By Anil Taneja
“Common sense today is really not very common”, more so with the advent of fast track modern age, parented by the IT revolution.
Today we are living in a highly complex and sophisticated world. Today’s layman is as good as the king of the imperial past, having the privilege of enjoying world class music on his vocal command to the sound recognition software. The grandeur of today’s Mercedes Benz would make the kings of past, green eyed and what not of today would do so.
Wouldn’t the modern age laymen be called modern only if, he can make a choice amongst the options of the Jazz, Opera, funk, ballet, soft rock or karaoke, the commonly found inscriptions on the modern music gadgets and only if, he can appreciate a concert in the terminology of the scale, tempo or resonance.
He must have an understanding of the effects raga has on the left n right cerebral hemispheres. He would be primitive if he finds himself standing awed with wide open eyes when a car mechanic mocks at him or may be, courteous enough to pity, when he makes him realize that the task needed just a flip of fingers to save his kids and family from the fatigue of many hours, waiting for him in a strange and un- inhabited place.
Its not only the complex modern applications or gadgets one needs to have commonsense with. Our minds have also developed complexities in synchronation with our complex environment. The values have changed or modified or are forgotten. There are more intense inter personal problems between couples or parents , grandparents etc. etc. today viz-a-viz few decades back.
The judge sitting in the court, judges with reference to the written constitution (1st Literacy domain expertise) of the nation but how does, a husband or father or wife or mother or rather more participative and influential to the family today, a son or daughter passes judgment?. Do they have any “formal documented reference” and if yes then do they have a formal education in that effect, like a judge would have.
They may be educated at 1st and 2nd literacy levels ( domain knowledge & the soft skills), but is it necessary that a 1st level education of medicine and 2nd literacy of soft skills taught in a world class schools, makes one good father, mother, husband, son, daughter or for that matter a good citizen. How many of us look at a doctor with confidence that he owns a beautiful mind and that he is not like a butcher.
You may try to pass a judgment based on your observation of his behavior but are you sure that even your judgment is validated by some strong documented reference point? Otherwise, not so simple but, “awesome modern age layman”, seems to lack strong reference point to make such judgments, the judgments about right or wrong, about good or bad.
Today we see more parents leaving there kids, half orphan, deprived of the care and affection they need only because parents did not have a strong reference point. Congruous is the situation at a broader family perspective of village, town, state and nation. Their reference point is their self indulging subjective judgment based on their day to day perceptions which are bound to be different for different minds.
A lusty rapist justifies stating that mini skirt seduced him and abusive wife justifies on male chauvinism, a teenage shooter justifies homicide on moral panic, Kasab justifies 26/11 on Jihad, Underworld Don justifies on corrupt politics, a corrupt politician justifies on majority votes, media justifies the showcasing of masala news on TRP, Govt. justifies black money in real estate by shutting its eyes!!! What is that common platform of reference point, based on which one can judge the validity and virtue of its stand with respect to one’s situation? Can it be learnt, so that happiness proportions with our technological progress?
Then I would call such a literacy, the 3rd level of literacy, quit analogous to the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. The 3rd level of literacy seems to have gathered more importance to the modern age layman because his empowerment must be balanced by the responsibility to know the subject well and thus ‘enjoy’. Or instead, it would be termed ‘exploitation’.” The first subject to be aware of can be none other than the “self”.
Before we need common sense with not very common but commonly used modern age environment & its tools, we need to train our minds for 3rd literacy to understand self, to fit into the bill.
“I am OK you are OK” can be a good way of dealing. But it can be quit compromising theory. As is a constitution of the nation defining roadmap of governance, there is urgent need of a documented and enforced common reference point of “self governance”, to make “ONE OK” for whole of the human race. Our endeavor to explore the 3rd literacy, deep rooted in Indian Vedic wisdom, which has already earned many accolades of scientific confirmations, is either ignored or forgotten, or buried, might enable us to add substantial value to the modern society.
The 1st literacy of our domain expertise combined with 2nd literacy of soft skills referred to as IQ & EQ (emotional quotient) would be incomplete as dimensions to human wisdom if the 3rd literacy based upon the basic question of “Who am I ? ” & “Where have I come from ?” “what is my eternal goal?” “Am I eternal ?” “ What is beyond Death?” “the SQ” (spiritual quotient) is ignored.
The statement made by one of the prominent politician of our nation, equating Don with Swami Vivekanand on certain parameters was misunderstood, ignoring the context and created hue and cry by politically biased people. Don could not be Don if he did not have high IQ & EQ and so would Swami Vivekananda. Its but obvious that “SQ”; the Spiritual Quotient, is the only differentiating factor here.
Our ancient history quotes many examples like legendry scholar Kali Dasa who with very low levels of IQ & EQ was inspired to work on his SQ and thus could enhance IQ & EQ to the highest levels of excellence. If and only if our leaders start working 1st on there own SQ and then for social SQ could help eradicate the incidents of gang rapes, murders and other crimes. Our Vedic heritage for a holistic living propagates SQ as the 1st Literacy and then only comes any other mundane knowledge. But in so called modern age of developed world SQ takes a back seat or no seat, flaring the Don instinct!
(Author is the Resident Director – PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry –Uttrakhand)