Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Loving mankind is fine but what about its constituents?

What can one say about people? Here was a news item about ambulances -  Meant to ferry patients, road rage victims themselves - an example:
In Balasore district's Hathigad area last month, an ambulance was called for a victim of snakebite. When the vehicle arrived, at least five relatives of the victim tried to get in. When a member of the ambulance staff pleaded that they could not accommodate more than one attendant, he was beaten until he was nearly unconscious. All five relatives of the victim forced themselves in.
A couple of days ago, I found that a car had parked so that the row behind was inaccessible. My anger at the driver's stupidity subsided soon as I had just seen James Flynn: Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents'. I wondered instead why a large part of the Indian population seems to think at the level of great grandparents or even worse. How do people learn to think? In schools or the general environment? Either way, we seem to be failing badly :(

The following sentence from Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov has stayed with me for about 40 years now -
 “I love mankind, he said, "but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular.”

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