Philosophers have given us numerous definitions of man and I am not sure if I have come across this one:
Man is an insecure animal.
His insecurity makes him seek authority; authority of all sorts. He hides under the banner of religion, nation, sect, class, caste, color and anything he finds comforting. These authorities are not people, they are ideas. These ideas have no regard for an individual but man is blinded by them and he enjoys the blindness or he uses this blindness as an excuse to not set things right.
Authorities divide us. The word freedom has a meaning but the idea is as abstract as it is unreal. There is no freedom in this world, and it looks as if it’s barely even possible.
Authority tells a 22 year old girl in the West that it is expected of her to find a boyfriend at this age. The same authority, in the Subcontinent tells a 22 year old that she will bring dishonour to her family if she is ever seen with a man.
Authority, in the form of religion, tells a Hindu to worship the cow and tells a Muslim to slaughter it. Someone looking at this particular scenario from Mars would think Homo sapiens have lost it, finally.
Authority tells people to go to war. The other day, a friend from US asked me if I hated Indians and my reaction was “God, NO!” I have no reason to hate Indians; I am not a hater at all. No one should be.
Why should we hate Indians and burn their flags? Why should we go to war with them? Should soldiers put themselves in such danger because of the decisions of some silly politicians?
But the evil of authority, it tells you Indians are trying to mess with your nation and your religion. They are doing what you are doing to them: nothing. And if they hate you it is only because of a silly authority that dictates their beliefs.
The tube, we sit in front of everyday, shapes our beliefs. We let authorities shape our beliefs. We let authorities like religions, nations, Internet, media, etc. tell us what is right and what is wrong. Ever wondered why our definition is never absolute? A person sitting on the other side of the globe is looking at the same Syrian and Egyptian conflict from a different point of view. That’s what his authorities tell him. That’s how his beliefs have been shaped.
We have allowed authorities to infiltrate our individuality and we alone can put it back to its limits. All we need is a little reason of our own.