This has been the one of the bravest steps taken by the government of the day, anyone of us can remember. When we began writing this piece, we were inspired and adapted a similar article written by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield in context of the American Presidential Elections. To quote them “We did so by assembling a list of sound bites that ought to be consigned to a political ‘Hall of Shame.’ But as we did so, we began to realize we’ve made our own contributions to that hall as well.”
Now, please don’t misunderstand us. We are not trying to get into in any debates and discussions. However, when we started throwing pebbles at others, we realized that even our behaviour was not that appropriate. There are a number of culprits we can look to:
1. The players –Beside PM Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi, everyone has just lowered the bar on political discourse and debates in the parliament sessions. Till now no one has come out and has said ‘we will also clean up our houses by not taking cash donations and will be open to audit or RTI’.
2. The media – The media has brought in paid supporters in the scene, who do nothing more than demonstrating their power of speech and indulging in the blame game. All the news channels claim that they present a ‘balanced view’ to us, when what we want to view is impartial analysis by unbiased guests, reporters and news anchors. After all, the media is often touted as the fourth estate with the responsibility to hold the government to account, and from our perspective, the media has not acted any more responsibly than the before-mentioned politicians.
3. The alternative media – The Internet – The Internet is overloaded with information (majorly fiction) and most of it has been beautified with facts. Most of the internet users are not able to think clearly and examine such information, as the internet only makes us ‘feel informed’ rather than actually ‘being informed.’ Similar is the case with Whatsapp.
4. Friends and co-workers – Few months back, we studied a case study which revealed that thirty-three percent of people, including you and me, are scared to get into political discussions as it might ruin all our relationships (both personal & professional). It is very easy for us to point our fingers at those who have either behaved inappropriately or have an influence on the views of others.
5. I Me Myself – Our emotions take a U-turn from high to low when we ask the question to ourselves that ‘how are we also in this list?’ Our motive have always been to play the blame game with others rather than to start changing anything ourselves. If we really want to initiate the change, we should reverse the game and start with “I Me Myself” rather than blaming others.
Moving ahead with this deep and sincere thought in mind, here are our top six regrets and resolutions from the recent step of demonetization:
Regret 1: Allowing intense disagreement to turn into personal judgements.
Regret 2: Having a fear of rejection from people by sharing our true and honest views on issues which are very important to us.
Regret 3: Spending more time with those people with who have similar views and very little time with those who oppose our views.
Regret 4: We have been vulnerable to the arbitrary use of search engines. We invest time to gather such information which manipulated and is biased. Today most of the search engines are so powerful that they can easily manipulate our opinions. This is because they know what you wish to read and hence they serve those things to you.
Regret 5: We have also contributed to heated arguments by either liking or posting that content which were offensive, but were so cleverly done that we thought they were in our support.
Regret 6: We complained about the long queues however did nothing to get up with better solutions or substitutes.
I know these are tough statements to handle, however if we are honest with ourselves, we let ourselves down. Thankfully, we all woke up this morning knowing that we can do much better. And we don’t need to-be/create the cause of disagreement rather we should make some promises for the future:
- Not to turn our strong disagreement into personal attack.
- To periodically seek out reasonable advocates of opposing views and listen deeply to them.
- To discuss politics and remain friends at the end.
- To get involved in the helping the government and not create any scene.
- To never again “forward” or “like” offensive and insulting material about candidates or positions we oppose.
- To continue to engage in the political discussion and do so in the way we hope others do with us, even if we are unhappy with the actions.
What about you? Have you got any regrets? How have you behaved in ways that you are not proud of? What resolutions are you willing to make to help prevent the disgrace?
Please share your thoughts below
Sandeep Budhiraja – https://in.linkedin.com/in/sanbuds