I have always wondered as to how we are so naturally capable of maintaining two different kinds of life styles – one, for our own self, the real one, and the other, for the persons around us, well-behaved, full of the intricacies of mannerism as well as acting. From the time when I attained the capacity to distinguish between the right and the wrong, I have observed this hypocrisy at different levels and different times. When I was a child, I was preached not to tell a lie as it was a sin. However, I observed that the preachers themselves would commit that same sin as and when they found them in a tight corner. Likewise, I was supposed to get up early in the morning as it was very important for my health, I was told. Though, I saw my elders sleeping comfortably in the morning as I went to school. These contradictions could confuse me in the very beginning of my life but thanks to the "good old days", when they had enough time for interaction with their kids. Additionally, the convention of joint families also provided ample opportunities for the children to ask for the guidance and assistance from the grandparents in case of any confusion. They somehow stopped frustration from entering into my subconscious mind on account of the insincerity or the hollowness of the behaviour of the adults around me.
Now, as I have grown up, I think, I am leading the same life, full of contradictions and duplicity, which, I know for sure, is not the real life. In fact this feature is not just limited to me; it is the characteristic of the whole Indian society. Some of the readers of this article would agree with me and some would not. But let me tell you that this very hypocrisy of our society inspired me to write this essay. This is very important for us that we should look into the confusing signals which we [knowingly or otherwise] are sending to our ancestry to come.
We, as the civilized society, have not been able to harmonize our actions with our expectations. For instance, we expect of others that they should speak what they think and act accordingly too. However, when it comes to our own actions, we fail to act equally in tune with our expectations from others.
As an adolescent student, I memorized a Sanskrit verse full of moral values. The essence of the Shloka is as under:
There is no difference in the manner the "mahatmas" [great men] think, speak and act; they say whatever they think and do whatever they say. Whereas, the bad men [Duratmas], are opposite the former, the Mahatmas.
According to this definition of the great men, most of us will fall in the category of the bad men or Duratmas.
That is why; Mahatma Gandhi used to say, "do to others what you like others to do to you". We are judged by our conduct and not by our preachings. However, most of us would like others to observe high standards of moral behaviour. But when it comes to our own behaviour, we ignore the simple principle of "as you sow, so shall you reap".
This leads to the duplicity of behaviour or conduct. One is to show others and the other one is our real being. When we are in public domain or in the limelight, our behaviour is very different from our conduct when nobody or very few people are observing us. In our public life, we praise patriotism, preach honesty, boast of about bravery. However, in our private life, we seldom follow the same. That is why, the menace of corruption is creeping in our society so fast. We oppose bribery publicly and when it comes to our smallest advantage, we do not hesitate to use this effective tool of corruption.
Many examples can be furnished. But it serves no purpose. Neither I need to prove it. Everybody is aware of it. My concern lies as to what can we do to stop this kind of duplicity of behaviour? How can we tune our behaviour to match our words? How can we stop the hypocrisy in our social life?
This is one of many points that can change our society and let me tell you, we shall have to insist upon these points in the future.
I am not a moralist. Therefore i am not going to suggest any moral remedies. I am a musician. And I can suggest the musical method.
Music therapy can control the negative feelings within us. Especially, listening to good instrumental classical compositions helps elliviating anxieties, frustrations etc. These days, many psychologists agree that listening/creating relaxing music can prove to be very helpful in resolving many of the psychological ailments as well as neurological disorders.
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