After all, what is right?
This question, seemingly simple, is a most complex one to unravel. And as we attempt to answer it: we are dragged further and further into the conundrum; from which many times there is no escape, no clear answer. At the most, we can compromise at some level, decide for ourselves : enough is enough – and beat a hasty retreat. All the while convincing oneself that if we survive, we will live to fight another day: and find the “real answer; the absolute truth; what is actually right – on that other day!!!
Take the recent case of Sridevi’s death in Dubai. Morning shock as she was loved by many cinegoers. First we hear that she died of a cardiac arrest. The press reports are full of surprise : she had no history of any cardiac problems! But Doctors had opined …they have to be right? Soon comes the version of 29 surgeries in California; Botox injections galore; diet and hunger suppressants; medications to alter BMR; so much torture to make the body beautiful, that the heart could not sustain and gave up. Within hours the reality changes: a new death certificate from Dubai does the rounds of social media where death is due to “drawing(sic!)” – all official; signed by the Physician in charge. And then : drowning in bathtub is not the real culprit. Drink abuse. Husband should have stopped her. People suspect foul play.
Even when the body was brought back there was an eruption on the social media: after all she was just a performer; made money from acting; no known social commitments: does she deserve a State funeral? Are we demeaning the national flag which is wrapped around bodies of soldiers who die for the country? What is logic of wrapping this actor’s body in the tri-color? Again someone decided based on how they saw the situation. Some others object, as their interpretations vary. What is real? what is correct?
As observers, relying on social media and reflected “reality”, we are confused. What happened actually? what is right? This is true of the Nirbhaya episode. Of the Ryan school killing. Ayushi Talwar’s murder. The infamous Tandoor Murder case with Youth Congress President Sushil Sharma’s involvement. Remember: No one killed Jessica? In a crowded restaurant, she is shot in front of hundreds: but prosecution eye witnesses turn hostile, one after the other. Manu Sharma is acquitted as the Sessions court concludes there is no evidence!! After public uproar, High Court hears the appeal and then Haryana Congress leader’s son is finally sentenced. But Manu Sharma still approaches Supreme Court as …no one killed Jessica!!!!
These are all high profile cases, but think about day to day issues also. Do we ever get a proper handle on “reality”? Do we get clarity on what actually transpired? We have all witnessed road accidents, and heard the multiple versions of who did what, when, how and finally what happened. Even when a smallest altercation takes place between 2 people: if you listen to their independent versions, you will end up with 2 totally contrasting perspectives. Think of the frequent arguments between spouses: does either ever feel I am wrong? ( We may say so just for buying peace temporarily, but do we believe fundamentally that I was wrong?) It is always ” But then you…” “And then I ….” All sound and fury which never seems to converge! The differing views of the “reality” are so entrenched that it is impossible to judge who is right? what is real? and who has propriety on their side.
In business organizations today we actually encourage different points of view and call for groups/boards to discuss and decide the course of action. The underlying faith is that differing points of view and perspectives being brought to bear on an ambiguous situation will reduce the uncertainty of a futuristic decision. But the very process of discussing: does it not presuppose differing realities with each person; and, a social reality we all must create jointly? Do we launch a new soap in an crowded market? Will this flavor of a new cream biscuit be accepted by the consumer? Will whole wheat noodles appeal as a more healthy alternative? What is the strategy to win against competition? All complex realities with no clear cut right and wrong answers. And so we bring in cross functional teams, with their multi functional perspectives and try to understand what is the “real” way out? what will work? what should be the answer? what new reality do we want to pitch for and champion? Finally the game is about defining what is THE right way ahead.
Ask any Muslim Jehadi or a Tamil suicide bomber and they will aver what they are doing is right. Others may have a different perspective on this but then, that is “their” reality. When marketing spends are approved and a particular advertising is launched, there is faith is that it will work and generate customer pull for the brand. Reality , like market share or consumer voice, gets monitored and validated!!!
I believe the mistake we make is in searching for a single rule, a single tenet, a single principle: an absolute reality. As children we believed and behaved as though everything fell into right or wrong: black or white. As we mature we understand that all things don’t fit neatly into such boxes or labels. Most things in the world are not black. Most things in the world are not white. Living and learning should teach us the new reality: most things aren’t wrong or right. They are just different. Maturity is knowing that there is nothing wrong with different. We can let things be different, we don’t have to try and make them black or white, we can just let them be…..
My conclusion is best captured by Joybell C author of The Sun is Snowing (Sic! read the title again) “And when I was a child, I thought that God was the God who only saw black and white. Now that I am no longer a child, I can see, that God is the God who can see the black and the white and the grey, too, and He dances on the grey! Grey is okay.”
It is fine- Live your own right: vikas