If you are left wondering about what happened at the Capitol Hill on January the 6th and are feeling anguished, angry, dejected, proud or sad or perhaps little bit of everything, this piece is for you; simply because what happened at the Capitol Hill is not an isolated incident as it may seem and is played out across societies all over the world for one or the other reason and depending on which side you view what’s unfolding, either you will be elated or sad and either ways- what unfolds seldom serves you or the society in terms of moving it closer to the larger and greater good! So join me here, as we go further to understand what the so called, “radical thinking” is all about, from where does it emerge and what is that can be done about it- does it only harm or is it helpful too? So here we go!
The dynamism that human societies have witnessed in the last century have laid the foundation to what we witness and experience as our societies around us! Societies which have typically witnessed oppression, war, strife, struggle, more often than not tend to become more mellowed, humble and accommodative with time and as people in those societies begin to get equitable access to opportunities of growth and learning! On the other hand, societies which have always had a very intrinsic and unipolar view of the world and about everything and everyone around them tend to live and die in their own unwarranted over confidence or lack of it!
The challenge that societies have always faced and continue to is about being able to share the dividends of progress in a proportional manner- no one is suggesting socialism here, neither am I suggesting Capitalism is bad, what is relevant and contextually important is the fact that, unless the fruits of labour of progress are not shared in a proportionate manner (whatever that proportion is), societies will feel moving at different speeds within the sub-segments and thereby- you will witness people racing ahead and people being left behind and it is from these extreme scenarios of societies that radical thoughts begin to emerge- the ones’ who are racing ahead feel right about what they do because they are enjoying what the aspire and those who are being left behind, tend to feel right about what they do, thinking that is their way and approach to reach their unfulfilled aspirations! So you see in a sum total way, the essence of radical thinking emerges from the extreme ends of societies hinging on their association with their aspirations- at one end- being enjoyed and wanting more and at the other end wanting the basic ones’ first! Based on what society you live in, you will have different standards for aspirations and different levels of volumes at the extreme end and in the middle of the given society.
As long as societies have the majority of their constituents around the centre, the few on the extreme ends can be managed, but as polarization sets and more and more people start to feel compelled to take extreme stands (as part of the larger social conformation bias) the societal balance is thrown away and what you are left is with few people standing in between of two extremely polarized sections who have a large volume as well! This is what the story of many societies across the nations is today! The cause of that polarization could be anything from, political ideologies, personality worship, religious belief’s, genuine like or despise of available quality of leaders’ , whatever other hundred reasons that you can think about- the fact remains that no human is ever born with a polarized mind or heart and it is the society which goes on to indoctrinate that aspect and whether that helps or harms largely depends on what is injected into the impressionable minds of the people through their forming years and this is perhaps the on stage where societies can strive to check the run away polarization that only comes back to bite them at the end! But how and why do people get sold into extreme views or end up taking a radical stand?
As people begin to race ahead or begin to get left behind, despite and inspite of everything, the ones’ ahead are ready to do anything it takes to stay ahead and the ones’ left behind are ready to do anything that it takes to make that move ahead! For achieving this, whatever comes to their rescue works! This could be taking hardstands on political ideologies, personalities or perhaps even using matters of faith as deemed appropriate, all of this- just as tools or instruments to achieve something that is totally different and what’s worse is that, scoities which allow this to develop and get strong- do so with unwritten laws and incentivization based on how far to an extreme a person leans to! More often then not the heady cocktail of the political class and the people from the society and tool used for the hard-line stand ends up destroying and ripping away whatever would have been the unique identity of the society itself!
Before the rampant industrialization, societies had time and space and were more accommodative and allowing for people to pursue without the fear of getting left behind nagging anywhere around their minds! Today’s world is a different place altogether, trust me if Picasso or Gustav Eiffel or Einstein would have been present today, they would have at the most ended up leading the design or science lab at one of the large corporate houses and that would be their limited claim to fame! They too would have ended up being enslaved to fit into the social frame either as leaders racing ahead or as oddity left to struggle and sink in their own corner- which again are the same positions of the two extreme ends of todays’ world! It is almost easy to go on to a television debate show and claim that there should be no space for extreme thoughts in the society, well the problem with that statement is that all great discoveries and innovations have always had when extreme and radically different thinking was applied to something that can serve humanity and hence the problem is not with the space of radical thinking but rather the deployment of that ability for the serving or unnerving causes! So what’s the plan?
The plan is simple and straightforward, it is about creating enough space within societies to accommodate all the voices, feelings and thoughts that are there and try to resolve and address them the way it should be done! The maddening race to be ahead and the unwanted fear and anxiety of being left behind has to be done away with in totality- sure enough a tall and utopian order, but unless that happens, societies will keep drifting away from humanities foremost agenda of meaningful and purpose driven progress and end up sub-serving ourselves and the generations that rely upon us! If you though this is just a civic problem or the ones’ that politicians should be left to deal with it, think again!
The elements of societies are all of us, You and Me included, as we walk in and out of our offices, get driven in the cabs, are taking trains, buses, co-workers, vendors, clients, visiting stores and going about our social community engagement- we are knowingly and unknowingly touching and connecting with various segments of our society and the way we carry ourselves, behave and speak we are sending out a signal not only about the society around us but importantly also about who and what we have ended up becoming as Individuals while we have been either busy either racing ahead- to stay ahead or we have been striving and struggling to catch up as we have got left behind!
It is only when societies are able to create enough space for all constituents within its frame and enough scope for them to express and explore that we will see the beginning of the end of radical thinking and radicalization! may sound utopian, but that is the only way, human progress has been a story of the ingenious ability of the human mind to come up with new thinking and new solutions for perplexing problems at hand, with time sure enough, even this problem of radical thinking will be addressed- once the root causes that accelerate and provoke it are taken care of!
I leave you here with these thoughts for now, not pushing you to either edges of your thinking mind, and just sharing a final thought with you that, the problem is not about the human mind that thinks, neither it is the problem of the mind that thinks radically, the real problems is about what is the contextual truth around that mind which makes it to think the way it does! Fix that and you have fixed all the minds around you -fixed for good!
Remember, average thinking always produces average results, great thinking produces great results and all great thinking happens at the very edge of the thinking process and that is what Radical Thinking is all about- use it wisely and humanity will be endowed with gifts and bliss unlike ever before!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe and stay wise!