Conforming to the norm

Today’s post is about something serious- philosophical, maybe. Inspired by the article from the Lancet, it talks about bringing about change. How apt- how coincidental. All my life has been about bringing change and at last someone is writing about it.

When family tells you, what you say is true but one person cannot bring about change,

When society tells you how futile it is to be different,

And how much more easy life is if only one would agree to fall within the normal curve for behavior or thoughts or actions,

Why, oh why, must you be different or be that agent of change when so many others, more powerful than you have thought, acted, fought and given up?

When an academic article is published, it follows a certain structure, and mostly only those studies that have positive results see the light of the day- the ones that show no effect or a negative effect are often thrown into the trash can or the dustbin as we say. Having a structure is good but having a non-structure is also good for it eased the monotony of a scientific article and brings interest into journal reading.

And who says, all reading has to come from articles or journals or research publications? Why not from our good old books? I was so happy to read this, being the book lover that I am- the paper book kind and not the Kindle kind. In science they say, for an item to enter a book it would take at least 10 years, meaning a book is at least 10 years behind scientific discoveries or publications.

Environmental injustice, I read, is the stories of women who have wanted change- who noticed things happening to their children, when rubbish was dumped near where they lived, who demanded clean water, food, safety for their families. It is about people who wanted change and who wanted freedom from injustices.

I come from a Christian college of South India- where Christianity is practiced in name and by and large. But if you would like to see Christianity practiced in the day to day observances of student or staff life, you would be hard pressed to see even a small something that would rekindle your faith in this religion or way of life. When new students are admitted to the college, the senior students take it upon them to “welcome” the newcomers into their fold by the very old tradition of “ragging”. Ragging they say is a way to break the newbies into the medical world which is tough and not for the faint of heart. But what goes on in the name of ragging is far, far away from Christian principles. And for those who dare to be different or who choose not to “rag”, the result is “ostracism”. Speaking out against atrocities committed in Christian colleges against Christian and non-Christian students is a struggle for any student who chooses to do so. Yet, my belief is they must persist, they must speak up, they must talk and somewhere, sometime someone will listen and help them change things.

Thank you for this great reference article, sent out by my professor to our class.