India like Ramu kaka
whose loyalty is bought when Bade Sahib attends his daughter's wedding. If tomorrow, Dubya were to develop a fancy for coconuts and decide to invade Sri Lanka on the pretext of smoking out Quick Gun Murugan, would India's opinion matter?
So I had given up blogging. Why? I don't really know. Maybe because nobody was reading my blogs anyway, not that I wanted anyone to because I was keeping the blog addess secret. Maybe I stopped because I had nothing significant enough to write about. Maybe it was because I think it is just too much effort and for what really. So you want to be heard? I couldn't care less. So why am I back, doing something that I believe was insignificant enough to be given up in the first place? When a friend asked if I had a blog, I told him I did but it was secret (so what if I publish it on the internet? If anyone does stumble upon it by some queer twist of fate and he does have the time and patience to find meaning in the gibberish that I write, he wouldnt know who I am and so it will remain a secret. After all anyone could have written it.). Curiosity is like an itch, it feels nice to scratch but, you still wish it to go away. So he decided to make it go away by finding out my blog address. And he did. To add to the insult he even linked his own blog to mine (Like I ever have anything smart to say). And now that I know that perhaps somebody will read my blog if only once, I thought I'd write something. I know I am not making sense but then who ever does.
Speedy died today. We buried it in the garden outside the building. It wasn't his place to be in. We had planned to get a tortoise for a pet on our trip to Kerala but couldn't get one there. Rovan asked a friend to get one for us from Nepal. When we got Speedy, it would run all over the place, scared of the new surroundings I think. It would always shy awy from light. Small and very vulnerable, it was. At first we had great problems feeding it because we couldn't get the water level rigth. When we did, it started eating. And intermittently it would stop eating for a week or so and then start eating again.
And for about a month now, I hadn't eaten at all. We tried to feed it medicines, glucose and sugar too. But to no avail. And I when I saw it today, its eyes were lifeless and hollow. Rovan said it had died. He was upset. We buried it and the day goes on. Like Rovan said "What a morning!". But thats exactly what it was, a morning and not much more than that. Inside, I feel guilty for doing this to Speedy. I am sorry kid. May you rest in peace wherever you are.
As my seasons change I’ve now grown to know
When one’s heart creates, one’s soul doesn’t owe
- Collective Soul