Saturday, August 29, 2009
Conform to Reform!
It is actually beautiful, as beautiful and incredible as how the million stars don't fall into one another even when gravity is the only force present. The fact that the society is still running 'smoothly', in spite of the presence of radically different people, that are a part of it, is incredible.
The magnitude of its awesomeness can be grasped better , if you realize that in every 200 years the society is virtually new (as a human can barely live up to a 100 years) , composed of no individual from the olden society. Yet the society is apparently the same. I know it changes. But come on, you still brush your teeth, take a bath, grow up, want to earn money, earn money, repent wanting to earn money, never repent earning money and do all the things that your father's father's father's father's father's father's father did.
So, anyways, my point is that society plays a crucial role in sustenance. And by society I mean the mass. The majority of the society, neither the geeks, nor the laggards, but the followers maintain this thread from past to future. They use traditions and rules,mantras and laws, books and speeches as a mechanism to pass the baton.
The crazy people , the iconoclasts, the rule breakers, the geniuses, the leaders, the fathers, the savants, the likes of Einstein, Buddha, Gandhi, Hitler etc. lie on the fringes of the society. They decide the directions, the new rules, the modern thoughts, basically the future of mankind (its thoughts, its actions, its soul).
As Einstein said , in different words though, that the geniuses of a particular time have to face resistance from the lesser minds. I am trying to change that picture a little by saying that the geniuses of a particular time tend to differ from conventional thought. They find the common thought no longer valid. They can't resist the temptation to propagate this new thought, this idea into the masses. They are destined to and so they will to carry the weight of the society in a new direction. They are bound to feel the weight , they are bound to feel the society pulling them down, they are bound to feel the resistance.
After setting the stage, let me come straight to the point of this essay. How does the society blindly follow these outliers? and still remain stable? Here comes another intelligent feature of the design of society.
The to be leader has to first learn to conform to the society's norms. Prove to the masses that he/she is capable of following the rules, rather mastering them. To prove to them that he/she is much more evolved than them, in the only language they understand. If he/she has to prove that he/she is on the right side of the fringes, that he/she is a visionary not a crazy fool, then he/she has to master their ways first. It is a threshold which Einstein, Nash, Gandhi, Buddha, even Hitler and others had to clear before they were accepted as leaders.
So in summary, society rather the payload also acts as a bare minimum benchmark for proving that a genius is on the right side. As the title says : "Conform to Reform"
Thinking from the genius' point of view. His inherent nature is to think different. So much so that he thinks different in all the fields he is exposed to. Now when he has to face the grueling hurdle of conformance, it actually helps him too. The rules stated to him are, though unwritten, crystal clear. 'You are allowed difference of only one opinion from the others. You have to conform to all the rest'. Considering the nature of the genius, he obviously thinks that more than one thing needs a change. So while crossing the sea of conformance, everything except that one thing gets dissolved. The great part is that even the genius is unaware about what it is going to be before this. So, it is only when he knows that the world knows. Then it is just a matter of time that the world takes the new course.
The crazy people on the other side of the fringe, sadly, never make past the conformance hurdle. All of their crazy ideas get dissolved in the sea!