The naturalistic theory of survival is unprejudiced towards gender. Charles Darwin, while penning down the concept of ‘SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST’, never discriminated between masculinity and femininity. Analogously, if we take a page out of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we discover that there exists an unbiased scuffle in the human race when it comes to subsistence. Every highbrow personality would unanimously converge on single point; we all struggle for satiating our stomach and nothing else. The connoisseurs of societal norms and those philosophizing survival further advocate the need for self-esteem, prestige and self-actualization in fabricating an idyllic life. As I ponder the pretentious jargons of our sophisticated society in describing the process of human survival, my rationality is often toppled by one thought. There exist several million uneducated humans in this world who do not have the slightest inkling of these cumbersome philosophies of life. How do they survive? This sparked an ideology in my mind. Uneducated people are mostly poor and hence they exist with an outlook akin to cave-men. In due course of time, they comprehended the primal feeling of hunger and soon realized the concept of financial security in an increasingly materialistic world. The word prestige remained alien to them. However, my ideology was soon shaken up through a casual exchange of thoughts with my age old house-maid.
“Why do you still work at the age of 75? You have grown old.”
“I work for my prestige. I cannot sit and eat at my son’s mercy.”
Her words churned my whole outlook towards this category of our society. I was startled, shocked, disillusioned yet ecstatic. She came to our house some twenty five years back as a domestic maid. She brought up her children as a single mother. She is totally illiterate but gave her children the much needed basic education to earn a living in this acerbic world. Presently, she has a family where not only her son but also her grandsons have decent earnings. The men of her house do not need her contributions to run the family, still she works. Why? She works because she doesn’t want to be held at someone else’s mercy. She works because she wishes to contribute for the morsel of rice she ingests. She works because she wants to live and die with dignity. She works because she wishes to hold her head high with a sense of pride and the prestige of earning her own living. She is an unschooled illiterate. However, her statement and outlook towards life can enflame any of the proclaimed philosophers to penetrate a bit further in their attitude.
The financial demarcation of Indian society has given birth to elites, upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class and of course those below poverty line. I never brood over elites much as their ‘inherited’ luxurious lives do not captivate me. However, I often ponder on the sub-layers of the middle strata of our social fabric. They display a unique lifestyle and mind-set. The middle class populace are engaged in an inner battle right from their birth. They have an unrivalled urge to achieve something big, to attain some recognition and not to forget the itch of SAVING for a better future. With a hefty bank balance, they retire from their work and demand their children to take care of them, the justification being that they had taken care of their children during formative years.
I, being a striving human of this world, pose a big “WHY” to this temperament. I acknowledge my line of thought being rebellious for our opinionated society. Still, I find the concept of ‘taking care’ very absurd. Children are born out of a biological pleasure and not as a retirement plan. If there persists an itch to save, save it for your own good and use it for yourself when demand arises. Parents complain about negligent children to which I would like to tell them this. If being a parent they could teach life to their next generation, they themselves must be capable in handling their lives at all times. Parents strive hard in raising their child only with the temperament of making him/her as a sign of their own pride. God knows for what good reason. One’s pride lies in one’s achievement and not in the accolades garnered by the next generation. Nobody thrusts us with any responsibility. We voluntarily take part in every aspect of life. Nobody is asked to take care of anybody. It is our morality and devoted emotion that bind us with relationships. We cannot plunge morality into others so it is worthless to build expectations from others as well.
I NEVER SUPPORT PEOPLE NEGLIGENT TOWARDS THEIR PARENTS but I always wish to see people liberated from this emotional dependence. I wish to see people organizing their prestige within. I wish to see people EARNING respect and not DEMANDING it. I wish parents would stop expecting anything from slipshod children. I wish people would preserve their prestige and lead a life with their head held high. My thoughts are guided so, not because I am not a parent, but are rather channelled by seeing my own independent parents and this maid of mine of course. The day when I become as old and mature as they are today, I would like to lead an unregulated life then. And when life leaves me, I would like to DIE WITH PRIDE, DIE WITH DIGNITY AND DIE WITH MY PRESTIGE HELD ALOFT.