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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Things that make me sad

1. Look at this post. I wish far more people abided by these basic norms.

2. ...and at this one. This is the world we live in, and we keep pretending to ourselves that we needn't bother, because after all we are not the ones who are suffering.

I shall elaborate - perhaps - later on.


Urbi Chatterjee said...


This is with regard to the article from the first link. I heard from you in private that somebody we know has sent a comment vilifying you for your lack of interest in gay rights. It is so sad that somebody who is apparently 'highly educated' and 'sensible' has failed to understand that gay rights is not in any way the matter under discussion here. That says a lot about the commentator's comprehension skills. Also, isn't it an irony how those who owe the most to you often turn out to be the biggest ingrates of them all?

Coming back to the article itself: I have a few questions about the issue of civility.

a)What does one do when one's civility is being taken for granted, taken advantage of, even? Does one continue to be polite and civil even at the risk of suffering losses?

b)It has been said that one must respect the person and not his opinions, but what must one do with a person who is downright evil and maniacal (think Hitler or Voldemort, or Jack Merridew from 'Lord of the Flies')?

c)When behaving civilly is taking you nowhere, and you are in dire need for something, is resorting to violence and rudeness completely unjust?

I completely agree with the need for practicing basic civility. Heaven knows our daily lives would have been so much less frustrating if this had been a social habit. However, shouldn't exceptions be made under certain circumstances like the ones I asked about?


Suvro Chatterjee said...

About the first bit, ma, the less said the better. Just leaves me with a bad taste in the mouth.

As for your questions:

1) Of course one doesn't. One gives the other party several chances to see the error of his ways, then cuts him dead.

2) Regarding how to deal with the truly evil, as distinct from the merely foolish and uncouth, I cannot do better than the Dalai Lama, who said that though he preaches universal love and forgiveness, he would as soon look at Hitler as shoot him dead!

3) Let us leave a detailed discussion on this for the next face to face? All I shall say here is that, I believe, with Russell, that there is one legitimate use of force, and that is to prevent the use of even greater and more irrational force. But being rude? Never, I should think, if I can help it, because in the final analysis it only shows me up to be a lesser person than I would like to be, doesn't it? Better to ignore and avoid, to the furthest extent possible.

Why not a word on the second link?