The Right and Wrong Conundrum


Seldom does the heart know what it really desires: at one point it knows every hidden dream we ever dreamed; but once we are closer to achieving that ‘dream’, it starts generating mixed signals which usually makes us question every single step we take in achieving that dream. Does this then, involve morality, propriety or worse still, sobriety?

We are brought up with a sense of righteousness, which usually borders on a strict conditioning governed by a strong sense of morality, which involves right and wrong paths. Get waylaid from the laid down path and you are a rebel, immoral and even wild; if you follow the rules, you are moral and deserving. But, who I daresay laid down these ‘ideas’ of morality? Sure, some things are plausibly wrong like taking a life or hurting someone knowingly; however, can the right and wrong be really compartmentalized by the society? Can all the wrongs and all the rights be labeled accurately? It would have definitely made this world a better place, if it were possible.

Different people perceive this conundrum differently; for Muslims eating beef is commonplace but consuming pork would be a sacrilege, on the other hand; Hindus consider eating beef blasphemous. Mind you, both the sides have very legit arguments and you are left wondering, what could be the right side. Ask a vegetarian why he refuses to eat meat and he will drone on about cruelty to animals; ask a meat-eater and he will rant about the circle of life and the animals taking over the world if not curtailed. Is it sufficient to claim then, that the right and wrong dichotomy is solved by people’s feelings; they project these feelings on the choices available to them and internally justify their actions to themselves? They are after all born in a society obsessed with right and wrong; how can they not choose one side over the other.

Interestingly, as we grow older the ‘right’ compartment of our emotional banks tends to expand and widen, the things which were wrong before suddenly seem right and moral. So, should I daresay that morality is flexible, but wasn’t it supposed to be rigid and water-tight? We find ourselves doing things that seemed immoral and downright wrong a few years ago but perfectly acceptable in the present. What causes this shift in perception? Does one start perceiving the gap in the right and wrong labels as one grows older?

Is there then a possibility of a grey area; the area between the societal right and wrong, which is perceived differently by different hearts. After all, hearts dwell in divergent heavens and fear diverse horrors. This grey area can be acknowledged as people’s choices: to do or not to do. People are faced with two choices every time; their choice will then determine the right and wrong. Hence, I can safely presume that right and wrong is not predetermined but depends on choices people make.

The basic question we are faced with everyday is usually on these lines: the rightness of our actions, the rightness of our thoughts and rightness of our lives. But why are we so stuck up on being right or rather doing right. Is being right just a state of mind then, since one person perceives rightness doing one thing and another person feels right doing something exactly the opposite. A murder is downright sinful as it involves taking a man’s life however it becomes right and even justifiable when it is resorted to in self defense. Does that make killing a man more acceptable?

This web of choices will never cease to entrap our sensibilities; it is completely upon us to salvage an escape route. The trap of stereotypes and clichés lulls us into a false sense of security because it feels familiar territory, something we have lived with since forever. Shedding our inhibitions and venturing outside into the unknown is akin to walking into a jungle with no sense of direction, however, this territory needs to be chartered and traveled into. How else will we grow as a person? There is nothing like falling down to teach us how to walk and there is nothing like making mistakes to teach us ‘right and wrong’. The society can’t do it for us.

We have to fight our own battles, this is our battlefield and we are the warriors.




The Moving on Syndrome

Oh, moving on, letting go and starting afresh: it yields beautiful results and sometimes makes the problem completely go away (not the smartest solution but it certainly helps). But sometimes, you see, moving on can be downright unpalatable and even obnoxious.

The media is notorious for having a short memory span when it comes to reporting stories: they even choose stories which would have maximum impact on the readers; the usual rapes and murders without a twist are commonplace for them. Yes, they have a business to run and money to make but what about humanity? And what about these people? They are just numbers, of course.

Moving on (pun intended) to the stories that are reported: with thousands of newspapers and social media, they can hardly avoid exposure or print. The killing of innocents in Gaza or Syria or even the plight of the Lebanese refugees is written about so often that we have become immune to the numbers; it does not even evoke heartache or sympathy anymore. I can’t help but mention the gruesome rapes that have been reported in India recently. It is humanly impossible to describe the emotional effects of the notorious Delhi Gang Rape case; there was not a female alive who didn’t cry for her. But, after all is said and done; what can the readers do but read, sympathize and move on?


Hell on Earth

We were designed to move on; to deal with pain, loss and failure: the dog we loved, the last job we hated, the ex who never stopped humiliating you, the son who abandoned the family, the family home which was sold, the best friend who moved on. And some situations would be unbearable without this ability: death of a loved one, a failed marriage or loss of a child. Apparently, we have uncanny resilient powers to always bounce back; stronger. But we have lousy humane powers.

Can’t we, together; do anything about this crumbling world and not just move on when we read about millions dying everywhere. Why is the situation in Syria still the same after three years of warring? Is nobody seeing or even listening? Why is the Gaza conflict reopened again and again? Notwithstanding, the past and its problems this is not about who is right or wrong but about humanity and people. The gruesome rapes and sexual attacks can’t continue like this. All this depravity and debauchery has to end but who will find ‘the end’? Surely, not the present state of affairs……

Will we ever wake up? Or is this an eternal sleep of oblivion?