Fear of speaking up

Think before you speak. This is what is taught to us at school right from when we are proficient enough to be able to make sentences. Different people have different interpretations of this expression but more or less all point to the same direction except for this new dimension added by people like us. I haven't been able to choose a name (#noname) for it partly because of maybe the title of this post but you'll probably get the drift as you read further.

I don't know if you've experienced this or if it's only me who feels this way but we have become very vocal about things. We do not hesitate in expressing our opinion often. We now have opinions about issues which probably a decade ago no one even thought about. We have probably become more aware. We have probably started identifying ourselves with point of views which we weren't exposed to earlier.

Add to it booming access to information, platforms to express, forums to debate thanks to The Internet and especially the social media.

It's all amazing, it's all awesome, it's a positive change but at the same time it is something that has made dialogues highly inflammable. You can never be sure what catches fire when and who all does it turn to ashes. Sports, politics, religion, feminism, music, fashion - you name it and there would sure have been fireworks around it. If not as yet, almost every topic is still highly inflammable. 

Mind you, to start a fire, you don't just need cardboard but also oxygen (in the air). Without it even paper wouldn't burn and with it even logs of wood burn.

While there are topics/issues people strongly believe in and have strong opinions about, but why does it have to be fireworks if someone else thinks otherwise? And why within the #nonames? After all aren't they the more informed, educated, supposedly wiser lot?

Aren't they the be-a-good-listener, respect-other-persons-opinion people? Why does it then quickly escalate to become toxic and end up in a battle won by the side of the opinion that has more supporters? How is it any different from, in this respect, to what it has been forever - Popular wisdom, norms. Majority ne bol diya, wahi sahi.

Isn't it then surprising that the same person questions moral policing on what to eat, what to wear and at the same time aggressively drives down his/her own opinion down someone else's throat? 

Add to it those who may not necessarily believe in or identify with a topic but just stand by it or against it for the heck of it. Because maybe it makes them stand out, maybe it's cool to do it, maybe it's the image they want to project, maybe that gives a sense of belonging to... ummm... #noname2?

Ultimately, it's I am right, we are right, haww how can you say this, this is what you should accept, believe in and say.

Is it not only the topics and platforms that have changed and everything else the same as it has always been? Are we still evolving?

Why does every expression have to become a discussion? And then escalate to outrage? Why does it necessarily has to become a debate? And why does it have to be settled then and there? And why does it have to turn into a violent and ugly war of words? Why does it have to be chalo-behti-ganga-mein-main-bhi-haath-dho-lu?

I believe, that's the kind of speaking we can do away with. Those are the kind of words that one can filter and never get them out.

Let the platforms be clean oxygen that make life comfortable and not necessarily use it for compression for combustion. 

Remember, chewing gum is elastic but you don't have to necessarily stretch it. It just creates mess.

Let us not reach a stage when 140 characters will become way too much for you to speak. 

Let us not be those who merely evolve from Nahi, log kya kahenge to Nahi, log bahut bajaayenge.

On a lighter note, though we did like Sehwag going after every ball, we did sigh on and were in awe of that 'well left' from Dravid right?

Let go. Coexist.

Easier said than done, but I'll make conscious efforts to walk on this line.

In the end, all I can say is that, you probably got the drift of where I was headed but I couldn't write it in the exact same words that were going through my head because you know

Image Credits: david pacey (CC by 2.0)

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