A little more than a year back, I remember writing a post on identity - what exactly constitutes the individual – work, relationships, consumption, combinations of these…….
More recently, I read a Scott Adams post which actually asks the same question ‘Who are you?’ He also provides his best answer to it ‘You are what you learn’. It’s an interesting point and I do agree that what you learn is what gives you additional perspective. It changes the way you view older experiences and how you react to new experiences. And so, despite believing in being prisoners of birth to some extent, and knowing that the apple never falls far from the tree, and at the risk of generalisation, I would tend to agree.
Which brings me to learning. In an earlier era, our ‘channels’ of learning were limited – parents, relatives, friends, teachers, literature, some amounts of media, and so on. Limited when compared to the abundance that a media explosion and the internet have brought into our lives. Sometime back, I read a post in the NYT titled ‘If it feels right‘, which discussed a study on the role of morality (rather, the lack of it) in the lives of America’s youth. The author clarifies that it isn’t as though they are living a life of debauchery, it’s just that they don’t even think of moral dilemmas, the meaning of life and such. The study ‘found an atmosphere of extreme moral individualism’, mostly because they have not been given the resources to develop their thinking on such matters.
It led me to think about the moral frameworks that were instilled in us by our sources when were young. At the very least, value systems existed, though obviously their ‘quality’ would be a subjective affair. I wonder, if in this era of abundant sources, we are missing out on inculcating the basic moral guidelines that are necessary for a society’s sustenance and evolution. If people are what they learn, then the least we could do is take a closer look at our own moral framework. The next generation, despite the abundance of sources, could be learning from it. Or perhaps this is the way it has always been, between generations.
until next time, moral poultice
PS: a beauuuutiful related video