Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Syncretic Adaptation

I'm saying you've already done plenty of things to regret, you just don't know what they are. It's when you discover them, when you see the folly in something you've done, and you wish that you had it do over, but you know you can't, because it's too late. So you pick that thing up, and carry it with you to remind you that life goes on, the world will spin without you, you really don't matter in the end. Then you will gain character, because honesty will reach out from inside and tattoo itself across your face.

-Danny Devito in "The Big Kahuna"

The last few weeks I spent in a wee bit turmoil at work. We have been through a merger with our competitor (makes a ton of business sense to do that) and that threw all kinds of philosophical/ethical questions from my team and organization. For me, it was simple. I look at the name of the company that pays me and I fight for them. A simple mercenary attitude you might say but that keeps me doing the right thing to feed me and my family. Its not like betrayal where I ditch the existing company to work for a competitor to gain an advantage which I think might be a li'l bit unfair. Plus I believe its okay to lie when it serves a higher purpose than truth.

So, I had these bitter battles with inside folks (who were ironically being purist) who called me condescending for laying out the plan. All I said was deal with problems as they arise. The human brain is a product of reactive evolution not proactive one (much to the chagrin of intelligent design folks.It evolved in reaction to its environment which is why we cannot remember where we left our keys but know how to dodge a projectile on our face). My take on the issue was "cross the bridge when you come to it". Dont try algebra of imaginary numbers when you know they can be subclassed as "real" at some point.

No,Some people just wanna have the high road and "act" as if they are in the best interest. The following quote from the same movie as above would help solve the purpose:

Larry Mann: There are people in this world, Bob, who look very official while they are doing what they are doing. And do you know why?
Bob Walker: Why?
Larry Mann: Because they don't know what they are doing. Because if you know what you are doing, then you don't have to look like you know what you are doing, because it comes naturally.

Why do you think the Orchid is a beautiful flower? Because it adapted itself very well knowing that the vested self interest of its pollen propogation is dependent on the comfort levels of the bees that suckle the nectar. Instead of feeling violated, you offer yourself completely so that your species may live humbly instead of dying nobly.Unfortunately some of my team members dont see this view. No, I am not saying this is correct view but that this is a view that helps us survive the chaos of life.

Finally, there is thing of "belief" which is strongly prevalent in some folks almost to that of religion. Religion based on belief is simply a western concept. Why do you think the japanese celebrate their weddings "shinto" style and mourn deaths "buddhist" style. Or Hinduism, where my form of rebellion is an acceptable form of hinduism (atleast to my dad). I can dream while being grounded in reality (like Wildism of "All of us are in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars).

I can sustain my customers while bearing an apathetic attitude towards internal ones. I can say something cold-hearted while doing whats neccesary (because neccesity doesnt follow logic). Just because you do in rome as romans do, doesnt make you less Indian. Manifestation of forms doesnt take away the elixir of the original..Enough of my ranting. I was angry enough today to slam the phone down and not slap the person at the other end...the price of one's conviction is that one has to learn to put up with other orthogonal complaints while focusing on where one's heart lies..hopefully I shall emerge out of this storm intact with what makes me "me"..

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