Thursday, April 12, 2012

On the vain love for superlatives and leaders

I probably belong to the generation where there has been, and is likely to be, the maximum number of the greatest/largest/biggest and many more superlative phenomena. It could also be the generation which is seeing most of these superlative phenomena bite the dust, anything ranging from the greatest innovation, idea, product, movement etc.. In most cases, the starting point for any of these phenomena to become the greatest/biggest/largest is what I'd call the 'superlative attribution' to an individual or a small group running the show from ground up. And that's where I see the irony. No individual starts a revolution or an invention wanting to be the greatest/largest/biggest contributor of any means to the society. The revolution or invention is most likely to have started as a sign of a need, a passion or a rebellion. As a matter of objective disposition and thought, a superlative attribution is, in reality, a nightmare to such an individual.

I think an individual with a dream or a vision to contribute something of value to mankind is never bothered about what qualities people attribute to him/her. His/her wish, focus and vision is only the work. Despite this simple wish of the individual to be focused on the work alone, the society just cannot keep itself from pouring out all the adulation and reverence for the superlative qualities he/she apparently possesses. And this generally tends to dampen the individual's focus and sometimes he/she may, in fact, fail too. And my generation is awash with examples of this kind.

I think it should take utmost courage and conviction for an individual to be indifferent to, and uninfluenced in any way, by such nightmarish consequences of superlative attribution. The society quickly develops whims and fancies for such an individual. It is basically a follower society, i.e a society with eager followers always looking for a leader to show them the means of life in grand ways. In other words, a follower society is a society whose spirits of individual thoughts and initiatives are dampened, and looks outward for a spirited leader, who just did not happen to let his own spirit dampen! In most cases, the leader himself/herself would have been no more than an ordinary person who just held on a little longer than the rest of the crowd. Or worse, who was just inadvertently helped by the dampened crowd to hold on after the crowd had let itself down.

In a huge clout of such undeserving followers, and sometimes, eventually, unfit leaders, it again takes the utmost courage and conviction for the individual to be dispassionate and indifferent to that wretched society. This brings to me a revelation that it is most worthwhile to be part of a brotherhood of equal and just individuals, than to be a part of revering followers and spirited leaders. For, in being a follower, an individual loses his/her own concept of life and vision of things; and in being a leader, an individual thrusts his/her concept of life and vision of things, deliberately or inadvertently. At some point, there is bound to be dissent, dissatisfaction or fatigue among both the groups.

The major conflict between the superlative individuals and the simple individuals lies in the fact that the mere presence/attribution of superlatives indicates a copy/duplicate of the individual is just somewhere on the same line, thereby only indicating the deluge of the undeserving and the unfit. And there awaits a catastrophe for the individual and liberal spirit!

To all the vain superlatives... Give up your vanity! Go, get a life. And live it in your own terms! Or, at best, with your brotherhood.