A few days earlier, while attending my MBA lecture, a realization dawned upon me that majority of people in our society are obsessed with their own self-righteousness. They give a little room to any idea or belief that is contrary to their own norms. It does not matter how important or ordinary the matter is; the other person is only perceived as logical, once he is pandering to our own thought frame. Otherwise, he is banished.
Once,our instructor told us that it is unethical to come to class wearing a jean. It constitutes indiscipline. He stated, “I was in 9th grade when my teacher told me to wear formal clothing in classroom and since then I have not worn jeans to college/university ever “.
The statement startled me. As I am doing a job for 8 years, and jeans is part of my routine dress. I had attended managerial meetings in jeans and had been satisfactorily performing my job. Thus, this whole idea of jeans being an informal dress is Greek to me. However, keeping self-righteous tone of my instructor in view, I decided not to confront him and keep my ideas to myself.I spent rest of the day looking for answers. Had I been wrong for past 8 years; no way, people around me have been doing wonders while wearing jeans. Is there any scientific proof of negative impact of a particular dress on one’s ethics and discipline? How can anybody object to a reasonable outfit? How can a Management teacher say that a dress which majority of people of my generation wear,is against the class decorum? I had no answers.
Everyone is entitled to have an opinion. His opinion may fit in well within his own family norms and values. But having an opinion must not mean that any contrary justification may be out rightly rejected as invalid. People make believes that are best suited to them. And their emotional attachment withthese beliefs becomes so deep, that any idea even slightly in contrary is considered as a direct attack to their value-system. We define a society as a collection of people sharing characteristic culture and value system, but in today’s world do we have any society that unanimously agree on all social issues; not really isn’t it. Humans are not robots, you can’t just feed in commands and anticipate a measured response.
Humans have this capability to feel, to think, to respond and above all to deviate from one another. While you like people to speak softly and slowly, a person with high pitch and fast speaking style does not deserve your hatred—-While you admire people with friendly and caring attitude, a person with reserved personality has his own thought process—- While you are interested in sports and believe that all youngsters should follow sports a person may see it as waste of time and would rather read books or spend time with siblings—– You may believe that buying new and lavish car is best investment, others may have different priorities—-While some people like to discuss their problems with friends and family, others may not like them to interfere with their thoughts—–Nothing is absolute truth. It’s just how people perceive a situation. And that perception may vary from person to person.
The best part of any society is its diversity, the more the better; divergence in ideas does not brew conflict rather it provides options to handle a situation. We must allow space in our thoughts to accommodate any contrasting or conflicting idea. A thought, an idea or a belief, no matter how ridiculous it sounds to a person does not really justify aggression and hostility; simply because a person’s perception, priority, knowledge, abilities to interpret may differ from others. The Lesson I learnt from my aforementioned classroom experience was of tolerance. Just like I think Jean is a suitable dress to wear,I must also respect the counter-views. In this world we can only have peace and tranquility, if we respect the difference of opinionsand diversity of personalities.
Let’s Agree to Disagree in an Agreeable Manner