Thriving through chaos!

As mythical it may seem, this is the fact, many a great discoveries, inventions and examples of unparalleled creativity have originated during moments and times that we now a days normally refer to as “chaos”.

What is chaos? Well the fact will always remain that chaos will always be different things for different people,this is not about choosing one definition over the other,but rather appreciating how these things and aspects are intertwined with us directly or indirectly and irrespective of your stand on this- all this shit will impact you on an ongoing basis- it is not a question of, “does it impact you?”, the question here is rather “how much does impact you?”

Well picking up a plain dictionary meaning of this five letter menace would provide us with straightforward interpretation of what it means and this is from where we can move ahead. For sake of simplicity and to ensure I complete this article crisply (before you decide to not read any further),I have approached chaos in a few major spheres of our lives- that impact us and shape us!

The first level is your personal zone and this provides you with replete examples of chaos around the two sub-spheres of your life- personal and professional. This in turn provides you with a templated approach on how you would like to go ahead managing this. Normally people would go in for a trade-off to balance and mitigate chaos across the two areas or spend considerable time and energy on an on-going basis to keep a shifting focus between the two sequentially. Neglecting chaos in any one of the fields will almost always lead to an irreversible damage which becomes all the more difficult to overcome as time progresses and eventually necessitates the individual to re-create a completely new identity in the sphere that has been wiped off from it’s foundations!

Next come an area of your immediate connections around the society space- as long as you have an access to a wise doctor, good education, water and air, entertainment you are alive and kicking- just imagine if one of these elements is touched adversely- now re-imagine the level of comfort you are likely to have- what happens if the medical charges suddenly increased by 200%? What would you do if educational expenses increased by 50%? Will that force you to rethink – “What are you doing with your life” and “Why you have landed up in a society, where you are” , well it almost always will and the interesting part is at this stage when chaos sets in- around your first level of contact with society- you are already unnerved and hopelessly, helplessly seeking out for leaders or someone to look up to, so that actions of the majority are emulated with a hope that things will change! This my friend is the first step of active action commonly known as “protest” when immediate aspects of societies that directly impact you go haywire for some or the other reasons. Again these reasons may or may not be completely in control of the ruling governments of the day- which in that context sets up another layer of chaos related to the resolution time-frame for the problems!

The final layer transcends over to the largest social unit that we experience on a daily basis – as a nation (unless you head the UN wherein you would experience all the 196 member states as one large society that looks as crazy as it is!) When we sense growing chaos or uncertainty (that’s how things start and run away into deeper chaotic shades unless checked in time) at a national level things suddenly change and trivial matters become sensitive and often dangerous issues which can be manipulated by multiple people or organisations and agendas get driven across- depending on who you are and each agenda tries to re-define the problem statement to suit a solution statement that is being manufactured. The competing narratives then get played out into the society at a national level and based on the number game (more often then not) the most loud, the most bloodiest or the most aggressive narrative gets to see the light of the day- from thereon it changes into a game of political strategy, bargaining and maneuvering on an ongoing basis!

So now , that we have seen how chaos manifests from the personal level to the level of a nation- the million dollar question- how do we navigate through it? Well the answers are simple at the individual level- often the strategy to trade-off between what can be and should be around professional and personal spaces manages to win the day in majority of the cases at that level and chaos can be bottled up tight and good for a long time! But as we start engaging and feeling chaos at larger levels of the society then decisions begin to emerge – which can start at the very basic level- like- “Why the hell am I here?” to “What did I do to deserve this from my society/ government?” It is in the answers to these fundamental questions around the growing level of engagement that one plays around with in the society that one is able to navigate and chart a course of least discomfort and relative harm- both physical and psychological so as to ensure that survival of the society continues. More the number of individuals make sane decisions- easier and quicker it becomes for societies to gain back traction and re-align to paths of agreed and new-found rejuvenation- and if you are wondering how societies do this, well democratic societies have something called as elections and elected representatives and in other societies that are controlled and managed you often see new change of guard to drive home the new doctrine that needs to be administered to the people of that society!

All in all chaos is good as long as you learn from it and apply enough to ensure that the next round of chaos is not a repeat of an earlier one or is not caused by the earlier one!

I will leave you with theses thoughts for now, go ahead have your coffee and think about the times when you faced chaos and overcame it- what was it?- Was it at your level or were you a witness to a nation being reborn!

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