Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are we Really Advancing as a Human Race?

In the pretext of spending some time with a friend who was visiting Tempe this weekend, I happened to spend considerable amount of time roaming around in the Borders (... books, music, cafe) in the evening. Killing time from one part of the store to another, more because they are closing soon and all books are having a 20% discount on its marked price, I checked out quite a few interesting books, ranging from Fiction, Thrillers, Horror, Politics and Literature. However couldn't find a book which completely made me feel, that I gotta buy it. Finally we went to this remote corner of the store, which I was earlier absolutely ignorant of, called the "Psychology" section.

Not that I was completely shocked at the collection in that aisle, but in retrospect after I came back home, I realized that it was so eerie the kind of books that sell well! To my surprise and to add to yours if you aren't aware of, more than 80% of the books were either about how to deal with a woman / man, how to have a better love life, how to tackle depression, how to be happier, or how to deal with rejections (from the opposite sex) in life. Though I completely agree these are issues almost everyone of us faces at some point of time or the other, however I don't quite understand why our lives have to be groomed in the manner as to spend our times of rest and relaxation in reading books which vaguely and faintly attempt to solve these grave issues, though ironically even remotely the authors have no idea of the vista of problems that might have led the readers to them!

I am not criticizing the writers for the kind of books they write - many of them are renowned psychologists. Nor am I saying that these issues aren't serious or big enough in life. However, I don't think they are larger than life.

What kind of a juncture we as a so-called intelligent race have led ourselves to, that we have to rely on other people's judgment to tackle our problems? I am not against the idea of books being a mentor to life and learning, however, how many times have the books about "understanding a man or a woman" helped you indeed?

It is very unfortunate that in a day when we have so much of knowledge and experiences to share, and given the inexpensive media-sharing ability available through the Internet, why we aren't able to act more mature in tackling problems in our lives which probably don't need enough attention; or problems which are to be solved with our conscience; or problems which should make us stronger in the future, than resorting as helpless folks to some psychologists? Why can't we take these issues as a challenge in life and proceed forward? Why do we have to search for the "key to happiness" in some long aisles in a bookstore down the pages of an obscure book, when in reality it's really just about us and our outlook?

Sometimes I wonder, is all the scientific and technological advancement we are working on really worth it? Worth in a world where people are losing their confidence in themselves; in their own happiness; in their ability to tide over failed relationships? Are we really advancing as a human race collectively?


Aravind Krishna K said...

Good Post.

The irony is --- these authors are not actually trying to help people, but fooling them by taking advantage of the state of the mind people go into, when they get into a difficulty with either a broken relationship, or any failure infact, when people are receptive to whatever bs they put into the books...

Our attitude should be -- I am strong enough to take care of myself, I dont need such a help from random people, that too by paying for it!

A K (the above-referenced visiting friend to Tempe :P)

Munmun said...

@ AK
Thanks for the comment - this was in fact a continuation of the conversation we started standing in the aisle itself!!