Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rose tinted glasses

Everybody wears glasses. Figuratively, if not literally. We view the world through the prism of our biases and values. That is all fine. But what I cannot fathom is why this is rose tinted.

We think of the past as some long lost Utopia. Notice , how often the phrase "good old days" is bandied about. Certainly old, but good ??? I suggest not. The past is actually closer to hell than heaven. After all we have "progressed" ; haven't we ? So progress must equate to betterment. So, why the rose tint ?

Nowhere is this more evident than in US politics. Everybody waxes eloquently about the founding fathers and swears by the Constitution that was written a few hundred years ago. The founding fathers have been elevated to sainthood. Balderdash. They were as roguish as the present lot. They had slaves and it was perfectly OK to shoot a fellow Senator. The Second Amendment begins as "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State ...... " - The National Rifle Association which has an orgasm every time it quotes the Second Amendment would do well to remember that the most enthusiastic adherents to this philosophy are Afghanistan, Somalia and Congo.
Closer to home, its not very different. Even the sainted Mahatma Gandhi would not have survived the breathless (how come they don't asphyxiate themselves)  news anchors of today on the sexual experiments he did. Life was idyllic then, right ? Wrong. Everything was rationed, even rice, there was no TV or telephone, you could expect to contract polio or small pox and die in childhood, and the caste system was much more deeply entrenched than today.
Same is with businesses. We all had jobs for life. Great  The only problem is that the old dinosaur in the next office had stopped productive working some 15 years ago. Your take home salary was Rs 1646.43 - Ramamritham dutifully doled out the paise. Everything took extremely long to do.And good companies were few and far between. You needed an industrial licence from the government to do anything. Government decided what you produced and when.
So why the rose tint ? Maybe because the human mind has to have something to cherish. Passage of time accentuates the good and suppresses the bad. If that were not so, nobody would have children. The human spirit is fragile. It needs constant nourishment. Even from the "good old days". Especially from the "good old days".
This blogger is no exception. My glasses are so rose tinted, that they are almost red :) I have mentioned Mary Hopkins and her immortal song more than once in this forum.  My head says the rose tint is all bunkum. My heart is asking it to shut up.

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