4 December 2008

Angry but not focused

I just got back from Thippsandra where enough people commit civil sins that you can get all your inherent anger out in a 'justifiable' manner. Well, I thought I wasn't angry. My trip was supposed to give my aching body something else to do and I wanted the cement in my chest, courtesy a bad sore throat, to move about a bit. It certainly was not my intention to talk to anyone because speaking is more taxing than climbing a hill at this point. So it's with dismay that I found myself screaming at an Innova driver who was exiting from a side alley onto the main road and decided not to look left or right while making this merger. The vile remonstrations that came from my lips left me shaken. On the grand scheme of things that happen in Thippsandra this was very small, yet in spite of an inflammed chest, for 5 minutes I got into a one way tirade.

Why was I really angry? Sure, I'm very upset about what happened in Bombay and am feeling the pulse of public reaction via tv and web. I'm certainly internalizing the anger and hurt expressed. But just like the public at large I think I am not using my anger effectively. I am not focused on what is causing this feeling and just want to be rid of it. If I didn't consider myself an ocean of germs right now I would be at Cubbon park joining my fellow citizens to protest. Then again, I'm thinking, to protest what?

I'm a bit tired emotionally and physically but I do know that whatever happened, whatever the feelings we can't simply vent the feelings without an action plan. Here is my suggested action plan for myself.

  • Vote - I can get myself on the electoral register. I can encourage my friends and family to do the same. In fact I can hound them to do it.
  • Stay fit - Do people fathom that for the 60 hours our forces were battling the gunmen these folks held out and chased them around in circles? For 60 hours and more (if you count the time they were on their way for the mission) - no naps, no rest and adrenalin. How many of the youth today can survive that? For a strong nation we need a strong population - mentally and physically. So get on that treadmill and start meditating.
  • Be informed - Who is your local councillor? MP? MLA? SP? Where is the closest police station? How long has that traffic cop at the junction been working? Do we even bother to ask these questions. People of my generation don't necessarily work in the place where they grew up and might continue to move around the nation. Should that stop us from knowing about the people who make laws and govern us? Think and be aware of the world you live in. In your colony, city, village... any place you are living in.
  • Be proactive - Don't like that garbage piling up? Think a junction needs a cross bridge? Shoot off an email to the editor of your newspaper or walk into your councillor's office. Many times when I talk to people about my projects and causes I find that many want to help. But they hold themselves back because it might not be enough or that their little effort is useless in the big picture. We must give up these perceptions. Try and effect change to the best of your ability. Not everyone can move mountains so do your bit and don't judge yourself for it. Don't judge the type of activity and don't judge the outcome. Just do your bit when something civic annoys you.

As I type this I realize I myself don't know answers to many of the questions I have posed. So as soon as the cement in my chest dissolves and my throat stops being on fire I will have to initiate a fact finding mission.

No comments:

Post a Comment