Our Imperfect Perfect World

 

There are numerous instances almost everday when we loathe something or someone so dearly that we wish somehow we can cease their existence. Don’t we?
       If you ask an average person what changes would they like to bring about in the world right now if they could somehow do that (like some fairy tale). Some of the things they might say may range from being super rich, having a very hot significant other and if they are a bit on the altruistic side, they might want to eradicate poverty, terrorism, pollution, famine, racism, natural and man-made disasters etc.
       We all have our own definition of perfect even though we rarely behave within our own. Each one of us has a few grievances and complaints that we wish someone could relieve us of.
       History has one such renowned incident where one man’s view of a perfect society almost led to the annihilation of a particular race. It led to the holocaust which killed around 6 million Jews and 5 million others (physically challanged, homosexuals, Slavs). But hey, that was just his opinion. He acted upon it.
       Let’s take another example of Terrorism. One of the most gruesome evils that exists in almost every nook and corner of the world in some form. No doubt their is this collective detest against it. But from whom? From the people who are affected by it in someway and from the people around the world who watch the amount of collateral damage it causes on their television screens. But what about the terrorists themselves? They don’t seem to have any second thoughts about the havoc they are causing. They are so convinced by whatever motive they have that they don’t mind taking innocent lives. Clearly both the sides are trying to make the world perfect in their own way.
       Another aspect that sometimes pops up in my mind is that if someone actually wants the world to be perfect, they for no doubt agree that something is wrong with with way things are turning up in the world right now and that’s why they have their own perfect version of it. So I would like to ask them, if they actually believe that they are perfect themselves? Are they flawless in every sense? If the answer to the above questions is no then how can they justify their vision to be perfect moreover, applicable to the whole world.
       This is what I am trying to prove here. If we wake up tomorrow and see the world becoming everyone’s notion of perfect then some unimaginable kind of horror would strike upon this planet which would ultimately lead to more chaos in the world than there already is.
       Remember the movie Bruce Almighty. Yes, I know it was a goofy movie but I want to remind you about the part where the omnipotent Bruce gets fed up of the never ending wishlist infront of him and just impulsively decides to grant all of those wishes one fine day. What happens after that? The quirky movie was actually right about the prediction but let me assure you that the degree of it is going to be much worse.
       By now we must realise that if somehow the world gets to a point where good becomes better and the bad becomes worse, it is ultimately gonna be the worst for everyone because when two extremes collide, there is mass destruction at both ends. Nothing survives. But again, one might argue here that at least the world has finally attained equilibrium. But at what cost. The world is empty.
       So another question that automatically arises is that if perfection is not the solution then what is? To this I would say that we are asking the wrong question. The imperfect world that we are already living in is as good as it gets. The nature always has and will maintain the balance between the good and the evil. We can’t do much about it. We must stop applying the unstoppable force on the immovable object. The world was there when there were no humans, the world is there after humans have arrived and as they try to thrive in the name of development which is done at the cost of exploitation of various resources against nature’s will, there is obviously going to be some kind of retaliation in some form. So, the day this retaliation takes up a form so big that there are no humans, the world would still be.
       So in the world which we live in, we must take at stab at giving the best we can at whatever we want rather than wishing things to turn out perfectly someday and leave the rest on this whole God damn world to take care of beacuse hey, it’s as good as it gets.

The man who knew Humanity

We live in the 21st century. We face problems. The more we develop, the more problems arise day by day. There is war, fear of the unknown, intolerance, greed, dominance, scarcity and many other endless potholes we are digging for ourselves.
        Beneath this mess, there is a man who is trying to alleviate a few of these humanitarian problems one at a time to the best of his ability. Who the is person I am talking about here?
       The name’s Musk, Elon Musk, founder of Zip2.com, X.com [later PayPal], SpaceX(his venture to make humans a multi planetary species), Tesla motors(chief investor, later chairman) and Solarcity. He is also the genius behind the concept of Hyperloop, a transportation system consisting of pressurised tubes and he kept it in the public domain for other people to realise it or he would have done it himself. His willingness for a job to be completed far exceeds his the fact that how or who does the job. That clearly explains the altruism this man possesses.
        There are entrepreneurs who might be more successful, richer, more popular and more philanthropic than him but they can’t be called a bigger visionary than this man. What do I think of him? I personally feel that in a world where people give practicality as a reason for not dreaming big, he is a philanthropist, an idealist and a pragmatic (in given order) person all at the same time. He recognizes what’s important for people in upcoming future (simply cause no one else does), carefully moulds his vision around it (receives a lot of flak by the critics), takes the necessary and practical steps to realise that vision, achieves it (screw you, skeptics) and quietly moves on to the next.
        He recently shared the idea of his next venture Nueralink, where he is planning to link the human brain with AI (critics, pay close attention) which may even improve memory aid. I for one have no doubt about this and am planning to see some cyborgs in my neighborhood or become one myself in the near future (psyched!).
        But what actually drives this man, the answer to the question revolves around the fact that he was the inspiration behind the genius, philanthropist, billionaire Tony Stark’s character in Marvel’s Iron Man as exclaimed by the film’s director John Favreau (where he makes a guest appearance too. Interesting, ain’t it?). Those who have seen the movie should have guessed by now that Elon had a troubled childhood. He had an abusive relationship with his father and was even severely bullied in school which dwelled him into his books and computer. He had already written the code for his first computer game, Blastar by the age of 12 and it became the first product he ever sold.
       The man hasn’t stopped ever since. People have dreams but they give up on them before they even begin and then there is Elon Musk who doesn’t seem to understand the notion of failure in his mind. He went against the banking sector (PayPal), went against the aerospace industry (SpaceX), went against auto industry (Tesla). That in my opinion defines what conviction is.
        Larry page (founder, Google) once said,
“I would rather give my billions to Elon Musk than charity”. That’s a very big thing to admit being one of the most successful entrepreneurs himself. But that just shows how much Musk’s judgement is valued.
        In the end I would like to throw some light on the man’s take on hard work (beside being a genius of course), “Work like hell. I mean you just have to put 80 to 100 hours per week. [This] improves the odds of success. If others are putting in 40 hours per week and you are putting 100 hour work weeks, then even if you are doing the same thing you know that…you will achieve it in 4 months what takes them a year to achieve.” The quote has so many things to teach us.
  • The importance of hard work indeed.
  • Hard work is overrated. Look at the man just plainly stating how he works 80-100 hours a week when we put forward excuses like lack of motivation, short-term pleasures etc.
  • The only differentiating point between you and your competitors is your hard work. You simply cannot expect to be ahead in competition by putting an equal amount of effort as theirs.
  • Conviction is really important. Just imagine for once about how many times we have second thoughts as soon as we are on to something huge. Are we doing it right? Are we actually doing the right thing? Is it worth that much effort? One seriously needs to have a great amount of conviction to actually work so hard in life.
        There are definitely people who are smarter than Musk but their contribution towards building a better world seems really trivial in front of what Musk has achieved being a person still in his 40s. Till the day he is alive I can definitely smell the Musk of a more interesting world.

It’s not our War, eh?

The total number of casualties in the Syrian civil war are estimated to be around 470,000. Out of these 207,000 are Syrian civilians which include 55,000 children and around 23000 females as of February 2017. 

(Source: http://www.iamsyria.org/death-tolls.html)

In Stalin’s words “the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.”
       This quote wandered in my head for days when I read it for the first time but I didn’t witness it in true sense then. We have become so accustomed to read headlines such as ’98 Syrian civilians killed in car-blast by the ISIS’ or ‘the death toll in Russian air attacks rises to 45’. We feel distressed on hearing about such incidents at first but the next moment become immune to them as it happens every other day. We don’t have the equal amount of compassion for the same people that we had earlier. We change the channel, turn to a different page or click on a different link. Does turning a blind eye towards something ceases its reality?
     Syria got its independence from France in 1946  and completed 71 years yesterday on 17th April. But is it independence in true sense or is it just passing the whip from one master to another. Syria is a republic with an authoritarian regime which means that the authorities(here, president) have all power of the state once they assume command.
     After Syria became self-standing, there was a lot of instability in the country. A tripartite government was established under a democratic regime. Constant peasant uprisings were held.
Among these three parties, the socialist ba’ath party consisting mainly of military forces was against these class movements. A coup led by Hafiz-Al-Assad, who was an Alawi (minority community, 12% Muslim population) in 1970 overthrew the other two parties to establish a single party rule and maintained good relations with the Sunni Muslims(majority, 74% Muslim population) making the nation more stable and united. It might have struggled financially but literacy rates surged greatly.
55b4ffcbc36188e11f8b4591.jpg(Bashar-Al-Assad; Source: Google Images)
     As the new century was about to arrive, Bashar-Al-Assad after the death of his father inherited the leadership by popular referendum in 2000. Many expected him to take on the various required social reforms as soon as he came to power. There were protests on the streets ever since 2001 but they were repressed violently and thousands were killed but amid that he was re-elected as president for the second term in 2007. In 2011, the protests took a new dimension when the government passed the restrictive emergency act which included powers like arrest without charge. The act was repealed but another one with minor twists and replacements was enacted. Also, Assad did not resign as it was demanded. There has been a consistent violence ever since, between the armed forces and the opposition.
     The rise of ISIS in the country since 2013 that refuses to accept the current rule and wishes to establish a Muslim statehood has just deteriorated the existing condition. With an annual funding of around 1 billion USD they have been carrying out constant attacks on the armed forces, opposition and civilians.
     The peace talks arranged by the UN at Geneva in 2014 between the Syrian National Coalition(opposition to current Assad’s government, recognized by 130 countries as the rightful representative of Syrian people) and the existing government to resolve the conflict didn’t meet any expectations.
APTOPIX Mideast Syria
(Source: Google Images)
     Till date, around 11.6 million people have been displaced, 7.6 million in their own country and the rest of them are facing a huge refugee crisis around the world as many developed nations are shrugging the responsibilities off their shoulders with recent reforms like cancellation of US visas for Muslim nations under Trump presidency and Brexit.
     Without proper government legislation and laws, Syrian men, women and children have long been a subject to forced labor and human trafficking. The refugee women are being forced into exploitative marriages, prostitution and children are being forced to beg and take part in combat by both the armed forces and opposition.
syria-boy-soldier-1
(7 year old Ahmed, soldier of free Syrian army; Source: Google Images)
     The death count is rising everyday as beside government forces, foreign powers like USA and Russia are bombing the state continuously. The killings under ISIS also constitute a major portion of overall death toll.
So the questions we must be asking ourselves right now while we are sitting comfortably on our chair reading  an article on our computer screens
  • Aren’t the Syrian people under an equal amount of threat at this very second?
  • Was it their fault to be born within certain geographical boundaries where quality of life is worse than savages. Does it make them less humans?
  • Are they predestined to live under grave poverty and hunger?
  • Should they learn to treat themselves in absence of proper medical care?
  • Don’t the children deserve to go to schools and receive education?
  • Is it necessary for their weary eyes to witness a bombing or gunfire every time they turn their heads?
     The Syrian calamity clearly proves the humans can be evil. But they are certainly capable of good too. Right now, the former is way more likely from a Syrian’s point of view.
All these facts are sickening at a time when we hear phrases like ‘Every life is important’. We have seen countless cases of rescue missions where governments spend millions to save one citizen(another statistic) then why this prejudice with the Syrians when a little effort by every country could result in preventing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world ever.