9 june 2020

What's in a colour ?

While the world at large battles for equal rights among people, irrespective of any barriers of age, gender, colour, ethnicity or race, we are becoming more clannish in our approach. These days, simple indifferences snowball into massive and unassailable tasks.

Governments around the world, be it political leaders, authority custodians or law makers, often publicly exhibit different perspectives and ways in which they run their administration. Consequent to such administration, it seems that we have down-played our core values and are groping in the dark.

While we are trying to build an inclusive community, we are challenged with questions as to where to draw that line of caution. Here are a few examples of how our priorities may have changed over the years:

  1. At times, we could be biased and focus on a community, colour or creed of the individual and not on their merit. This is mushrooming to be a big cause for concern today. In many countries and communities, there could be huge indifferences in the way we look at people. We wear different lens to view and differentiate people of different backgrounds. More often than not, a different yard stick would be applied as well. Biases crop up every once in a while, either at the work place, the communities where we live, the places of worship that we go to, or even the buddies that we associate with. Ironically, with an increase of literacy levels and advances in technology, there seems to be a decline in maturity levels and logical reasoning. Living in a diverse world comes with its own challenges and hence we should learn to acknowledge, respect and see the merit in each other.
  2. We misuse power and authority in more ways than one. Selfish desires take precedence over larger institutional goals. There could be nothing worse than when a few empowered individuals misuse the great responsibility placed on them and wrongly influence the common people. They trigger communal tension due to discriminatory decisions and policies that get announced and implemented. This is the most common situation we witness these days - be it in political leaders, sports personalities, celebrities or even sometimes our religious leaders as well. Maturity needs to prevail over these leaders - for the future of world peace largely depends on them. Sometimes, we see misuse of position through commercial branding - for example, celebrities or sports personalities who take on brand ambassador roles for commercial gains and not for the philosophy behind that brand. In recent times, we have seen power misused by the police force as well. Though the majority of people in these groups are exemplary, but it is the prominent few who take law into their hands and then innocent people (in the form of fans or followers) blindly emulate their heroes !!
  3. Another growing trend we see are the indifferences shown towards humans versus other living beings. At times, we tend to prioritize pet care ahead of humans. Though some may have justifiable reasons to do so, at the same time there could have been missed opportunities of focusing on our poverty stricken world. It’s ironic to read headlines where people rent chartered planes just to fly a few pets at a huge cost, even at a time of lockdown and emergency. While on the other hand, we see starving migrant workers walking hundreds of miles to get back to their homes. Is there anyone giving them a thought? So the world continues to be diverse in a way, with a few people who prioritize differently, while others who may have extraordinary reasons for doing so. One of the biggest curses of modern technology could be the misuse of social media. While there are infinite benefits of being socially connected like we are all now, it is the limited few who misuse this great technology without thinking of the repercussions. What many of us do not realize is that, while we are well equipped with smart phones, recording devices and cameras, there are many others who record whatever we say or do and share the same within seconds to all corners of the globe. Using this technology simply because it is easily available and accessible at our finger tips, is no excuse for usage. We should exert utmost caution in using this "fingertip-technology" which is (akin to finger food). It has to be used with care, caution and concern keeping the other in mind. We recently witnessed how a 7 minute video created so much of rage that the world’s most advanced nation is probably losing thousands of dollars every day as a result of this. I am for one, not condemning the use of social media but I am trying to bring out the importance of how we use this technology. Capturing untoward incidents seem to be the new norm of today's world rather than extending a helping hand. Where has the humane side of us gone? Building an inclusive community starts with being unbiased, responsible and humane. I would like to leave you with this story that many of you may recall of a balloon vendor who sold helium balloons at a fun park. Blue, red, pink, green, yellow and orange balloons were the popular colours sold. One day, a little boy approached the vendor and asked him why he wasn't selling any black balloons? "Is it that black balloons do not soar into the sky?" And to that innocent question, the vendor answered - "It's not the colour of the balloon that determines how high it goes, but the helium air within it!" Our take should be that we belong to one common human race irrespective of our community, ethnicity or even religion. What matters is the love, care and sharing from within and not the external factors that discriminate us. Afterall, What's in a colour ? Let's strive to add unbiased colour in each other's lives.