Monday, February 9, 2009

The Best

'The Best' is a term used so commonly without considering sensibilities of the person or people whom you utter it to. Is there anything, place, person or thing that can be called 'the best'. When comparing things, maybe. But when speaking about capabilities in people, would it be right ? Ofcourse one can call something 'one of the best' in the world. But, 'the best', no way. Many people would disagree, but I beg to differ.

I have heard it so often that nowadays it annoys me so much when I hear it uttered. It leaves me rattled as to what the educated man speaking on the dias means or does not mean. And the student who hears it and repeats without a thought is doing ? Having been used to hearing that a particular language is the best in the world, a particular race is the best, a particular literature is the best, it was new that they have now started calling minds belonging to particular people or race as the best. I wonder where they get it from. And whether, they have pondered over the line before including it in their list of favourite lines.

Starting to think at an atomic level, can I say for sure that my mind is better than someone else's. That would be sheer arrogance. So, wouldn't it be the same if I compared people, saying a particular race is better or a particular nation's people have a better mind ? That too in an environment working with youth.

What is being indirectly inculcated is ignorance and brashness, intolerance and one upmanship. But the ignorant youth lap it up and use it without thinking twice. Of course one has to be proud of one's land, heritage, culture, languages and its myriad colours. But then, one also has to understand and learn to be humble about it. Not brash. The best phrase would be 'one of the best'. There is so much beauty and meaning in the term. It speaks about inclusiveness, understanding and tolerance which is lacking in our societies today. It is so much more important in an educational setup where minds are being built. Where we students look up to educated men as role models. Where we aspire to grow like them, to travel around the world bringing laurels to ourselves and our nation.

The Vedic saying 'Vasudeva Kutumbakam', means, 'The cosmos is one family'. Better put, 'The world is my family'.

India for one has been known for her inclusiveness. That is why we are still able to exist with so many religions, so many customs, different people, different ways of life and beliefs. But this has been eroding for a long time now. Instances like when a religion preaches, that only its people will attain heaven, when people look down on customs of another, when people close their noses to the aroma of food cooked by different people, when people laugh and smirk at other people clothes. Every time we do any of this, we are looking down on ourselves. On our culture and heritage which we are so lucky to inherit. Every time we try to put someone down we defeat ourselves and our way of life.

Such a small phrase, but makes a world of difference, doesn't it ?


Leonardo said...

As usual, I couldn't agree more. Of course I "feel" that the brazilian culture is "the best", but I acknowledge and let clear that that is my opinion and that I have such opinion because that is my culture. And nothing feels as good as home. But objectively there can't exist such thing as a "best" culture. Maybe there are cultures more liberal, more conservative, more many things, but "best"?

Kam said...

One of the best I've read.

Madam, Today i came across this usage and was thinking about the same phrase. The unplanned visit to your blog has surprised me.