Khurram is an experienced socio-political and psychological analyst.
Imprisoned Freedom of the Individual
Man though born free and claims to be free is yet not free. Enslaved in the chains of traditions, customs and conventions, obsessed by trends and fashions, pulled by unquestionable religious beliefs, driven by the most welcomed political thoughts and concepts, engaged by the social norms, values and duties, lured by the deceptive beauties, cheated by bogus appearances and false promises and defeated by the fate…….how perfectly a liar is a man while declaring himself to be free. His mind preoccupied with such a strong sense of following others leads the man to appear as another person while dissolving his personal-genuine-self in the dimensionless ocean of identical-souls.
Trend-Following in the Society
Advocating the point I have raised, I would preferably say that most of our activities or in-activities are an outcome of the social trends and formalities. Every doer of a task may not necessarily be doing the task whole-heartedly, but he does that just for the others are doing the same. People make contributions to the fundraising organizations, people participate in the events, people make refusals and denials, they take up the challenges, they formulate the opinions, and they raise the slogans and make promises against their personal will, at times, to confirm the social norms. In a constant process of pursuing others, one may, more probably, abandons his own-self unattended somewhere there in the middle of the way.
Conformism: The only Way to Smooth Survival
It is very unfortunate to be said, though it is the real rough face of the world that being a conformist is the only certification for one to be taken as a decent being in the community. A lass from a poverty-stricken family, for instance, who has lately eloped with a young sailor to some far-off land will be forever remembered as an outcast. A solider in military barracks carrying sympathy in his heart for the poor soldiers in his rival-barracks who have just come there to earn their livelihood will be taken for a traitor, always. A non-believer tolerating the believers of a specific religion is the most undesirable man of his community. A Harvard-guy cladded in a shepherd's get up is an ignorant and illiterate by all means. So, everyman showing non-conformity is considered as man of embarrassingly shameful status.
In an attempt to be on the safer side, people borrow faces from others to hide themselves under the mask of new welcoming and unquestioning faces. If a rational-being walks into a room full of people from all ranks and walks of life then he comes to know how poorly they try to pretend themselves to be as someone else. A keen observer finds that people bear false appearances and bogus looks. I fear that I am getting little more than extra-subjective in evaluating such people that everyman is not as simple as he seems like. Genuinely speaking, every church-goer, if you consider, is not a worshipper but merely a church-goer. Every solider may not necessarily be a solider but a breadwinner. Every fast-observer is not observing fast with the pure intent of seeking Almighty's grace but as to demonstrate a collective holy-deed. Likewise, every lover is not a lover but he may be the one who wishes to be in love with someone for his peers are in love-relation with someone. Every holy-man may not be a holy-man in the true sense but he can be a man who finds his current occupation as a last option to prolong his stay on the planet in a well-acclaimed way. In a very similar fashion, every killer may not be a killer. Every onlooker may not be an onlooker. Every bystander may not be a bystander. Every passerby may not be a passerby. And it is not quite necessary that every spectator putting his hands together is appreciating your feat for all the admirers are not the admirers.
We aren't Just Ourselves
It is an irrefutable certitude that we are the sons of our circumstances. The dilemma of life is that nearly more than half of our personality is fabricated by our whereabouts. The financial circumstances of a blacksmith's son who is born with an instinct of becoming a golf-player will keep him away from his passion. Her sex wouldn't allow her to pronounce her unbridled longings for entering the world of show-business if the daughter of a male-chauvinist family is to unfold her wish to her parents. To conclude, our circumstances; be it prosperity or poverty; be it liberty or imprisonment, be it hunger or saturation, be it lust or love, be it labor or privilege, be it benignity or atrocity, in every given situation individual will be an offspring of that specific condition. Forgetting, unconsciously, what he had wished to be and what he has transformed into, he appears to be entirely a helpless being.
The epilogue of the discussion is that all the above-mentioned factors regulate the psychological development of the human mind. If a man does not show conformity to what is taken as normal then he would in return be declared as an abnormal or an outcast. Non-conformity would inculcate a sense of alienation in him. As a consequence of not addressing the social duties, he would be stricken by a fear of being other. So, when the fear of otherness haunts him, the son of man steps out of his home to overcome that unsaid fear and heads towards a crowd of people, move preferably to say towards " An art gallery of faces" and he becomes one of that. Nevertheless, the most ironical of all is that in pursuit of lessening his sense of otherness though he becomes the same as the other-selves, yet becomes an other-self than himself.
(To a wandering soul that ended up in dust in a desert of wonders).
© 2019 Khurram Shehzad